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Office Hazard Risk Assessment Check List

We have put together a list of common office hazards for a check list to be used alongside a risk assessment

This list is intended as the first stage of a risk assessment to identify any ‘significant hazards’ in the workplace in order to prompt further action or evaluation.

The hazards have been listed as generic groups for ease of identification.

Office hazard checklist

Slips, Trips and Falls Hazards
Are there any obstructions on the floor that could cause a slip trip or fall from:
Office supplies, such as books, stationery, toner cartridges, etc?
Electrical equipment, such as printers, kettles, fan heaters, etc?
Trailing leads supplying computers, printers fax machines, etc?
Loose carpets or mats?
Open access panels in the floor?
Unguarded stairwells?
Uneven floors?
Cleaners’ equipment such as vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, etc?
Access routes blocked by debris, waste bins, etc?

Falling Object Hazards
Are there any objects that could fall on people such as:
Goods or stores on shelves and racking?
Unstable freestanding stacks of goods or materials?
Loose ceiling tiles?
Loose electrical or mechanical equipment: lighting, pipework, ventilation equipment, etc?

Electrical Hazards
Is there any risk of persons receiving an electrical shock from:
Loose or broken: sockets, switches, light fittings, conduits and trunking, etc?
Worn, frayed or split cables?
Trailing leads?
Overloaded extension leads or multi-socket adaptors?
Exposed cables into plugs, computer equipment, kettles, fan heaters, microwaves, food and drinks dispensers, etc?
Exposed live parts of electrical switchgear: controls, motors, pumps, etc?
Is any item of portable electrical equipment overdue for a portable appliance test (PAT)?
Is any item of electrical equipment poorly or dangerously positioned?

Substance Related Hazards
Are there any substances used that could cause harm from contact or inhalation, such as:
Cleaning chemicals?
Solvents in inks, dyes, adhesives, etc?
Dusts from powdered goods or supplies?
Smoke or exhaust fumes?
Asbestos in fire retardant panelling, ceiling tiles or pipe lagging?
Has any staff member complained of any persistent or increasing allergic reactions: running nose or eyes, coughing, sneezing, itching skin, etc?

Fire Hazards
Are flammable materials stored or used in a manner that could cause a fire, such as:
Any flammable substances on or near sources of heat or direct sunlight?
Any flammable substances that are not correctly stored in flameproof cupboards (solvents, adhesives, etc)?
Any potential for a flammable substance to be spilled onto sources of heat or electrical equipment?
Waste paper in left waste bins overnight?
Covered convector heaters?

Ventilation Hazards
Are there any hazards associated with office ventilation, such as:
Insufficient ventilation?
Fumes getting into the area through open windows or vents?
Contamination of air conditioning filters by dust or bacteria?

Display Screen Equipment
Does display screen equipment require assessment for:
Poorly positioned monitors?
Lighting creating glare on screens?
Poor seating position?

Manual Handling and Workstation Hazards
Do working positions pose a hazard that could cause muscular strains, such as:
Poor lifting positions?
Bad posture over desks or benches?
Repetitive twisting or turning?
Does any office furniture show signs of damage or imminent collapse (desks, chairs, benches, shelving, etc.)?

Hygiene Hazards
Do sanitary provisions require improving to reduce the risk of infection or contamination, such as:
Hot water temperature requires raising to remove legionella risk (60°C)
Toilet and hand basin cleaning requires improving?
Improved hand washing and drying facilities?
The use of rubber gloves for personal protection?

Accidents and First Aid
Does accident treatment require improving?
Is there a requirement for a (or additional) trained first aider?
Do those trained as first aiders require refresher training? (required every 3 years)
Do accident records need reviewing?
Is there anything in the first aid boxes that is past its use by date?
Are extra first aid boxes required?
Are there any specific requirements for accident treatment?

If you have a hazard then of course the first steps should be to remove or reduce the hazard.

Control measures for removing or reducing a hazard include:

1. Elimination: by removing the hazard completely
2. Substitution: with a less hazardous substance, process or method of work
3. Modification: of the work process
4. Providing formal written procedures in the form of a safe system of work or a method statement
5. Supplying adequate training and information to all those exposed to the hazard
6. General tidiness and good housekeeping
7. Supplying protective equipment or clothing

Any identified hazard should be evaluated using a risk assessment form. Create these online in minutes with a free trial.

It should be noted that many of the identified hazards may prompt a dedicated risk assessment in compliance with the requirements of the associated legislation, i.e. substance-related hazards may require a detailed assessment under the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (S.I. 2002, No. 2677) (COSHH) protecting supports all types of risk assessments.