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Health and safety considerations when designing your office interior

  • an APSS designed office

    an APSS designed office

Created on: 10th September 2017

As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your office space meets all the necessary health and safety requirements to protect everyone working in the area. 

Your staff should arrive at work knowing that they are safe in a hygienic, habitable space that is free from risks and hazards.

Aesthetics are obviously a big priority for companies, however merging health and safety considerations with these features is essential. We have, therefore, listed a few top tips for you to bear in mind, when planning your office fit out, to ensure you have everything covered:

Layout

The layout of your office has a direct impact on the productivity of your employees as well as the overall aesthetics of your workplace, therefore it is one of the first things to consider when planning your office refurbishment. The flow of your office should be completely unobstructed, and you will need to ensure that every working area has easy access to a fire door or escape route, should an evacuation be needed.

Fire Safety

In every place where people congregate, potential fire hazards should be minimized to the lowest level possible. Sturdy fire safety systems should also be installed to warn employees about a potential fire, as well as to allow all employees to evacuate the building safely and in plenty of time in the case of an emergency. Fire doors should be fitted throughout the office building, with no obstructions, and fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers should be mounted into areas, where they are most likely to be needed. Kitchens, warehouses, and storage areas are key places to mount extinguishers and fire alarms.

Lighting

It is no longer acceptable to run an office that is badly lit. Flickering lights, dull rooms and lack of direct sunlight can all contribute to ill health, as well as lead to a de-motivated team of workers. Designing your office so that the major light source is natural lighting through windows can improve employee morale, and keep the space well-lit throughout the day. LED panels are a great addition to an office, as the light is much cleaner and brighter, as well as being cost efficient for businesses to use.

Toilet cubicles

When planning the design of your office toilet cubicles, you firstly need to consider that you have enough provided, to meet the needs of all employees working in the space. Consider disabled access and facilities, and also if any baby-changing equipment may be needed?

Toilet cubicles should be frequently cleaned to ensure they are free from bacteria, with hand washing facilities equipped with soap and a hand-dryer. Many offices find it helpful to use a cleaning chart, hung on the wall, to track how often the toilets have been cleaned that week. 

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