When you think of workplace safety, what comes to mind? Probably blue collar workers in dangerous jobs such as construction, manufacturing, sanitation and transportation. Understandably, safety is serious business in these high-incident work environments. But what about the legions of white collar workers? Just because they don’t wear hard hats or reflective vests doesn’t mean that safety isn’t a concern.
Here are some common safety hazards that office workers encounter:
• Slips, trips and falls on staircases, in kitchens or on doormats
• Bumping into objects such as open file drawers and furniture
• Cuts, burns and pinching such as slamming fingers in file cabinets
• Eye strain from looking at screens too long without taking a break
• Back pain resulting from chairs not being properly adjusted
• Repetitive motion injuries from typing for hours
What’s the solution? Use visual communication to build safety awareness
Digital signage is a very popular communication tool in white collar offices. Typically located in breakrooms or near elevators, the screens display HR updates, videos, new product information, job postings and employee recognition. The highly visual, dynamic content gives cube dwellers a nice break from staring at their computer screens.
Leverage this platform to raise safety awareness. Whoever is in charge of posting content (often HR), is faced with the challenge of keeping it fresh and up to date. By regularly adding safety content to the playlist, you’ll get workers thinking about safety, and it’ll add a new twist to the content mix.
Be sure to:
1. Keep it visual, no matter what the message.
2. Use humor to grab attention. Remember, you’ve got to engage before you can educate. Cartoons, illustrations, even goofy pictures can bring life to your messages.
3. Promote in-house programs reinforcing ergonomics or safe driving campaigns.
4. Include tips on safety at home that will keep weekend warriors and their families safe.
5. Get employees in on the action. “Safety don’ts” make great material for pictures, short videos or quotes that employees can contribute.
If you don’t yet have digital signage in your workplace, look for a provider that can extend your message from the big screen to the desktop and mobile devices with screensavers and mobile apps. Don’t forget to ask if they provide safety content with the program.
Good luck, and watch your step!