The premises must be kept clean and tidy and a... maintained. The lighting in offices and access routes must... OFFICE SAFETY PROCEDURES

Environmental Conditions
The premises must be kept clean and tidy and a reasonable temperature must be
maintained. The lighting in offices and access routes must be adequate for the activities
involved and the office should be ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.
The work area and means of escape, e.g. stairs, passageways and floors of corridors,
must be maintained in good order and as far as is reasonably practicable free from
materials which are likely to cause persons to slip or trip. Trailing electric cables from
equipment such as visual display units, telephones etc. should be kept to a minimum and
positioned so that they do not present tripping hazards.
Faults with the fabric of the building, in particular loose or damaged floor coverings, should
be reported for repaired or replacement.
Wherever possible natural daylight should be the predominant source of light in the office.
If this is not enough, lighting must be suitable and efficient. Lights should not cause dazzle
or produce a distracting glare and should not be allowed to become obscured. Stairways
must be well lit. Lights should be replaced, repaired or cleaned as necessary before the
level of lighting becomes insufficient.
During working hours the temperature inside buildings should be reasonable for the
activity involved. Temperature should normally be at least 16°C and thermometers should
be available to enable temperatures to be measured.
Washing and Toilet Facilities
Conveniently accessible, suitable and sufficient washing and toilet facilities must be
available. The facilities must normally include clean, hot and cold running water, soap and
clean towels. There must be a separate ventilated area between the toilets and offices.
Electrical Hazards
In order to minimise the possibility of electrocution caused by defective plugs, sockets,
switches, wiring or other equipment, all electrical installations must be installed by a
person who is competent to carry out the work. After the installation electrical equipment
must be checked for defects at regular intervals. Staff should be encouraged to carry out
visual inspections and report any defects or concerns. If anyone notices a damaged plug
or frayed cable it must be reported and repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Revised Jan 2003
Trip Hazards
Access routes in and around the office must be kept clear and regular safety checks
should be made for trip hazards (e.g. loose or torn carpeting, trailing cables, poor storage
of boxes and other items). Managers and supervisors should check for such problems as
part of their day-to-day responsibility but also initiate regular formal and documented
checks. Staff must be encouraged to report or correct trip hazards as and when they are
Stability of Equipment
All machines, equipment, filing cabinets, shelves, work-tops, benches etc. must be
adequately positioned and where necessary secured in position to prevent them from
tipping over. Shelves and wall-hanging cabinets should not be overloaded.
Adequate space should be available for the storage of equipment and materials. Shelving
must not be overloaded and heavy objects must not be stored at high levels. Where items
are stored at high level there must be suitable means of reaching them, e.g. kick stools or
step ladders. Managers/supervisors should instigate the regular disposal of unwanted
equipment and materials so as to avoid the unnecessary hording of obsolete items and the
waste of storage space.
Cleaning and Waste
Ensure all offices are cleaned and waste paper is not allowed to accumulate. Waste
products must be disposed of on a regular basis not allowing waste to accumulate.
Any concern involving any health and safety matter should be brought to the attention of
the group health and safety manager.
Drinking Water
A supply of wholesome drinking water must be available and marked as such.
Fire Precautions
Office managers must satisfy themselves that they are familiar with the fire precaution
arrangements for their area of responsibility and that the arrangements are brought to the
attention of their staff (normally through induction procedures). They must arrange for an
appropriate number of Fire Marshals to be appointed and trained.
Emergency exits and access routes must not be cluttered or used for storage and an
effective system of rubbish disposal must be in place. Staff should report any restrictions
in escape routes or faults in the fire precaution arrangements to their line manager or
Departmental Safety Officer, where appropriate faults in the fire precaution arrangements
can be reported to the Fire Officer or the Safety Advisory Unit.
Revised Jan 2003
Maintenance and refurbishment
All staff should be aware of their working environment and report any faults or defects to their line manager
or a person designated to deal with maintenance so that repairs can be promptly dealt with.
To protect their staff from the possible risks created by maintenance and refurbishment work
managers/supervisors should liaise with the of maintenance or refurbishment project officer to ensure
reasonable safety control measures are put in place. If major works are involved managers may have to
make prior arrangements for their staff to work elsewhere. Arrangements may need to be made to protect
UCL maintenance staff or contractors from risks that arise form the area they are to work in.
Managers/supervisors should monitor maintenance and refurbishment work in their areas of responsibility
and report any problems reported to the UCL project officer or Safety Manager.
All staff should be aware of their working environment and report any faults or defects to their line manager
or a person designated to deal with maintenance so that repairs can be promptly dealt with.
Revised Jan 2003