The idea of hazards in the office seems to be somewhat of a joke, especially to those who work in the industrial sectors or other physically dangerous jobs. Unfortunately, hazards do exist in the office environment. While keeping fingers clear of the paper shredder is the responsibility of employees and businesses have to bite the bullet on toxic mold, issues like fire safety must be addressed by the entire staff working to develop a crisis response plan. On the other hand, the greatest hazards in the office, which affect individuals, are more psychological and physiological issues rather than physical hazards.
The human body is designed for running and other physical activities; therefore, the often sedentary lifestyles associated with office jobs are particularly unhealthy. Not only does a lack of physical labor leave us weak, it can lead to all sorts of health issues while activities like using keyboards can improperly strain parts of the muscular-skeletal system, i.e. the wrists, in ways it should be strained. Part of the solution is to help employees recognize these unhealthy habits as well as to give them an opportunity to correct them before they become serious issues. Through health clinics and group activities, these issues can be discussed and addressed.
Psychologically, the hazards of the office are probably far more severe and significantly harder to address. The problem is that emotional and mental health issues are usually overlooked until a personal crisis occurs. Not only do these issues decrease productivity with diminished quality of life and fewer social interactions, they exacerbate physiological health issues while they are, in turn, reinforced by physiological health issues. As such, failure to address psychological hazards can also lead to more dramatic events like death, suicide, or violence against others.
Dealing with these issues requires more of a personal approach. In other words, managers can only stop long-term health issues of employees by recognizing these psychological issues often go unnoticed, especially when a person does not have strong, open relationships with others. Meanwhile, developing workplace relationships can help create a support structure that wards off these issues and allows individuals to address all their health concerns as they start to develop. The solution to psychological hazards is, therefore, to foster healthy workplace relationships.
Moreover, dealing with the hazards in the office, which encompass all health issues of employees, requires management to offer both mental and healthy lifestyle training. By partnering with healthcare professionals, these very significant hazards of the office can be addressed through awareness and preventative action. The office may not be a hazardous environment in terms of immediate dangers, but the office lifestyle is a very strenuous, damaging experience. Because of the stressors found in the office environment, a whole host of health issues exist for office employees.