Top seven safety tips for office workers

Climate control. Soft chairs and armrests. Standing desks and safety features… Office environments don’t conjure up thoughts of workplace hazards like, say, construction sites.

It’s true, office workers are at a lower risk for workplace injuries than many other types of jobs. However, it’s still important to talk about safety with office employees.

Below are seven safety tips for office workers to prevent workplace injuries.

1. Make sure your desk setup is ergonomic

To maintain a neutral posture, your head should be centered over your neck and shoulders, wrists flat and elbows resting comfortably at your side. If your feet won’t touch the ground unless you lean forward, use a footrest.

See our post on workplace ergonomics and neutral posture for more information on setting up an ergonomic workstation.

2. Take regular breaks to get up and move around

Sitting all day puts office workers at risk for numerous health problems. For examples of moving and stretching actions you can do in the office, check out our Get Up and Move illustrations, and you can find more resources on our Stretching and movement page.

3. When it’s slippery due to ice and snow, walk like a penguin when entering and leaving your office

Winter slips and falls in parking lots are extremely common (and costly). To avoid them, walk like a penguin — flatfooted and taking short, slow steps.

It’s also important to wear sensible footwear and carry only what you can handle. For more information and downloadable resources, visit our winter slip-and-fall prevention page.

4. Use a headset for prolonged or frequent phone use

Cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear can cause neck and back pain.

5. Keep your workplace tidy

Clean up spills immediately, keep aisles free of clutter, and tie up or secure cords so they don’t pose a trip hazard.

6. Don’t let electrical cords create a fire risk

Avoid running electrical cords under carpet or through windows and doorways. Also, don’t fasten them through non-standard means, such as staples.

7. Know your office emergency procedures

Make sure you know what to do in the event of a fire, storm, violent intruder, medical problem or other emergency.

Related office safety resources from SFM:


Originally published May 2017; updated February 2024.

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