When undergoing an office renovation, you need to ensure your employees are safe from harm. Whether it is a small remodel or a huge overhaul, proper measures should be taken to protect your staff. If you are planning a renovation to your office space, follow these eight tips to prevent injuries from occurring to your team members.
1. Allow Remote Work
From tearing out appliances to replacing a stab lok breaker, one of the best ways to guarantee no one is hurt during the remodeling process is to allow employees to work from home. Depending on your current system setup, this may take some advanced planning. If your employees have computer monitors, you will need to provide laptops for them to work from while they are out of the office.
Additionally, have your IT department evaluate the internal systems. Some updates will likely be needed if everyone needs remote access to network programs.
2. Block Construction Areas
Make sure construction sites are taped off so employees know not to enter these areas. Even if the construction workers have left for the day, the site should still not be accessed by staff. Whether remodeling is occurring or not, someone could still get hurt when entering a room that has been demolished.
3. Declutter Construction Sites
Before the construction crew arrives, clean out the rooms they will be working on. Not only does leaving office supplies in the construction zone delay the renovation process but it poses a risk to the crew and your staff. Save yourself the potential issue and pack everything before the crew arrives.
Find a storage space for all the boxes before you begin packing. Otherwise, you will have boxes randomly left in someone's office or cubicle space. Plus, it increases the chances of something going missing if everything is not strategically put away.
4. Plan Around Office Hours
When discussing the project with the construction company, ask about their typical work hours. Depending on the company and project, they may be able to work with you and perform their services outside of office hours. Doing this decreases the risk of injury, as no employees are in while work is being done.
Another option is to rework your staff's schedules to avoid anyone being present when construction is being done. Just make sure you are not causing your staff unnecessary stress by requesting the schedule change. Depending on how dramatic the shift is, it might not mesh well with people's personal schedules.
5. Develop New Routes in the Building
Make sure new routes throughout the building are clearly established. For example, if the front entryway is closed, create a map noting what entrances people should use and how to get to their cubicles from there. This prevents anyone from getting lost or accidentally stumbling into a construction zone.
6. Have Construction Crew Park in a Separate Lot
If you have the space, have the construction team park away from the employee's parking spaces. Since there is a good chance the crew will go back and forth to their cars to get equipment throughout the day, having them in a more secluded location decreases the risk of a team member getting injured while in the parking lot.
7. Move Workspaces
Depending on what kind of work is being done, the renovation work could be loud enough to damage employees' hearing if they are too close. Additionally, some projects release dangerous particles in the air causing people to get sick if they breathe it in. If you have employees who work too close to the worksite, designate a new workspace for them during the renovation process.
8. Communicate Changes Quickly
If there are any changes to the construction project, safety routes or designated workspaces, update your staff quickly. The best way to do this is typically by sending a company-wide email as soon as you are aware of the changes.
No matter what type of remodeling is occurring in your building, your priority should always be the safety of your employees. Follow these eight tips to help ensure your staff is secure and protected during the construction process.