Office Renovation Health and Safety Standards

Photo, Henry & Co.


Office Renovation Health and Safety Standards

All you need to know about how you can maintain strict health and safety standards during an office renovation big or small...

If your business is renovating its office, it’s important to make sure that you manage health and safety properly. An office renovation can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. Many businesses choose to keep their employees working in the office during renovations. It can help to minimise expensive downtime for the company. However, it does mean that the risk of accidents is increased and that’s something you need to plan for. In this post, let’s discuss how to keep your employees safe during an office renovation.

How To Maintain Health and Safety Standards During A Big Office Renovation

Photo, ThisisEngineering RAEng.

Complete A Risk Assessment

Before you start any work on your office renovation, it’s important to complete a risk assessment. This will help you identify any potential hazards that could occur during the renovation process. Once you’ve identified the risks, you can put controls in place to mitigate them. For example, if you’re going to be working with power tools, you’ll need to consider any potential accidents that could happen. Are you going to be using hazardous materials? Then you’ll need to ensure that these are properly labelled and stored, and you have a plan in place for spillages.

Your risk assessment should cover:

– The work that will be carried out during the renovation
– The materials that will be used
– The equipment that will be used
– The people who will be working on the renovation
– Noise caused by the renovation
– Disruption to water and power
– Any emergency exit routes that are affected
– Any pathways around the building that will be blocked

When doing this risk assessment, don’t forget to consider outside areas like the car park. Be thorough and make sure that you have considered all of the potential risks. You can then use this information to put measures in place and maintain health and safety. Use this template to complete your risk assessment.

Check For Additional Regulations

You may have a clear idea of the health and safety regulations you must follow during normal operations. However, do you know about the specific regulations that relate to construction work? Although your contractor is responsible for most of this, it’s still important for you to know. Specific health and safety regulations cover the planning and management of construction projects. They apply to all construction work, including office renovations, and they place a duty on you as the client to appoint a competent project manager.

You must also make sure that your contractor has adequate insurance in place. This will protect them in case of any accidents, and it will also protect you from any legal action that might be taken if someone is injured during the renovation.

Make sure that you double-check so you can be sure that you are following all of the regulations properly.

How To Maintain Health and Safety Standards During A Big Office Renovation

Photo, Callum Hill.

Plan Renovations During Quiet Periods

If possible, it’s best to plan your office renovations for quiet periods. This might be over the Christmas break or during a period when you know that fewer people will be in the office. If you can get a large portion of the work finished at weekends or in the evenings, it makes life a lot easier. This is especially useful if you run a seasonal business that is only busy at certain times of the year. Use the slow periods to get all of your renovations done while you have fewer staff members in the office.

Planning renovations during these times will minimise the disruption to your business and it will also reduce the risk of accidents because fewer people will be around while work is happening.

Keep People Informed

Communication is key during your office renovations. Make sure that you keep your employees informed about what is happening and when. It’s also important to let them know about any changes to the building, like new fire exits or changes to the layout. If possible, give people a floor plan so they know where everything is and how to get around the construction work.

If you have staff members who don’t know what is going on and which areas of the building will be impacted by construction, it’s much easier for people to be careless and end up hurting themselves.

You should also keep employees up to date on health and safety measures so they can be vigilant. If everybody is aware of what measures need to be in place, and they draw attention to areas where health and safety is lacking, the whole office will be much safer.

How To Maintain Health and Safety Standards During A Big Office Renovation

Photo, Good Faces.

Have Employees Work From Home Where Possible

The easiest way to keep people safe is to have them work from home where possible. If you can stagger start and finish times, or have people work in shifts, it will make it easier for construction workers to access the building. It also minimises the amount of time that employees are exposed to potential hazards. Office spaces have changed a lot over the last few years and it’s likely that you already have some people working from home.

It may not be possible for everybody to work from home but you should speak to your team and see who can realistically do their job without coming into the office. If you renovate the office in stages, you can have certain people working from home for short periods.

If you want employees to work effectively while they are at home, you may need to invest in some new tech tools. Video conferencing software can help with team meetings and collaboration, and there are plenty of project management tools that can be used to keep track of progress remotely.

By getting people to work from home, you can improve health and safety and also keep the business running as usual throughout the renovation.

Choose A Reliable Contractor

One of the most important things you can do to keep people safe during your office renovation is to choose a reliable contractor. If you’re not sure where to start, ask for recommendations from other businesses in your area. Once you have a shortlist of contractors, you should check their credentials and insurance policies.

A good contractor will have a clear idea of the health and safety regulations they need to follow. They will put all of the necessary measures in place to keep people safe. This includes things like handling and storing power tools properly, using protective equipment, and having a clear plan for dealing with hazardous materials. Not happy with the health and safety measures that your contractor is putting in place? Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s better to raise concerns early on so they can be addressed before anybody gets hurt.

Reliable contractors are also much tidier. This also helps to avoid accidents, too. The last thing you want is for people to trip over loose wires or tools that have been left lying around.

Take your time when finding a contractor and always interview a few possibilities. Don’t just go for the cheapest option either, as this could mean that corners are cut when it comes to health and safety.

Deal With Waste Effectively

Photo, Weiye Tan.

Deal With Waste Effectively

A lot of waste is produced during office renovations and this is often the cause of health and safety issues. Construction workers need to be careful when handling waste and they should always dispose of it properly. The best way to deal with waste is to find a skip hire company. This way, you can have all of the waste collected in one place and you don’t have to worry about it being left lying around where someone could trip and hurt themselves.

A skip is perfect for all of the general waste from the renovation, but there are some types of waste that you can’t simply throw in a skip. Things like asbestos or old gas canisters need to be disposed of in a safe way and you may need to hire a specialist company to deal with it. If you don’t follow the right procedures here, you are in breach of health and safety procedures. Not only are you putting your employees in danger, but you could also get a big fine for breaking the law, so make sure that you handle waste properly.

Use Clear Signage

Clear signage is so important when half of your office building is being turned into a building site. Signs warn people about potential hazards and also keep construction workers safe by reminding them where they need to be careful. You should put up signs before the renovation starts. Make sure that they are clearly visible. You may also want to put up temporary walls to separate the construction site from the rest of the office. This will make it even clearer where people need to be careful.

Put up some signs at the entrance of the building letting people know where the work is happening. Also notify them of any changes too. This is especially important for visitors that may not know you are doing construction work around the office.

An office renovation can be a big project. It’s important to make sure that health and safety is always a priority. By following the tips in this blog post, you can make sure that your employees are safe throughout the renovation process. From choosing a reliable contractor to disposing of waste properly, there are lots of things you need to think about. Take the time to plan everything out carefully. You can make sure that your office renovation goes smoothly and everyone stays safe.