5 IOSH Risk Assessment Examples For Office

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In 2022-23, nearly 486,000 workers in Great Britain had suffered from work-related MSDs. 

On the surface, risk assessments can appear less important for office-based organisations than for industries like construction and manufacturing. But even seemingly safe workplaces can have risks that cause musculoskeletal conditions (MSDs), trips, falls, and slips. 

This blog will walk you through five realistic IOSH risk assessment examples targeted to common workplace risks and hazards (yes, both are different!).

TL;DR – IOSH Risk Assessment Examples For Office

Searching for IOSH risk assessment examples for the office to start your health and safety journey?

Here are a few points we’ve covered in this blog:

  • Managing musculoskeletal disorders
  • Reducing Digital Screen Equipment hazards
  • Balancing work-induced psychological stress
  • Improving fire safety at the workplace
  • Preventing slips, trips, and falls in the office

Ready to go the extra mile to ensure workplace safety? Sign up for TSW Training’s IOSH Managing Safely course and train your employees on how to manage and prevent workplace risks like true professionals.

Three businesswomen working on laptops and documents in a modern office.

What is an IOSH Office Risk Assessment?

Great Britain alone saw a 10% increase in work-related deaths in 2023, with over 135 casualties recorded. In the same year, 561,000 workers reported to suffer from non-fatal injuries in the workplace.

This data shows only one thing: office risk assessments are more important than ever.

Set by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), an office risk assessment is an organised, systematic way to identify such potential hazards and assess the likelihood and severity of potential employee injury. It encourages British employers to take necessary steps to protect their employees’ health, safety, and welfare.

Injured worker receiving first aid treatment while lying on the ground.

Benefits of an IOSH Workplace Risk Assessment

The list of reasons why employers must prioritise conducting an IOSH workplace risk assessment is endless – but here are a few key benefits:

Improved Safety in the Workplace

According to studies, nearly over 6.8 million UK workers feel unsafe in their workplace. How can employers improve this? The answer is simple: risk assessments.

Identifying poor workstation ergonomics, manual handling hazards, and other risky scenarios with an IOSH risk assessment can help manage, control, and prevent risks or accidents in the office. 

In the end, the subtle nuances make a lasting impact.

Employee Morale and Engagement

According to reports, employers with well-engaged staff are 21% more profitable. Moreover, 53% of staff prefer to stay longer in organisations where they feel valued. 

That said, employee safety must be a top priority for organisations. Workers who feel safe, protected, and valued in their workplace experience direct growth in morale, engagement, and productivity. 

When employers perform regular IOSH risk assessments, they show their commitment towards employee well-being and safety.

Lesser Cost, Improved Reputation

According to the Health & Safety Executive, workplace injuries and ill-health cost UK-based organisations around £20.7 billion in 2022. 

Not to forget, British employers lost about 49.7 days per employee on average due to workplace sickness. The rising absenteeism and decreasing productivity led to a loss of £138.3 billion in 2023. 

A regular IOSH risk assessment keeps these financial burdens at bay, helping employers reduce costs in the long run. Besides, organisations committed to worker safety generally tend to garner a positive reputation and attract more top talent. 

Enhanced Regulatory Compliance

Last but not least, employers can ensure compliance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by following this risk assessment. It provides a legally valid and auditable framework for employers to train their managers and employees to control office-setting hazards and ensure compliance with health and safety laws. 

Ready to take the next step? Take TSW Training’s comprehensive IOSH Managing Safely course and learn how to identify, manage, and control risks in office settings from our certified and experienced trainers.

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5 IOSH Risk Assessment Examples For Office

In office-based settings, employers must focus on risk assessment for:

1. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

MSD isn’t uncommon in the United Kingdom, as one-third of the population (over 20 million residents) lives with this condition. 

As previously discussed, musculoskeletal conditions were a growing concern for UK employers. 

Many factors trigger this health condition, including: 

  • Desktop/laptop screen height, 
  • Keyword placement, 
  • Chair position or adjustability, etc. 
  • Uncomfortable sitting postures, etc. 

If not treated on time, these can affect the spinal cord, limbs, and joints, cause arthritis, and further worsen an individual’s quality of life. 

2. Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Hazards

Contrary to outdoor-based settings, office environments require employees to sit and stare at display screen equipment (laptop, computer, tablet, smartphone) for long hours. 

However, prolonged use of DSE at a fixed workstation can cause eye strain, fatigue, temporary short-sightedness, headaches, etc. 

As per HSE law’s Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment guidelines, employers are now obligated to plan work in a way that allows occasional breaks for DSE users. They must also assess DSE workspaces thoroughly and take preventive measures to protect their employees’ eyesight.

Young professional explaining ideas to colleagues on a computer in an office.

3. Work-Induced Psychological Stress

Here’s another risk assessment example that not many speak about – mental stress caused by work.

Roughly 875,000 workers in Great Britain reported stress, depression, or anxiety at work in 2022–2023. 

Heavy workloads, tight deadlines, and a lack of support can all contribute to work-related stress, leading to higher absenteeism and employee turnover. Reports further show that 51% of all long-term sick leaves in 2022 were due to stress, anxiety, or depression. 

An IOSH risk assessment thoroughly analyses these psychological triggers and recommends control measures such as workload management strategies, open lines of communication, and healthy work-life balance.

4. Fire Safety at the Workplace

According to the UK government, 2023 witnessed a 6.2% increase in fire incidents from the previous year. 

On that note, untidy and congested workplaces are highly prone to fire accidents. For example, overloaded garbage cans and poorly ventilated places can help flames spread. Not cleaning machinery and allowing dust to build up also leads to overheating issues and starting a fire.

An IOSH risk assessment identifies all potential fire hazards in the office—malfunctioning electrical equipment, combustible items, and blocked emergency exits, to name a few. It also sets preventive measures, like staff training on fire safety, routine electrical equipment maintenance, and ensuring fire escapes are easily accessible.

5. Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Office

Tripping over something might not sound like a concerning risk. However, over 179,520 British workers reported injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls in the workplace in 2023. 

It’s not unusual for employees to slip, stumble, and fall in the office due to uneven floors, trailing electrical wires, or congested walkways. A risk assessment can analyse these common yet unforeseen hazards and recommend installing controls, regular floor cleaning, proper cable management, and clear walkways.

Industrial accident scene with a worker's hard hat in the foreground and a person lying down.

Best Practices to Implement the Examples in Workplace

It’s the responsibility of every employer to ensure their workers are safe and healthy at work. 

On that note, following these IOSH risk assessment best practices can significantly minimise accidents and injuries in the office:

  • Create a risk management committee: Form a committee of supervisors, health and safety representatives, and employee representatives to oversee the risk assessment process, ensure its continuous efficacy, and promote a safety culture.
  • Educate your staff: Provide all staff with proper training on risk assessment methods, roles and duties, and reporting hazards and near misses to actively involve them in the safety process.
  • Conduct routine risk assessments: Plan for yearly (or more) frequent risk evaluations (if there are major changes)
  • Create a plan of action: After each risk assessment, create detailed action plans that outline the specific control measures required, their objectives, and completion timelines.

Remember that risk assessments are ultimately a matter of specific knowledge and expertise. Learn how to do this with TSW Training’s IOSH Managing Safely course — enrol today.

Professional contractor with protective gear looking upwards during quality check.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we leave, here are some frequently asked questions about IOSH risk assessment examples for the office:

What Steps Are Included in an IOSH Risk Assessment for Office Settings?

An IOSH risk assessment is generally conducted through a 5-step process, which is as follows:

  1. Risk identification: Thoroughly analysing the workplace to pinpoint any potential risk/s, including MSD triggers, electrical hazards, slipping/falling risks, etc.
  2. Risk assessment: Measuring the likelihood of an incident occurring at work, alongside the severity of damage, using a dedicated risk assessment matrix.
  3. Risk control: Implementing the right preventive measures to eliminate or reduce the risks to protect workers’ health and well-being.
  4. Record findings: The assessors must document the entire process – from risk identification to control measures – for future review.
  5. Monitoring and review: Once the risks are controlled, the measures should be reviewed timely to check whether they’re still effective and optimised if needed.

What Are the Best Practices for Documenting Office Risk Assessments Under IOSH Standards?

Although there is no standard format required for documenting IOSH risk assessments, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Using clear and concise terminology that all employees can understand.
  • Providing sufficient details to identify the hazard, estimate the risk, and describe all applied measures.
  • Including the date of evaluation and the accountable party’s signature.
  • Making the risk assessment document readily available to all employees.

How Often Should IOSH Risk Assessments Be Conducted in Office Workplaces?

The HSE recommends reviewing risk assessments at least once a year. More regular evaluations may be required if the workplace architecture, equipment, or operations processes undergo major changes.

A routine check is necessary if new risks are found or accidents/mishaps occur in the office. Lastly, employers should review their risk assessments once the legislation and best practices for office safety are revised.

Conclusion

Here’s a key takeaway: a proper risk assessment should cover all areas, from electrical safety and trip hazards to fire threats and repetitive strain injuries.

The risk assessment examples listed in this blog can be used as a starting point for your journey toward worker health and safety. So, are you ready to begin?

TSW Training provides a detailed 3-day IOSH Managing Safely course that covers health and safety laws and risk control fundamentals. 

Our accredited course will teach you how to identify and evaluate risks and implement efficient precautions, resulting in a safer and healthier workplace for everyone. 

Enrol today to get started.

Picture of Matthew Channell
Matthew Channell
Matthew is TSW Training’s Commercial Director. He writes about performance focussed learning, leadership, and management approaches that have real-world, sustainable impact.
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