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For more information on offices click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work

Offices can be hazardous workplaces but often the risks that office workers face are downplayed. Many non-fatal injuries to employees in the office-based industry are not reported, making official statistics unreliable. Office workers also suffer from occupational ill health, but ill-health statistics for office workers are often not available or again are an understatement of the true picture.

It is often claimed that, while health and safety is important in industry, it is not really necessary in most workplaces, such as offices which the government calls “low risk”. This is not true. Offices have different risks to factories but are not necessarily safer. The group that includes one of the highest proportion of office workers, public administration, actually has one of the highest rates of over three-day injury, although it does have fewer fatal and very serious injuries. Both stress-related illnesses and RSI are more common in offices and between them they account for over 70 per cent of all work-related illness. Unfortunately there is still a view that these illnesses are less worthy of sympathy or action than injuries caused by 'accidents'.

In addition, some offices or office buildings may be only one part of a workplace, attached to hospitals or schools. Office workers in this situation may share some of the health and safety problems of other workers.Many of the hazards that office workers face are dealt with in detail elsewhere in these pages.

HSE Office safety pages

As temperatures are set to hit over 30 degrees Celsius in parts of the UK this week the South West TUC is calling on employers to temporarily relax workplace dress codes to help staff cope. Health and Safety laws should also be amended to introduce a safe maximum workplace temperature.
20 June 2017
With health and work being closely linked, the TUC has today (Thursday) published guidance on well-being at work. The new TUC guidance – Work and well-being – sets out the importance of healthy workplaces and provides advice on how to handle specific issues such as smoking, obesity and stress. Stress...
10 December 2015
Stress or overwork, injuries and illnesses caused by the poor use of display screen equipment and repetitive strain injuries (RSI) top the list of workers' safety concerns, according to the TUC's biennial survey of safety reps published today (Monday).
27 October 2008