How To Prevent An Office Disaster In 2021

Here at Smart Storage we’re big on providing safe and secure offsite storage services for our customers. Before your boxes come to us for storage though, you’re in charge of making sure they’re stored safely.

We all endured plenty of disasters last year, but thanks to working from home arrangements, the greatest disasters of all were avoided. That’s right we are talking about archive related workplace injuries and deaths. But with a return to office life and neglected archives across the city, the risk of injury has increased in 2021.

We’re sure we all wish we could go back and do things differently. Maybe get a couple extra rolls of toilet paper and book that holiday for Balnarring rather than the Bahamas. Alas, hindsight is 2020. 

And yet we still have time to prevent the next great disaster. So without any further padding to reach the word limit, here are 6 things you should consider when assessing the safety of your archives. 

Start by walking around your offices and identifying any risks your storage may pose, using the suggested questions:

What type of boxes are you storing?

This one is important! Maybe 5 years ago your predecessor purchased some super cheap and flimsy cardboard boxes to save some money. But now they’re starting to sag and create precarious leaning towers of files-a. These need to be swapped for better quality, sturdier boxes ASAP. These types of boxes don’t last a lifetime, which is why we supply our customers with sturdy and hardwearing archive boxes.

Do your archives have a specific location, or are they scattered around the office?

If you find they are scattered around the office, take note where they are. Identify if any are a WHS hazard. When stored in a specific location, check they are easy to access and organised. Make sure it isn’t an obstacle course to access them.

How do staff access the boxes?

If staff need to climb ladders to access your document storage boxes, have they been trained on how to climb the ladders to reduce risk?

Do you have policies on maximum weight & training on how to lift heavy boxes?

Sometimes archive boxes can get heavy – in excess of 25kg. See if you have any policies in place on how much a box can weigh to make sure it doesn’t become a WHS hazard. Now is a great time to refresh your staff on how to safely handle and lift heavy items like boxes.

Are boxes stored in the attic, cellar or another location scarcely accessed?

If your boxes are stored in an attic or in a cellar, have you completed a risk assessment including assessing how staff will access the records, what stairs they need to take, maximum load for storage?

Is Offsite Storage a safer option?

Sometimes it can be handy storing your boxes on-site, but if you don’t access your records often it might be time to research off-site storage options! We’d love to introduce you to our offsite storage options, so why not get in contact!

Once you have answered those questions, you’ll be able to make a plan of action to ensure your archives are safe. The simplest risk assessment and organisation could save your business thousands.