Office/general work environment safety

Hazards in office environments are generally considered low risk but can and do result in harm to staff. Most of these hazards are foreseeable and can be prevented. Read how you can manage and control these hazards.

Computer safety

Most staff will use a computer on a daily basis in order to conduct their work. Such technology is vital for every aspect of our work. Because of this we spend many hours of work at our computers whether it is a desktop computer or laptop. This can result in potential discomfort, pain and possible injury to the operator.

There are a number of preventative steps that can be taken to avoid this potential harm. The following information should be referred to for advice and guidance.

Applicable reference documents


Organising a workstation assessment

If you are looking at preventative measures to manage your workstation, there is a company called Business Risk Assessments Ltd who undertake workstation assessments on behalf of the University. There is a cost of approximately $40 plus any cost involved in the purchase of any required equipment. This will be a faculty/department cost so please inform your manager first and get approval prior to engaging the company.

The contact details are:

Ian Purves

Chris Ross

Business Risk Assessments Ltd
Ph 268 9612

If you are feeling pain and discomfort and need to seek advice from a treatment provider, these are the steps you need to follow:

  1. You should seek assistance from a GP - ensure that you advise them that you are an employee of the University of Auckland and that the injury appears to be related to your work. The treatment provider should complete an ACC45 and send this to WorkAon to register the injury claim. The University will cover the cost of 1 GP visit and up to 4 treatments by an ACC registered provider prior to a decision being made on your claim. However you must have an ACC45 completed.
  2. Complete the University’s Accident Report Form. This is required to complete the process and to register the injury claim.
  1. Due to the nature of gradual process injury claims, a WorkAon Case Manager will be in contact.
  2. An in-depth workstation assessment will be conducted to assist in making a decision on the claim and provide any further recommendations.
  3. Depending on received information, the situation or diagnosis, the injured person is sometimes referred to an Occupational Medical Specialist for further diagnosis and recommendations.
  4. The University will receive recommendations regarding whether the injury claim should be accepted or declined. Please note that some gradual process injury claims are more often than not declined due to the fact that they fall outside the criteria of the Accident Compensation Act 2001. However, each case is unique and that is why investigations are undertaken to make an informed decision.
  5. Should equipment be needed, this will be covered via the WorkAon injury claims management process.

General work environment

The following checklist covers computer safety, manual handling, stairs, floors, storage and shelving, kitchenettes/toilets/bathrooms, and environmental conditions.


Slips, trips and falls prevention

The most common accidents that occur to staff at the University involve tripping, slipping and falling.

Most of these accidents occur on the same level and as a result people can suffer fractured wrists, open wounds and possible head injury. This results in significant pain and incapacity, lengthy rehabilitation and the risk of long term injury that will never completely heal. On most occasions slips, trips and falls are foreseeable and preventable.

For guidance on fall prevention when working on ladders, fall arrest/restraint systems, elevated power platforms, scaffolding or working at heights where a fall is possible, see the section related to Working at Heights.

The following information should be referred to for advice and guidance.

Commerical and Industrial Premises – Guidelines for the Provision of Facilities and General Safety In.