Here at Smart Stack we’re big on providing document management services that make life easier and safer for our customers. We all know a Smart Stack system is the best way to keep your documents and your staff safe. But for those who haven’t installed a system yet, we have some some tips on how to assess the safety of your archives.
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. With a return to office life and neglected archives across the city, the risk of injury has increased in 2021.
I’m 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.
However, we still have time to prevent the next great disaster. Here are 6 things you should consider when assessing the safety of your archives.
Let’s start by walking around your offices and identifying any risks your storage may pose, think about these 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. Now they’re starting to sag and create precarious leaning towers of files. These need to be swapped for better quality, sturdier boxes ASAP. Or risk an avalanche of files sweeping up the next person who goes looking for a file. Corflute polypropylene boxes, the same material used on our system are renowned for their durability, strength and lightness. We recommend looking for boxes made from this material.
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 and if any present a trip or an OHS hazard. If they are stored in a specific location, are they easy to access and organised, or is it an obstacle course to access them? From our experince, storing all your archives in one uniform location makes for easy access and also ensures they are all stored correctly.
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? Or maybe consider a more accessible way of storing your archives. (ahem smart stack..)
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 an OHS 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!
Once you have answered those questions, you can make a plan of action to ensure your archives are safe. The simplest risk assessment and organisation could save your business thousands.
Save yourself the hassle of document management and upgrade to a SmartStack System. The safest and most accessible archiving system available.