What Should Be Your Safety Concerns When Buying or Leasing Office Space?
What is in this article?:
Are you counting on landlords or contractors to ensure that your office space meets OSHA and NFPA standards? That might not be the right move.
Use office safety as a way to engage employees. Find an employee who would enjoy involvement and give him or her the opportunity to assist you with safety.
Location and price generally control office-space decisions. Even if you construct a new building or do extensive build-out, you probably have not devoted much consideration to whether your new space meets OSHA requirements.
It’s an office, after all – not a manufacturing plant or refinery. So you rely on your builder or landlord for that. You figure that they’re well-regarded contractors and developers, so presumably they adhered to OSHA requirements along with local ordinances and electrical codes.
Unfortunately, OSHA standards mainly focus on employees working safely, and contractors don’t view the standards as dictating the final structure. Thus, contractors follow OSHA construction standards to protect workers building the structure, but they don’t really think about OSHA standards applicable to the finished structure in the same way that they faithfully adhere to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards such as 70E or state or local building codes. Your building might be structurally sound and safely wired, but don’t be surprised if you discover a missing mid rail on a stairway or missing knock-outs in electric cabinets and fixtures.