In a day not that far removed from the anthrax attacks of 2001, people are genuinely concerned about the safety of their office mailroom. After all, businesses, perhaps even more so than people, have a way of attracting attention, and not all of it will be positive. Of course, dangers can not only come through the mail, but internally as well. This is true not only of the mailroom, but of all aspects of the office or business you work in. As workplace safety should be a paramount concern of any office manager or executive, we have devised an article which will help you to ensure the safety of your workers, and particularly that of your mailroom.
Make Sure Your Security Procedures Are Current
One thing that tends to fall by the wayside in any office or business is security and safety procedures. Put someone in charge of making sure the handbook is up to date, and make sure all employees have a copy. Observe the employees and make sure they are following all securities procedures to the letter. With time, this is one of the areas that tends to get lax. Make sure that if this is the case, that it is remedied. If necessary, put someone in charge of specifically maintaining all security and safety procedures. In addition to this, it is always a good idea to make sure your mailroom is using up to date equipment to ensure safety as well as efficiency. Safco and Fellowes, among others, make high quality mailroom equipment that can be used in conjunction with a well oiled mailroom.
Give Proper OSHA Training
Ensure that your employees are well versed in the procedures to follow in case of fire, waste spillage, or the encounter of chemicals in the mail they sort. It is better to be prepared for the worst then to assume that nothing will ever happen. In all likelihood, of course, nothing ever will. But at the same time, it pays to be alert and careful, and know what to do should a bad situation arise. This includes following OSHA guidelines, which can not only keep your office mailroom within the letter of the law, but contribute to a safe working environment and produce less risk of having a workman’s comp claim down the road.
Communication Is Vital
It should be standard to issue all of your mailroom employees either walkie talkies or cell phones (or both) in order to maintain communication in the event of an emergency. These employees need to be in constant contact with their superiors, even if they do not have a supervisor overlooking them at all times. If an emergency does arise, it should be easy to contact someone through the use of these devices.
Enforce Access Restrictions
All mailroom employees should be issued a badge or a security code in order to access the mailroom. You don’t want any part of your office or business open to intruders, but the mailroom is an especially vulnerable spot. Once your access system is in place, make sure it is followed without question. This is another area where companies tend to relax after a few years, but it’s a better idea to stay vigilant.
Be Wary of Suspicious Deliveries
Finally, make sure your employees know what to look out for when it comes to deliveries they handle. Do not accept deliveries from carriers that do not have proof of the organization they belong to. In addition, have them be aware of what constitutes a package or delivery that could be suspicious. This includes packages that have much more than the needed postage, and addresses that are sloppily written. Any packages or envelopes that are stained, or lacking a return address are also worthy of caution. None of these signs inherently mean there is something menacing about the package or delivery, but they are telltale signs that something could be wrong. On the other hand, any delivery from unknown origin is worthy of suspicion, and your employees should be aware of this as they work through the mail.
In all, mailroom safety is no different from safety in all aspects of the office. Making sure all procedures are followed and your employees are well educated will help to make your workplace run smoothly and reduce the risk of threat or danger.