Throughout our 17 years as document storage specialists, we have seen many situations where failure to store documents correctly have led to serious health and safety risks.
One particular example stands out the most for us- a hotel which was storing their documents in their loft. Many SMEs choose to store documents in this way, but only a few evaluate the associated risks and potential hazards. When we arrived at the hotel we could see that about 550 kilos (600 boxes) worth of receipts, files, client data was resting on the ceiling eves- and they were starting to cave in! Some of the guests bedrooms were directly beneath the loft and I’m sure you can see the huge risk this hotel was taking with their storage. We very happily collected the archive boxes and securely stored them in one of our warehouses.
With a little bit of planning and organisation, you could eliminate risks and prevent accidents before they happen. Rather than calling us in to save the situation just in time! (Although we are of course happy to do this too).
A good place to start is to do a simple risk assessment of your onsite document storage. Start by walking around your offices and identifying any risks your storage may pose. You could ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your archive boxes in a dedicated place or dotted around the office? If they are dotted around the office, do they pose any trip hazards?
- If they are stored in a specific place, are they organised and are they easy to access by your staff? Or do they need to wade through obstructions to get to a file?
- Do your archive boxes have clear instructions on weight restrictions, and have your staff been trained on how to lift boxes correctly?
- 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?
- If your boxes are stored in an attic, do you know how much weight the attic floorboards can take before they start to feel the strain?
- If your boxes are stored in a cellar, have you completed a risk assessment?
If you find the answers to these questions are making you feel uneasy, don’t worry. CAS provide both onsite and offsite solutions and can help and advise you on all your document storage needs.
It’s worth remembering that the simplest risk assessment and organisation could save your business thousands. According to the Health and Safety Executive, businesses in the UK lose a staggering 512 million due to lost productivity and other costs due to injuries at work. Don’t take the risk and let you business suffer. Get assessing, planning and organising today!
If you need help or advice with your document storage, don't hesitate to contact us on 0845 50 50 003.