Office Kitchen Reception Photocopy First Aid Meeting Bathroom Carer's Storage Car park
Prolonged sitting Thermal comfort Lighting Noise Electrical hazards

Introduction

Provided as spaces for groups of workers to meet and share information.

Sizes, shapes and capacity can vary greatly from small meeting rooms to large convention style rooms.

Commonly furnished with tables, and chairs, the risks associated with meeting rooms are more around the thermal comfort of attendees and potentially any conflict amongst attendees.

Some rooms will contain telephony and video conferencing facilities, which can add extra risks of electrical safety and possibly trips from cables on floors.

X

Prolonged sitting

Meetings tend to mean sitting together around a table for a period of time.  People can find it awkward to stand up during a meeting whilst everyone else is sitting.

Tips

  • Have stand up meeting areas.
  • Chairs should be adjustable.
  • Incorporate breaks into the meeting structure.

Potential harm

Muscular Skeletal Disorder
Identified Hazards and Controls

Prolonged sitting

Cause

  • Lengthy meetings.
  • Stand up and move to the wall or back of the room.
  • Adjust your chair properly to suit your requirements during the meeting (feet flat on floor, knees and hip level and parallel to floor).
  • Encourage workers to stand during meetings.
  • Try to allow for breaks when scheduling meetings.
  • Design meeting places and rooms to accommodate standing meetings.

Further information

X

Thermal comfort

Meeting rooms can quickly become hot and stuffy when many people are assembled in the room. If supplemental air-conditioning is used it can be difficult to sustain a comfortable temperature for all attendees.

Tips

  • Be prepared for varying temperatures.
  • Use supplemental air-conditioning (where installed).

Potential harm

Discomfort and fatigue
Identified Hazards and Controls

Discomfort and fatigue

Cause

  • Temperature is too hot or too cold.
  • Be prepared for variation in temperature, for example keep a spare jumper, coat or wrap at work.
  • Keep hydrated – air conditioning can remove the moisture from your skin and body .
  • If there is a room specific temperature adjustment set it to a comfortable temperature for most of the occupants.
  • Report unusually hot or cold temperatures as there may be a fault with the air conditioning system.
  • Track reports of air conditioning issues in the meeting room
  • If there is no air conditioning and the windows are unable to be opened, consider a supplementary air conditioning system or ceiling fans.

Further information

X

Lighting

Good lighting in workplaces is essential to enable people to see clearly and perform work safely.  Commonly meeting rooms will have adjustable lighting for the task.

Tips

  • Turn on the lights.
  • Have light switches near the entry door.
  • Allow your eyes to adjust to light level.

Potential harm

Slips Trips Falls
Eye discomfort
Identified Hazards and Controls

Visual discomfort

Cause

  • Light level too low or too bright during meeting.
  • If lighting is adjustable seek to consult with those attending the meeting about the appropriate level of lighting (be aware of vision impaired people).
  • Install adjustable lighting options, including zone light switches, curtains or blinds.

Tripping over in the dark

Cause

  • Unable to see obstacles (such as chair legs) when entering the room.
  • Turn on the light before entering.
  • Wait for your eyes to adjust if necessary.
  • Install light switches near the entry door.
  • Install motion sensors to trigger lights when people enter.

Further information

X

Noise

Noise can cause distractions to workers putting them at other risk of injury as a result of the distraction.

Tips

  • Close the door to the meeting room.
  • Provide meeting etiquette guidance.
  • Put your mobile on vibrate or silent.

Potential harm

Worker distraction
Identified Hazards and Controls

High level of noise

Cause

  • Noise from other areas of the office causing distraction in the meeting room.
  • Noise from the meeting room interfering with others ability to concentrate on tasks.
  • During meetings remember to put mobile phones or other electronic devices on mute or silent.
  • Close the door to the meeting room.
  • Avoid raising your voice. Talk normally.
  • Keep video conferencing volume to a level that the attendees can hear.
  • If located near a meeting room, be aware that workers at a meeting may be able to hear you.
  • Provide suitably equipped and quiet meeting rooms away from noise, traffic areas or the main office area.
  • Make sure the doors seal properly.
  • Furnishings can assist in sound absorption so consider this when fitting out a meeting room.
  • Consider installing double glazing on internal glass walls.
  • Keep video conferencing volume to a level that the attendees can hear.
  • Provide etiquette outlining the use of the room and expected behaviours.

Further information

X

Electrical hazards

Meeting rooms will contain power points and possibly a phone, electronic whiteboard or video conferencing tools such as television monitors and cameras. Some may have all the computer connections terminate in a console in the table.

Tips

  • Inspect cables and cords before use.
  • Remove power cords by the plug.
  • Turn off power point before inserting or removing plugs.

Potential harm

Electrical shocks
Identified Hazards and Controls

Faulty electrical equipment

Cause

  • Electronic equipment used in meeting rooms (including projectors, video equipment, laptops, power boards and electrical cabling) may become faulty.
  • Always switch off power points prior to plugging in an electrical appliance.
  • Don’t ‘piggy back’ power boards or double adaptors.
  • Report any issues with damaged electrical equipment.
  • Manage electrical hazards in accordance with WHS Regulation 147.

    147 Risk management

    A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must manage risks to health and safety associated with electrical risks at the workplace, in accordance with Part 3.1.

  • Regular testing by a qualified electrician can detect electrical faults and deterioration that cannot be detected by visual inspection.
  • Keep cables, leads and conduit out of trafficable areas where they may become damaged.
  • Where leads and cables must be located in trafficable areas, secure appropriately to protect them from damage and to prevent tripping (e.g. using cable runs or tape).

Further information