It’s Thursday of Summer Safety Week in downtown Spokane! July 31 through August 4, downtown is sharing resources and tips to foster a safer, more inviting, community for all. Today we are highlighting workplace and internet safety. In every field of work, it is important to contribute to a safe work environment to help keep yourself and your coworkers safe and happy.

  • Office safety Is everyone’s responsibility. During team meetings or when onboarding new hires, make it a point to stress that office safety is shared by all team members.
  • Make sure your desk setup is ergonomic: To maintain a neutral posture, your head should be centered over your neck and shoulders, wrists flat and elbows resting comfortably at your side. If your feet won’t touch the ground unless you lean forward, use a footrest.
  • Take regular breaks to get up and move around: Sitting all day puts office workers at risk for numerous health problems. Create a personal and easy stretching routine or take a quick walk to break up the day.
  • Be cautious of slick sidewalks in the winter months from snow or ice and wear sturdy footwear to help minimize the chance of falling.
  • Use a headset for prolonged or frequent phone use. Cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear can cause neck and back pain.
  • Prevent the spread of potentially harmful germs: Wear masks when needed; Apply hand sanitizer before leaving your desk; Wash hands before and after eating; Cover coughs and sneezes with inside of elbow instead of hands; Keep hands away from face whenever possible. Most importantly, when sick, stay home when possible to prevent further spread.
  • Stay hydrated at work by drinking water and other liquids.

Most importantly, know your office emergency procedures. Make sure you know what to do in the event of a fire, storm, violent intruder, medical problem or other emergency. Being aware of your surroundings is paramount to avoiding workplace injuries. You should always know locations of emergency exits and first aid kits.

Many employees, especially hospitality workers, work in a fast-paced and sometimes dangerous environment. Not the least of those dangers is the risk of back injury. The amount of strain placed on the muscles and discs of your back is directly related to handling techniques that you use every day.

To avoid back injury, follow these healthy back tips:
• Prioritize your well-being by warming up before and during your work shift.
• Safeguard your lower back with a healthy posture—head up, back arched.
• Opt for pivoting your feet, not twisting your back, to protect against strain.
• Adopt a staggered stance and bent knees to leverage strong leg muscles.
• Ensure smooth movements, avoiding quick and jerky motions.
• Keep loads close to your body to reduce the risk of injury.
• Respect your capacity and avoid overexertion.

Many work-related injuries occur when an employee is tired or stressed. Extended or unusual work shifts may be more stressful physically, mentally, and emotionally. These effects lead to an increased risk of operator error, injuries, and/or accidents.

As we grow more dependent upon technology, we need to develop better online security defenses. Develop habits will help you to recognize and counter threats to your digital safety and become less vulnerable to cyber criminals.

  • Don’t open suspicious links.
  • Be aware of coming phishing, vishing, and spear phishing techniques and use caution when giving out any personal information.
  • Keep your passwords in a safe place that others cannot access. Make your passwords strong by making them long and using a variety of characters, capital letters, numbers that are not easy to guess.
  • Lock your computer screen when you have to leave your work space and secure any important documents.
  • Updating your software when updates are available is important in ensuring your software is as secure as possible.
  • Back up all critical files to a secondary location, if your computer becomes compromised by a cyber-attack.

Help ensure that coming to the workplace is an easy and safe experience for all employees. CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Enviromental Design, is the theory that proper design and effective use of the built environment can reduce incidence and fear of crime. Leading to improvements in the quality of life for you, your employees and your patrons.

CPTED is grounded in four principals:
1. Natural Surveillance
2. Natural Access Control
3. Territorial Reinforcement
4. Maintenance and Management

While the City, the Police Department, and the DSP coordinate programs and activities to directly address the drivers of urban criminality, property owners should be actively involved in working to resolve these problems as well. CPTED provides simple, cost-effective investments that are proven to be effective in lowering crime.

The Ratepayer Advisory Board of the Business Improvement District has recognized the value of CPTED by allowing property owners and managers to leverage funds through a rebate improvement program that would otherwise be paid to the BID in the annual assessment. BID businesses can request an assessment from a CPTED trained Downtown Ambassador or Spokane Police Department Officer and gain recommendations for improving the environment of your property. Learn more here.