Going Paperless for Fire Safety

If you have a good memory you may remember in the article: Fire Safety at Work that the average office exceed fire regulations due to the tonnes of loose paper scattered throughout the office.

Cluttered Desks a Fire HazardSo one way to help increase safety in your office is to cut down on the use of paper by going as paperless as possible. True, in some contexts your business may be unable to achieve this, and in some cases all you need is a little creativity to get results.

For example, one company who supply reports to property investors was printing out and posting numerous paper reports each week. To avoid use of paper (and to cut down on the expenses of printing) the company decided to offer electronic reports that they could email to the individuals. Assuming that only a few people would opt for the electronic version, the company was pleasantly suprised that 90% of their customers supported the paperless option.
Are there ways you can offer a product or the paperwork associated with it in an electronic format?

Here are some ways to save on paper and get those work desks cleared:

  • type up phone messages and ‘notes to yourself’ on a computer
  • use a small whiteboard for phone messages (and then add details to your computer later)
  • arrange to receive your bills electronically
  • send your invoices electronically
  • arrange to receive your magazine subscriptions, notifications, etc. via the web
  • use an electronic diary
  • arrange to receive your bank statements electronically
  • use the old ‘handle it once’ system, ie. don’t pick up a piece of paper and then shove it somewhere else on your desk, and then a week later pick it the same piece of paper and put it on the other side of your desk! Deal with the paper a.s.a.p. and as soon as you have, either file it or throw it in the recycle bin (shredding it first if it is of a confidential nature)
  • use handtowels and teatowels instead of paper towels. In one medium-sized business (22 employees and 6 managers/supervisors) each staff member has their own handtowel. One cheery soul volunteered to take the towels home twice a week and wash them. Everyone seems happy with the arrangement – even the washing person!

If you can’t find a way to avoid using paper, buy unbleached, 100% recycled paper (one sure way to save the environment and encourage recycling of the masses of wasted paper – yet another fire hazard!)

And REMEMBER… back up your computer, electronic diary, etc. regularly!

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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  1. Brilliant. i am in the midst of going paperless so this is more incentive. Remember backups too.

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