Cable management and electrical safety is extremely important in the workplace. Our guide will help you to improve cable safety in the office.
The global shift to home working in 2020 caused many businesses to consider how they use office space.
Remote and hybrid working is becoming the norm and co-working spaces are growing. As a result, companies are deciding how to remodel their offices and work environments. This means that desk layouts are being re-arranged, with safety and wellbeing at the forefront.
Safe cable management should be at the top of the agenda when setting up workspaces.
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Why office cable management is important
Proper cable management is a legal requirement for businesses in the UK under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, and other regulations. This applies to both electrical safety and trailing cables.
The Health and Safety Executive states: "Ensure there are no trailing cables that can cause people to trip or fall.” Electrical components including cables, plugs, sockets and fittings should also be robust and protected.
Not only are you legally obligated to put in place good cable management practices, it will reduce a lot of hazards. Trips and slips are the most common cause of injury at work. According to RIDDOR 2019/20 statistics, the leading causes of nonfatal injuries were slips, trips or falls on the same level.
Our simple cable management guide will help you understand how to reduce hazards in a hassle-free, affordable and efficient way.
1. Route power cables from desks under the floor
Aim to eliminate trailing cables between desks as much as possible by routing power cables under the floor. If your workspace has raised or recess floors, this is possible to do using floor boxes and outlets. If not, you may have to use other cable management solutions such as floor cable covers.
These cable covers can be cut to length, they withstand heavy footfall and have a non-slip base. To make covers more secure, you can fix them using heavy duty double-sided tape.
Trunking or split conduit tubing is another option to keep the floor free of cables by routing them along walls. You can also use cable spiral wrap - a flexible, easy-to-use solution for organising cables by wrapping them together.
2. Streamline cable management at desks
Not only are trailing cables around desks unsightly, they could become a trip hazard. Studies show that tidy workspaces also make staff happier and increase productivity, so it makes business sense to manage cables properly on and under desks.
There are various methods and products you can use to do this. We recommend using black cable ties, expandable braided sleeving and cable tidy tube to start. Cable management trays and boxes are also helpful to tuck away any unsightly excessively long wires.
Make sure you prepare the desk area by turning off any devices and pulling out all the cables you want to tidy. After doing this, plan where you want to route the cables and create a path that they will follow. Minimising the number of routes your cables follow will make the process easier.
Consider how you'll hide wires that are visible above the desk too. You can drill holes and add desk cable grommets to thread wires through, as well as using tape and cable clips to secure loose cables.
If you're likely to be moving monitors, desks or other equipment around in the future, use cable management products which are reusable. For example, releasable cable ties and split conduit tubing are good for this.
3. Add hazard tape to highlight trip hazards
There are times in the office when you can't totally eliminate trailing cables, or you need to put something in place temporarily for an event. When this happens, you should use floor cable covers, or hazard tape at the very least.
Black and yellow hazard tape can be used to fix wires to the floor and highlight warning areas, to alert people to potential trip hazards. If you need to draw attention to any other hazards on the floor, you can also use anti-slip hazard tape, which provides an abrasive surface for more grip.
There is a lot to consider when organising cables in the office. Safety is the main priority and should always be top of mind when you're setting up or rearranging workspaces.