Office Safety

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Information about Office Safety

Published on March 16, 2009

Author: prashantgk


Safety & Health in the“Office” Work Environment : Safety & Health in the“Office” Work Environment Office Employees are part of the site Safety & Health process. : Office Employees are part of the site Safety & Health process. What are some of the hazards we encounter in offices? : What are some of the hazards we encounter in offices? Ergonomic issues; Fire & evacuation; Electrical cords & equipment; Heat-generating sources; Hand & powered tools & equipment; Office machines (copiers, paper cutters, shredders, jammed machines); Office chemicals; Slips, trips, falls; Housekeeping; Furniture/layout; Motor vehicle accidents. Start your day off safely…Dress for success : Start your day off safely…Dress for success Wear loose, comfortable clothing to allow free movement of hips & to maintain natural spinal curves. Avoid open-toed shoes and sandals, whenever possible. Wear comfortable footwear with a low heel to reduce leg and back strain & to help prevent slips and falls. Slips, Trips & Falls : Slips, Trips & Falls The #1 cause of office employee injuries! Level surfaces, Elevated surfaces - standing on chairs, falling out of chairs, falling down stairs Manufacturing areas, Parking lots. Awareness. Keep aisles clear. “Walk like a duck” on slippery surfaces. Use the handrail on stairs. Report deficient conditions to Facilities Maintenance. Hold onto chair seats/arms when attempting to sit. Approved step stools & ladders only. “Sensible shoes.” Wipe up spills. Walk, don’t run. Layout: : Layout: Office areas established with the assistance & approval of the Facilities Maintenance & EHS. Emergency exits & passageways established & must be maintained. Furniture & equipment arranged, so far as possible, to: Avoid chairs and equipment jutting into walkways; Avoid drawers from opening into walkways or doorways; Obstruct the view around corners or partitions. Lighting: : Lighting: Areas that are not lit adequately, or are lit too much, can cause headache, strain, and fatigue. Color plays a big role in eye fatigue. Use adjustable task lighting for tasks that require greater illumination. Take visual “breaks” every 30 minutes. Get regular eye exams…let your eye doc know if you are working at a computer! “Housekeeping” : “Housekeeping” Storage or placement of objects in aisles, below knee level, or on other “office-type” floor surfaces. Overflowing, heavy wastebaskets. Dust accumulations. Maintaining condition of office equipment and work area. Orderly arrangement in all areas, especially storage. Storage must be 18” or more below sprinkler heads. Furniture Safety: : Chairs should remain squarely on the floor. Casters on all chairs should be secured and all parts of the chair should be sturdy & should not present a hazard to the user. Close drawers when not in use. Open drawers slowly and carefully. Avoid overloading filing cabinets, and distribute the weight of materials stored in cabinet to avoid tipping. Furniture should be selected and maintained without sharp edges, points, or burrs. Furniture Safety: Good workstation set-up is based on individual needs. : Good workstation set-up is based on individual needs. But, there are some general principles that can be taken into account… Rule #1: If you are uncomfortable, seek assistance! Considerations in setting up a Computer Work Station : Considerations in setting up a Computer Work Station How will the computer be used? How long? What kind of computer? What furniture will be used? What chair will be used? What can you see? Posture! Where will the computer be used? Breaks Ergo. Gizmos :  “Turtleneck”; Hungry head; Slumped posture; Elbows out; Reach out of “easy reach” zone; Work outside the “comfort zone”; Shoulder(s) too high/low; Butts up; Twisting of neck or back; Wrists outside of neutral position; Squinted eyes. Ergonomics “Hit List” Good posture is essential to your health & safety! : Good posture is essential to your health & safety! 3 natural curves. Seated posture puts lots of strain on your body! Exaggerated curves are bad. Stretch frequently. Maintain or build strength. Easy Reach : Easy Reach Items to think about moving into the “easy reach” zone... Keyboard Mouse Telephone Calculator Chairs: : Chairs: Some adjustments to check out… Seat height, depth, angle/tilt, Back height, adjustability, and angle/tilt, Lumbar support, Arm rest height, Swivel. Another pair of eyes. Your Health & Safety Requires Stretching/Exercise “Breaks”! : Your Health & Safety Requires Stretching/Exercise “Breaks”! Two types: Aerobic exercise Micro breaks Micro Breaks: short breaks to relax, restore, re-nourish, gently stretch. Material Handling: : Material Handling: No lifting over 35 pounds on an occasional basis. Obtain assistance through the Facilities Maintenance Dept. Avoid lifting objects that are too heavy for you! Plan the lift. Stand with your feet apart, alongside the object to be lifted. Use the “sit down” position, maintaining the natural arch of the spine. Tuck your chin. Get a good grip on the object. Keep the object close. Center the weight over your feet. Avoid twisting. Office Equipment Safeguarding : Office Equipment Safeguarding Copiers (sorting trays, moving parts). Paper Cutter guarding to avoid contact with the cutting blade by the opposing hand (hand holding the paper). When cutters are not in use, cutter should be down and the blade secured. Storage of letter openers and sharp tools (i.e. Exacto knives, scissors, etc.) should be appropriate to avoid tools rolling and falling off of desk surfaces. Use sheaths for knives and razors. 11% of Injuries =“Struck by or between” : 11% of Injuries =“Struck by or between” Struck by or between what??? Doors, Office machines & equipment dropped on feet; Falling objects (from cabinets & storage locations); Copy machines; “Addressing” machines and fans; Paper cutters. In accordance with Lockout/Tagout policy & procedures... : In accordance with Lockout/Tagout policy & procedures... Office equipment has the potential to cause harm & is included in the Lockout/ Tagout program. In order to clear a jam of electrically-powered office equipment, power must be turned “off” and disconnected from the power supply. Copiers that become jammed should be cleared in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Know the procedures for for safely clearing jams. Remain cognizant of areas which may be hot. Remember that power is still connected! Electrical Safety: : Electrical Safety: Shut off electrical equipment not in use! Properly equipped with grounding prongs. Electrical cords should be visually inspected on a periodic basis to identify frayed and worn cords. Maintain electrical cords in areas out of walkways and passageways. Avoid extension cords in office areas. Surge protectors may not be overloaded and may not be used as an “extension cord” for other office equipment. Don’t overload outlets and surge protectors! Combustible material, such as paper, may not be stored on or in close proximity to electrical outlets and connections. Heat Generating Equipment : Heat Generating Equipment Coffee pot Toaster oven Microwave Mug warmer Heaters Cooling fans Soldering iron Heat gun Other electrical stuff Ensure 18” or more of clearance from other combustibles UL listed Grounding prongs Plug into outlet directly Heaters need tip-over protection Shut it off! Chemical Safety : Chemical Safety What chemicals do we use in the office? Read the label & hazard warnings. Read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)…on file in EHS Dept. Handle & store the material properly, in accordance with the MSDS. Report injuries & “near-hits” : Report injuries & “near-hits” Learn from near-misses to prevent serious injuries. Report injuries to your supervisor and the EHS Manager. Primary Goal: Prevent Recurrence! Emergencies: : Emergencies: How do we report emergencies & get assistance? What does the alarm sound like? What are the primary & secondary exits? Where do we meet? Who accounts for us? How do we report missing persons? General Office Safety Hazard Control : General Office Safety Hazard Control Proper, well-designed layout of office, furniture, equipment, lighting; Ergonomic evaluation & correction of workstations; Small appliance control ; Proper electrical wiring & properly grounded electrical service; General Hazard Control - continued : General Hazard Control - continued Proper materials handling & storage areas; Maintenance of walking surfaces; Emergency planning; Maintenance of fire prevention & control program; Contractor & visitor safety rules.

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