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Information about Safety

Published on August 13, 2008

Author: rstewart


General Safety : General Safety Business Education INTRODUCTION : INTRODUCTION The following provides general safety guidelines and procedures for office safety. This section covers the following. General Office Safety Good Housekeeping Practices Equipment Safety Furniture Safety File Cabinets and Shelves Indoor Air Quality Slips and Falls Strain and Stress Work Station Arrangement Equipment Arrangement Other Issues General Office Safety : General Office Safety A large percentage of workplace accidents and injuries occur in office buildings. Like the shop or laboratory, the office requires a few preventive measures to ensure a safe and healthful environment. Common causes of office accidents include the following. * Slipping, tripping, and falling hazards.* Burning, cutting, and pinching hazards* Improper lifting and handling techniques* Unobservant and inattentive employees* Improper office layout and arrangement* Dangerous electrical wiring* Exposure to toxic substances* Horseplay* Using chairs or other office furniture to serve as a ladder Good Housekeeping Practices : Good Housekeeping Practices Good housekeeping skills are essential for personal safety. Employees are responsible for reducing potential hazards and keeping their work areas safe and clutter free. Good housekeeping guidelines include: keeping aisles and stairways free from clutter, cleaning spills, minimizing combustibles in workplace and storage areas, keeping all exits free from obstructions. keeping the office floor neat and clean, you can eliminate most slip, trip and fall hazards. Many office accidents are caused by poor housekeeping practices. Good Housekeeping Practices : Good Housekeeping Practices Ensure that office lighting is adequate and available. Replace burned out light bulbs, and have additional lighting installed, as necessary. Ensure that electrical cords and phone cords do not cross walkways or otherwise pose a tripping hazard. If you cannot move a cord, have new outlet installed or secure the cord to the floor with cord covering strips.Do not tape cords down or run them underneath carpet. Report or repair tripping hazards such as defective tiles, boards, or carpet immediately. Clean spills and pick up fallen debris immediately. Even a loose pencil orpaper clip could cause a serious falling injury. Keep office equipment, facilities, and machines in good condition. Do not stack boxes closer than 18” to the ceiling. Store clearly marked boxes in an approved storage space. Maintain clear and unobstructed access to emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers, pull stations, eyewash units, showers, etc. Equipment Safety : Equipment Safety Common office machines, such as the following, require special safety consideration: copiers, microwaves, adding machines, typewriters, and computers Be sure you know how to operate these machines before using them, and never use one of these machines if you think it is defective. Other office equipment requiring safety consideration includes furniture such as file cabinets and shelves, desks, and chairs Only use machines that you know how to operate. Never attempt to operate an unfamiliar machine without reading the machine instructions or receiving directions from a qualified employee. Follow these guidelines to ensure machine safety.* Do not place machines near the edge of a table or desk.* Unplug defective machines and have them repaired immediately.* Do not use any machine that smokes, sparks, shocks, or appears defective in any way.* Close hand-operated paper cutters after each use and activate the guard.* Take care when working with copy machines. If you have to open themachine for maintenance, repair, or troubleshooting, remember that some parts may be hot. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for troubleshooting.* Unplug paper shredders before conducting maintenance, repair or troubleshooting. Equipment Safety : Equipment Safety Some items can be very dangerous when worn around machinery with moving parts. Avoid wearing the following items around machines with unguarded moving parts: * Loose belts* Jewelry* Long, loose hair* Long, loose sleeves or pants* Scarves* Ties Furniture Safety : Furniture Safety Chairs Safety guidelines for office chairs include the following: * Do not lean back in office chairs, particularly swivel chairs with rollers.* Do not climb on any office chair. Use an approved ladder.* Office desk chairs should have adjustable back supports and seat height.Make sure that your chair’s back support position and seat height are comfortable.* Take care when sitting in a chair with rollers. Make sure it does not rollout from under you when you sit down.* Repair or report any chair damage that could be hazardous.* Do not roll chairs over electrical cords. Furniture Safety : Furniture Safety DesksFollow these safety guidelines for office desks: * Keep desks in good condition (i.e., free from sharp edges, nails, etc.).* Ensure that desks do not block exits or passageways.* Do not climb on desks. * Keep desk drawers closed when not in use.* Repair or report any desk damage that could be hazardous. Furniture Safety : Furniture Safety File Cabinets Because file cabinets and shelves tend to support heavy loads, treat them with special care. Follow these safety guidelines for file cabinets:* Secure file cabinets that are not weighted at the bottom. Either bolt them to the floor or to the wall.* Ensure that file cabinet drawers cannot easily be pulled clear of the cabinet.* Do not block ventilation grates with file cabinets.* Open only one drawer at a time to keep the cabinet from toppling.* Close drawers completely when they are not in use.* Do not place heavy objects on top of cabinets. Be aware that anything on top of a cabinet may fall off if a drawer is opened suddenly.* Close drawers slowly using the handle to avoid pinched fingers.* Keep the bottom drawer full. This will help stabilize the entire cabinet. Furniture Safety : Furniture Safety Shelves Follow these safety guidelines for office shelves:* Secure shelves by bolting them to the floor or wall.* Place heavy objects on the bottom shelves. This will keep the entire structure more stable.* Ensure that there is at least 18 inches between the top shelf items and the ceiling. This space will allow ceiling sprinklers (if present) to function properly if a fire occurs.* Do not block ventilation grates with shelves.* Never climb on shelves (even lower shelves). Air Quality : Air Quality The following practices will help ensure optimum indoor air quality: * Fix leaks and drips. (Moisture promotes microbial [i.e., mold and mildewgrowth.)* Ensure that indoor ventilation filters are changed regularly.* Keep laboratory doors closed.* Minimize chemical and aerosol usage. Ventilate your area when chemical or aerosol usage is required. (These compounds include paint, cleaning agents, hairspray, perfume, etc.)* Do not block air ducts to control the temperature in your office.* Avoid smoking or cooking in enclosed areas. (Smoking is strictly prohibited within University facilities and vehicles.)* If possible, open windows when it is cool and dry outside. Slips and Falls : Slips and Falls Slips, Trips and Falls are among the most common injuries. These injuries are perhaps some of the most preventable if we pay attention to our surroundings, follow good house keeping procedures and do not run or rush. Listed below are suggestions that can minimize ones susceptibility to slips, trips and falls. * Turn on lights. Ensure that passageways are adequately lighted.* Arrange office furnishings in a manner that provides unobstructed areas for movement.* Keep hallways/stairwells neat.* Do not open more than one file cabinet drawer at a time.* Keep electrical and telephone cords out of walkways. Do not tape down or run cords under carpet.* Never obstruct your view when walking.* Secure throw rugs and mats to prevent slipping hazards.* Report uneven surfaces such as loose or missing floor tiles to physical plant for repair.* Cleanup spills as soon as they occur.* Avoid horseplay.* Avoid unnecessary haste. Do not run in work areas. Strain and Stress : Strain and Stress To prevent back strain, do not lift beyond your strength. When lifting objects, keep back straight and lift with the legs. When heavy items are to be moved, arrange for necessary help and proper moving equipment. Other examples of stress-relieving exercises that can be done at your desk includes the following: To reduce stress and prevent fatigue, it is important to take mini-breaks (not many breaks) throughout the day. If possible, change tasks at least once every two hours. Work Station Arrangement : Work Station Arrangement Operator’s Position : Operator’s Position Your seating position at work is important to your comfort and safety. To reduce the painful effects of repetitive motion follow these guidelines when working with computers or typewriters: * Always sit up straight. Make sure your chair is adjusted to provide adequate support to your back.* Place your feet flat on a footrest. Lower legs should be approximately vertical, and thighs should be approximately horizontal. The majority of your weight should be on the buttocks.* Ensure that there is at least 1 inch of clearance between the top of your thighs and the bottom of the desk or table.* Keep your wrists in a natural position. They should not rest on the edge of the desk.* Keep the front edge of your chair approximately 4 inches behind your knees. Cuts and Punctures : Cuts and Punctures Cuts and punctures happen when people use everyday office supplies without exercising care. Follow these guidelines to help reduce the chance for cuts and punctures: * Do not carry pencils behind the ear or between the fingers with the point toward the palm of the hand.* When sealing envelopes, use a liquid dispenser, not your tongue.* Use caution when folding or handling paper – it can cut.* Ensure staples are fully closed when fastening papers together.* Use a staple remover to remove staples. When using or refilling staplers, keep fingers away from the operating parts.* Be careful when using knives, scissors, staples, letter openers, and box openers. Any of these items could cause a painful injury.* Avoid picking up broken glass with your bare hands. Wear gloves and use a broom and a dust pan.* Remove all sharp edges, splinters, slivers, and burrs on furniture or equipment. Protruding nails should be removed or turned down.* Turn on lights before entering a dark room or corridor. Report locations that are inadequately lighted. Other Issues : Other Issues Fire and Weather Alerts Routes posted Fire – by baseball field Weather – by restrooms in hall Intruders

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