Office safety

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  • 1. Safety & Health in the “Office” Work Environment
  • 2. Office Employees are part of the site Safety & Health process.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. 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!
  • 8. “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.
  • 9.
    • 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:
  • 10. 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!
  • 11. 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
  • 12.
    • “ 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”
  • 13. 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.
  • 14. Easy Reach
    • Items to think about moving into the “easy reach” zone...
      • Keyboard
      • Mouse
      • Telephone
      • Calculator
  • 15. 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.
  • 16. Your Health & Safety Requires Stretching/Exercise “Breaks”!
    • Two types:
      • Aerobic exercise
      • Micro breaks
    • Micro Breaks: short breaks to relax, restore, re-nourish, gently stretch.
  • 17. 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.
  • 18. 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.
  • 19. 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.
  • 20. 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!
  • 21. 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.
  • 22. 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!
  • 23. 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.
  • 24. 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!
  • 25. 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?
  • 26. 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;
  • 27. 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.