Office Safety

The purpose an Office Safety program is to provide guidance to office managers and office staff on the elements of safe office work. The office is like any other work environment in that it may present potential health and safety hazards.

Most of these, however, may be minimized or eliminated by designing jobs and workplaces properly, and by taking into account differences among tasks and individuals. Inadequate environmental conditions, such as noise, temperature, and humidity, may cause temporary discomforts. In general, offices are safe places to work, but there are a number of practices that can be very hazardous.

Office Hazards

One of the worst office safety offenders is the file cabinet. Drawers left open are "striking against" hazards; opening a full top drawer when bottom drawers are empty or partly filled can cause the cabinet to tip over.

Office Safety Programs must prohibit standing on chairs to reach high shelves is another dangerous practice; use a step stool or stepladder. And make sure you're not in front of a door that can swing inward and knock the ladder or stool over.

Some offices use rotating duplicators. Watch for fingers and hand hazards, and be careful if you have long hair.

Your office safety checklist must ensure electric typewriters, electric letter openers, paper shredders, and other electric appliances must be grounded or double-insulated. Severe shocks can be received, especially when operating in damp or wet conditions. Wires should not lie across traffic paths, as they are a serious tripping hazard.

Paper clips, pens, pencils, and some kinds of paper can cause slipping hazards, especially on vinyl floors. Pick them up when you see them, even if you aren't the one who dropped them.

Carrying objects that block your view can bring about a serious collision. Be very cautious in approaching a door that can open toward you.

Lifting a load improperly or lifting too heavy a load can result in back injuries and hernias. Your office safety program should address employee training: Lift with your legs, not your back, and get help with heavy or awkward loads.

Let's take a look at drafting or art department office safety hazards. Perhaps compasses or drawing instruments are the worst offenders because of their very sharp points. Knives, paper edges, and paper cutters also require an alert and careful user. Push pins and thumbtacks can produce serious puncture wounds; so can sharp-pointed pencils and drawing pens.

Not often mentioned, but of great injury potential, is horseplay in the office. Rarely is any serious bodily harm intended when workers "fool around." However, some of the worst injuries, even fatalities, happen because of horseplay occurs in the office. It can happen anywhere, anytime.

Know Emergency Procedures

Last but not least, good office safety includes knowing the locations of fire extinguishers and the proper fire escape route. Access to extinguishers or escape routes must never be blocked.

Stay Alert to Hazards

Bear in mind that seemingly commonplace office tools and equipment can be real hazards if you do not treat them with alertness and respect. Office Safety is everyone's concern.

All materials in the members area for this topic index

Program Material

Programs (written)
(1)
 Office Safety Program   Download  MS-WORD
Program Development
(1)
 Computer Workstation Program Development   Download  MS-WORD
Fact Sheets
(2)
 Office Security Safety Topic Fact Sheet   Download  MS-WORD
 Safetyrules Office Safety Rules   Download  MS-WORD

Forms & Documents

Checklists
(3)
 Hazmat Safety Officer Checklist   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Air Quality And Cleanliness Checklist   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Safety Supervisor Safety Checklist   Download  MS-WORD
Inspections
(1)
 Check Out These Swimming Safety Tips   Download  MS-WORD

Training Material

Guides
(2)
 Ergonomics Safety Managers Office Guide   Download  MS-WORD
 Management ADA Emergency Office   Download  MS-WORD
Handouts
(4)
 Office Training Handout Spanish   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Training Handout   Download  MS-WORD
 Workplace Violence Korean   Download  MS-WORD
 Workplace Violence   Download  MS-WORD
Outlines
(1)
 Office Safety Training Outline   Download  MS-WORD
PowerPoints
(2)
 Office Safety PowerPoint Spanish   Download  MS-PPT
 Office Safety PowerPoint   Download  MS-PPT
Quizzes
(2)
 Office Safety Quiz   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Safety Safety Quiz Answer Key   Download  MS-WORD
Reminders/Overheads
(12)
 Office Chemical Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Electrical Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Fire Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Hazards Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Lifiting Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office P Chemicals Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office P Elect Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office P Fire Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office P Hazards Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office P Lifting Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office P Slip Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Slip Reminder   Download  MS-WORD
Sessions
(1)
 Office Safety Session   Download  MS-WORD
Supervisor
(1)
 2 Minute Safety Brief Fall Office   Download  MS-WORD
Talks
(3)
 Office Gen Talk   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Hazcom Talk   Download  MS-WORD
 Office Orientation Talk   Download  MS-WORD
Videos
(1)
 Office Safety   Download  OnLine

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