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FHM TRAINING TOOLS This training presentation is part of FHMs commitment to creating and keeping safe workplaces. Be sure to check out all the training.

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Presentation on theme: "FHM TRAINING TOOLS This training presentation is part of FHMs commitment to creating and keeping safe workplaces. Be sure to check out all the training."— Presentation transcript:

1 FHM TRAINING TOOLS This training presentation is part of FHMs commitment to creating and keeping safe workplaces. Be sure to check out all the training programs that are specific to your industry.

2 Office Worker Safety Disclaimer: This material is being provided as part of our organizations on-going commitment to ensuring a safe, respectful and legally- compliant workplace. These materials have been developed in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations and recognized best practices in force at the time the materials were created. The materials do not render any legal or professional advice; they are being provided for educational and informational purposes only. These materials should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice or services. ID #58

3 Learning Objectives At the conclusion of this presentation, you will: Be familiar with the leading causes of accidents in the office environment Be prepared to implement safe work practices that will reduce the risk of injury

4 Agenda Presentation Agenda: Overview of Office Safety Safe Work Practices for the Office Environment Ergonomics

5 Section 1 Overview of Office Safety

6 The Office Work Environment When you think about workplace hazards or an employee suffering an injury: You probably envision a construction site or a large manufacturing plant You would not normally think of an office setting when you envision a worker injury scenario Offices dont typically have as many safety hazards as a construction site, for example, but there are still hazards present If we understand these hazards, and take steps to minimize the risk, theres no reason why the potential for worker injury cant be greatly reduced

7 Reducing the Risk Rate of office accidents declines when office workers are informed of potential hazards and safe work practices Training regarding general safety precautions reduces the number and severity of accidents Employee awareness is a critical step in hazard control and elimination

8 The Employers Responsibilities Employers have responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970: Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards Comply with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the OSH Act Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA standards Make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment, and properly maintain this equipment

9 Employee Responsibility Employees have responsibilities as well: Understand the risks in the workplace Identify workplace hazards Follow safe work practices Look out for co-workers

10 Managing Safety in the Office Environment The process for controlling hazards in the office is similar to that for controlling hazards in industrial settings Controlling the hazards: Preferred means is to eliminate the hazard Another means is minimizing exposure to the hazard

11 Section 2 Safe Work Practices

12 Emergency Planning Regardless of whatever event might arise in the work environment, the negative consequences of that event can be mitigated through proper planning and preparedness: A fire can spread out of control in a matter of minutes During cardiac arrest, survival rates fall drastically with every minute without medical intervention So, it only makes sense that we should have a plan of action for these events Emergency planning is a critical component of managing safety in the office environment Dont lull yourself into complacency by thinking that nothing could ever happen in your workplace

13 Preparedness is the Key After the attacks of September 11, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States concluded: Building occupants were unprepared to deal with this catastrophe in terms of both training and mindset Occupants did not know that roof doors were locked, that rooftop areas were hazardous, and that no helicopter evacuation plan existed Occupants descending were confused by deviations in the stairways and the presence of smoke doors Know what actions to take in an emergency, where the building egress routes are, how to contact emergency services, and what role you play in an emergency All phones should have a 911 sticker affixed

14 The Most Common Office Accident The most common office accident is falling: Falls account for greatest number of disabling injuries They result in the most severe injuries and the highest percentage of lost workdays due to such injuries Falls occur: When workers lean back to tilt their chairs, place their feet on a desk, sit down without looking, and rise from or move around in a chair On stairs When workers stand on chairs or other office furniture to reach elevated objects

15 Preventing Falls Preventing falls requires remaining aware of your surroundings (situational awareness): Always look at your chair before you begin to sit down Make sure wheels are not going to begin to roll For reaching anything at height, use the proper stepladder or platform: Dont be tempted to use anything else as a ladder Inspect the stool or ladder to make sure it is in proper working order before you climb

16 Back Injuries Back injuries are also common in the office environment: Over one million workers suffer a back injury each year Back injuries account for 25% of all workers compensation expenditures Back injuries are seldom caused by one factor Back injuries tend to be recurrent Prevention requires a comprehensive approach Injuries frequently occur when office workers: Attempt to move or improperly lift heavy objects Carry books, office furniture, equipment, and supplies

17 Preventing Back Injuries Preventing back injuries requires a combination of workplace factors with personal skills and knowledge: Office layout and design Lifting aids Proper lifting techniques

18 Fire in the Workplace There are some pretty disturbing facts when it comes to fire safety in the work environment: Workplace fires kill nearly 500 and injure more than 5,000 workers each year The costs to businesses each year associated with rebuilding, product loss, and other costs can reach into the billions of dollars Experts estimate that at any given time up to half of all installed smoke detectors are not operational due to dead batteries Do not: Block fire extinguisher access – maintain a 36 clearance in front Prop open fire rated corridor doors

19 Fire Safety and Preparedness Questions to ask yourself when it comes to fire safety: Do you know the fire prevention rules for your work area? Are you expected to evacuate the building, or are you expected to attempt to extinguish the fire? Do you know how to properly use a fire extinguisher? Do you know where the closest extinguisher is? Do you know where the nearest pull stations are? Do you know two exit pathways from the building?

20 Electrical Hazards Basic rules to follow to ensure electrical system safety: All electrical appliances should be equipped with electrical plugs that have a ground prong, or the appliance should be marked double insulated Plug temporary power strips directly into a wall outlet Heavy duty appliances must be plugged directly into wall outlets, not unigroup panels Electrical panel boxes should be unobstructed for a distance of 36 inches in front of the panel box Light switches and outlets should be completely covered so there are no exposed wires

21 Extension Cords The safe use of extension cords: Extension cords are for temporary usage only, they are not a replacement for permanent wiring If the jacket of an extension cord is compromised, or the wires have been cut, the cord must be replaced Extension cords should not be covered by rugs or hidden above ceiling tiles All extension cords should be plugged directly into wall outlets Do not plug a surge suppressor into an extension cord Extension cords should not be used with heavy duty appliances such as copiers and refrigerators Do not run extension cords through doorways where there is a risk of getting pinched and cracked

22 Office Equipment Around the office is an impressive array of equipment: Building infrastructure (electrical panel boxes and elevators) Equipment specific to company operations (copiers) Creature comforts for the occupants (refrigerators and space heaters) Hand tools (scissors, laser presentation pointers, and paper cutters)

23 File Cabinets When using filing cabinets, follow these safety tips: Close all file drawers immediately after use Close the file drawer with the drawer handle Open only one file drawer at a time Never leave an open drawer unattended Never climb on open file drawers Keep the bottom drawer full Secure file cabinets that are not weighted at the bottom Ensure file cabinet drawers cannot be easily pulled clear of the cabinet Do not block ventilation grates with file cabinets Do not place heavy objects on top of cabinets

24 Desks and Workstations Safety tips for desks: Desks should be kept in good condition, free from sharp edges, nails, and other hazards Desks should not be placed where they will block corridors and exit routes Desk drawers should be kept closed when not accessing contents, due to the potential for contact and trip injuries Do not climb on desks Ensure that glass-top desks do not have sharp edges Repair or report any desk damage

25 Chairs Weve previously discussed chairs and their involvement in many office falls: Do not lean back in office chairs, particularly swivel chairs with rollers Take care when sitting in a chair with rollers so it does not roll out from under you when you sit down Never use a chair of any type as a ladder or platform Dont roll the chair over electrical cords Learn how to use the adjustable features and adjust them for your specific comfort levels

26 Shelves Shelves, storage racks, and tall furniture present several hazards: These items should be secured to the floor or wall Heavy objects should only be placed on lower shelves to keep the entire structure more stable Ensure there is at least 3 feet between the top shelf items and the sprinkler heads Do not block ventilation grates with shelves and furniture Never climb on shelves, use an approved ladder, or platform

27 Personal Property What hazards have you introduced into the work area? All household electrical appliances that have a heating element should be plugged into a timer: The timer should cut off the electrical circuit at a convenient time, no later than the end of the workday Space heaters should be: Equipped with automatic shut-off devices that will actuate if the heater tips over Plugged directly into a wall outlet Located at least three feet from any combustibles

28 Organizing Material Storage Good organization of stored materials is essential: As materials are being brought into the building, the floor loading rating – as well as the rated shelving capacities – should be known and observed Materials should be stacked or piled so as to maintain stability Stacking cartons and drums on a firm foundation and cross tying them, where necessary, reduces the chance of their movement

29 Material Storage The location of stored materials should: Be clearly marked Allow at least 3 of clear space under sprinkler heads Not obstruct aisles, stairs, exits, fire equipment, emergency eyewash fountains, emergency showers, or first aid stations Flammable, combustible, toxic, and other hazardous materials should be stored in approved containers in designated areas appropriate for the hazard

30 Housekeeping Effective housekeeping can eliminate some workplace hazards and help get a job done safely and properly Poor housekeeping can frequently contribute to accidents by hiding hazards that cause injuries Housekeeping is not just cleanliness: Good housekeeping is also a basic part of accident and fire prevention Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation, not a hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally Periodic "panic" cleanups are costly and ineffective in reducing accidents

31 Housekeeping A good housekeeping program: Plans and manages the orderly storage and movement of materials from point of entry to exit Ensures that work areas are not used as storage areas by having workers move materials to and from work areas as needed Imagine your file drawers if there was no system for organization: The entire workplace can have those same problems if housekeeping is ignored Be sure to play your part in the housekeeping plan

32 Corridors Corridors need to remain clear Storage in corridors should be temporary Corridors that serve as exit pathways are especially critical: Exit corridors needs to remain at least as wide as the exit doorway

33 Stairwells Proper attention should be given to the act of ascending or descending stairs: Stairways should not be areas for congregation Those using the stairs should not crowd or push Falls on stairs occur when people are distracted through conversation or by turning to another person while descending Individuals should not stand near doors at stairways When stepping onto a stair, do so at a right angle: Stepping onto a stair at an angle increases the potential for your foot to slip

34 Slips and Trips There are many causes of slips in the workplace: Spills and splashes of liquids and solids Wet floors Unsuitable footwear Loose mats on polished floors Inclement weather Change from a wet to a dry surface Unsuitable floor surface or covering Dusty floors Sloping surfaces

35 Slips and Trips Prevention of slips/trips requires a comprehensive approach: Promptly respond to spills as soon as you notice them Arrange traffic patterns around wet floors Clearly mark any difference in floor level Secure throw rugs and mats Report or repair tripping hazards such as defective tiles, boards, or carpet immediately It is critical that all workers wear footwear appropriate for the work environment: Shoes with soft rubber soles and heels with rubber cleats provide good traction on most surfaces

36 Illumination Inadequate illumination caused by glare or shadows that interfere with vision can contribute to accidents Illumination levels should be consistent when moving from areas of bright light to lower levels: Make sure levels are sufficient and consistent Get those burned-out lights replaced quickly Adjust your workstation so you do not face windows, unshielded lamps, or other sources of glare Exits should be well illuminated Inspect these devices at least monthly

37 Section 3 Ergonomics

38 Poorly designed computer workstation and work habits can lead to discomfort and chronic pain Ergonomics means the laws of work

39 Musculoskeletal Disorders Musculoskeletal disorders are disorders of the soft tissues: Muscles Tendons Nerves They are associated with: Repeated exertions of the body Awkward postures Extreme force

40 Posture Static posture means maintaining stationary position for extended periods of time Awkward posture means any fixed or constrained body position other than neutral alignment Neutral posture means the natural tensions of the muscles are relaxed

41 Improving the Workstation Focus items for evaluating your workstation Screen: Top of the screen should be at eye level Approximately 16–22 inches away Chair: Back should be fully supported Feet either flat on the floor or on a footrest

42 More Tips to Improve the Workstation Continuing on with the other equipment: Keyboard should be at a height so that wrists are straight and elbows approximately 90 degrees Place document holder and screen at the same height Reduce glare on the screen Change positions Organize work Exercise

43 Additional Information OSHA e-Lesson on ergonomics: A Guide to Office Safety and Health, N.C. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Program Principal Emergency Response and Preparedness Requirements and Guidance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA R, 2004

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