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Office Hazards Slide Show Notes

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1 Office Hazards Slide Show Notes
Welcome to safety and health training on office hazards. This training is recommended for all office workers. When you think about job safety and hazards in the workplace, you probably think about industrial work environments, not an office like the one you work in. But the fact is that offices have many of the same hazards as other work environments, and a surprising number of accidents and injuries occur in offices. That’s why you need to be aware of the hazards in your office and understand the precautions you need to take every day to keep safe at work.

2 Session Objectives You will be able to: Recognize office hazards
Know what to do in emergencies Take proper precautions to avoid accidents Reduce ergonomic risk factors Use proper lifting techniques Manage stress effectively Slide Show Notes The main objective of this session is to discuss office hazards and the safety precautions you need to take to prevent accidents and injuries. By the time this session is over, you should be able to: Recognize office hazards; Know what to do in emergencies; Take proper precautions to avoid accidents; Reduce ergonomic risk factors; Use proper lifting techniques; and Manage stress effectively.

3 What You Need to Know Emergency procedures Fire prevention
Preventing common office injuries Ergonomic safety Back safety Stress management Slide Show Notes During the session, we’ll discuss: Emergency procedures; Fire prevention; Preventing common office injuries; Ergonomic safety; Back safety; and Stress management.

4 Office Hazards Fires Slips, trips, and falls
Electrical shocks and fires Falling objects Slide Show Notes Although offices are generally considered safe compared with other work environments, there are still many hazards of which you need to be aware. Here are some examples: Fires; Slips, trips, and falls; Electrical shocks and fires; and Falling objects that have been improperly stacked or stored. But there are even more hazards to watch out for as you’ll see in the next slide.

5 Office Hazards (cont.) Cuts and bruises Musculoskeletal disorders
Back injuries Stress Slide Show Notes You also have to be alert for other office hazards such as: Cuts from office tools such as paper cutters and box knives as well as bruises from pinch points; Musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome that result from repetitive motions and long hours of sitting; Back injuries due to improper lifting; and Stress from job pressures and trying to balance your work and personal life. Can you think of any other office hazards? Ask trainees to identify other hazards that they have noticed in their own offices.

6 Emergency Procedures: Evacuation
Evacuation signal Location of emergency exits Evacuation routes Emergency exits and access to exits Slide Show Notes We’ve just identified fire as a common office hazard. In the event of a fire or other emergency that requires evacuation of the building, you’ll have to know how to get out quickly and safely. First of all you need to know what the alarm sounds like. Whenever you hear the alarm, pay attention and listen for instructions over the paging system. You also need to know the location of emergency exits. There are multiple emergency exits throughout the building. Make a point of knowing where each exit is located—not just the exits near your office, but also those near the restrooms and other parts of the building where you go frequently. You should have at least two evacuation routes from your work area—a primary route and an alternate in case your primary route is blocked by fire, smoke, or some other obstacle. So that people are able to evacuate safely in an emergency, it’s important to keep exits and access to exits—including hallways and stairways—clear. Never block emergency exit doors with office furniture or supplies.

7 Emergency Procedures: Evacuation (cont.)
Emergency duties Designated meeting area Drills Slide Show Notes You may also have emergency duties. Perhaps you have been designated and trained as a fire marshal or a first-aid responder. Some of you may have been assigned other emergency duties. Whatever your assignment, make sure you know what you’re expected to do and how to do it. If you have not been assigned any other emergency duties, then your sole duty is to evacuate quickly. Once you safely evacuate the building, proceed directly to your designated meeting area. A headcount will be taken to make sure everyone is safely out of the building. Do not leave the designated meeting area until you are told it is safe to do so. Finally, everyone must participate in evacuation drills. When you hear the alarm, treat it like a real emergency, and proceed calmly and quickly toward the nearest emergency exit. Do you know the evacuation routes from your office and the location of the nearest emergency exits? Distribute maps of office areas showing evacuation routes and emergency exits. Then explain evacuation procedures, review emergency duties, and identify the location of designated meeting areas.

8 Emergency Procedures: Fire Response
Activate the fire alarm Call the fire department Use an extinguisher on small fires Slide Show Notes If you discover a fire, there are two things you should do right away: The first is to activate the fire alarm; The second is to call the fire department. If a co-worker is nearby when you spot the fire, one of you can call the fire department and the other can simultaneously activate the fire alarm. If a fire is small and contained, you can use a fire extinguisher to try to put it out. Do not try to fight a large or spreading fire with an extinguisher. Evacuate and let the firefighters handle the blaze. Remember, even if you think you can put a fire out with an extinguisher, you should call the fire department first. That way, they will be on the way in case you can’t put the fire out. Do you know where fire extinguishers are located near your work area? Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? Identify the location of fire extinguishers around the office. Demonstrate the PASS technique for using a fire extinguisher (Pull the pin; Aim at the base of the fire; Squeeze the trigger; and Sweep the nozzle back and forth).

9 Emergency Procedures: Medical Emergencies
Call for an ambulance if necessary Apply first aid Use gloves to protect against bloodborne pathogens Know the location of first-aid kits Slide Show Notes Of course, fires are not the only emergency you need to know how to handle. Medical emergencies can also occur in any office. If the problem is serious—such as a heart attack or profuse bleeding—call 911 for an ambulance right away. While waiting for help, give first aid if you are trained. Otherwise, call a co-worker who is trained in first aid and CPR. For minor injuries such as sprains or small cuts, first aid may be sufficient. The employee can go to the doctor for follow-up if necessary. If a co-worker is bleeding, do not touch the blood with your bare hands. Wear latex gloves from the first-aid kit or use a clean piece of plastic as a barrier. Bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis B can be transmitted through contact with infected blood. First-aid kits are available in each work area. Do you know the names and phone numbers of co-workers who are trained in CPR and first aid? Do you know where the first-aid kit is located? Give trainees a list of employees trained in CPR and first aid. Also tell them where first-aid kits are located.

10 Emergency Procedures: Natural Disasters
Be prepared Have a survival kit Listen for warnings and instructions Shelter in place or evacuate Slide Show Notes Depending on where your office is located, you could face a variety of natural disasters—for example, severe storms, floods, or earthquakes. The key to surviving a natural disaster is being prepared. Identify the types of natural disasters that could occur in your area and find out what the proper response is to each type of emergency. Also be sure to have a survival kit in your home and at the office. Include such items as a flashlight, water, first-aid supplies, and other essentials to get you through the emergency. Tune in to your local radio or television station for warnings and instructions when bad weather threatens. The better informed you are, the better able you will be to make wise and safe decisions about how to respond. Depending on the type of emergency, you may need to evacuate the building and seek shelter elsewhere, as in the case of a flood. In case of a tornado or blizzard, you may need to shelter in place and wait until it is safe to leave the building.

11 Fire Hazards Flammable or combustible liquids
Storage of combustible materials Electrical cords and plugs Space heaters Smoking Slide Show Notes We’ve talked about what to do if a fire breaks out in the office. Now let’s talk about how to prevent office fires. Make sure that any flammable or combustible liquids kept in the office are stored in appropriate flammable cabinets and kept away from heat and flames. If you’re not sure if something is flammable or combustible, check the label. Also make sure that any materials that can burn are stored properly. Combustible materials such as paper, cardboard, and trash should be kept away from hot equipment or electrical equipment. Damaged electrical cords and plugs can overheat or short and ignite carpeting, paper, or boxes. Be sure to inspect electrical cords regularly and have them replaced if they’re damaged. Remember that extension cords without internal fuses should not be used for extended periods. They are intended for short-term use only. If you use a space heater, be careful not to knock it over accidentally. Also make sure it is far enough away from any combustible materials to avoid ignition. And be sure to turn it off before leaving work. Smoking is another cause of office fires. Smoking in restrooms or anywhere other than a designated smoking area is prohibited.

12 Slips, Trips, and Falls Spills and wet floors
Torn carpet or damaged flooring Cords in walkways Improperly stored items Open drawers Standing on chairs Slide Show Notes Preventing slips, trips, and falls is another important safety concern. These hazards are more common around the office than you might think. For example, if someone spills coffee on an uncarpeted floor and doesn’t clean it up right away, someone else could come along and slip on it, fall, and get hurt. Similarly, floors that are wet from mopping or wet shoes can create a slip hazard. Torn carpet or other damaged flooring can create a trip hazard. Be sure to report any problems with flooring immediately. Cords in walkways are also trip hazards. Avoid laying cords where people walk. Don’t store items in walkways or on the floor around your desk, either. You or a co-worker might trip over them. Open drawers can create trip hazards, too. Be sure to close drawers as soon as you are done using them. And watch out for fall hazards as well. For example, standing on a chair—especially a chair with casters or a swivel chair—to reach objects on high shelves is asking for trouble. Use a step stool or ladder instead.

13 Electrical Hazards Outlets and circuits Electrical cords and plugs
Electrical equipment Electrical repairs Slide Show Notes Even though offices don’t have a lot of high-voltage equipment, electricity is still a hazard you need to be aware of. Make sure not to overload outlets and circuits. When you plug too many office machines into an outlet, you may overload the circuit. This could result in overheated wiring, which could cause a fire. Damaged electrical cords and plugs, as we said earlier, are also hazardous. They’re fire hazards and can give you a nasty shock. Damaged cords and plugs should be reported and replaced right away. You should also visually inspect electrical equipment before plugging it in. And any piece of equipment that shocks, smells, sparks, or smokes should be turned off immediately and reported. Also be sure to leave any electrical repairs to a qualified electrician. Don’t try to fix electrical equipment yourself. Just report it and leave the repairs to an expert.

14 Safe Stacking and Storing
Store items in a safe place Stack evenly and carefully Don’t stack too high Make sure shelves can hold the weight Inspect your work Slide Show Notes Improperly stacked or stored items can also be a hazard. For example, poorly stacked boxes on a high shelf could topple over and fall on someone’s head. If they’re heavy enough, they could cause a serious injury. So always remember these safe stacking and storage rules: Make sure items are stored in a safe place where no one can trip over them and where they can’t fall on someone passing by. Stack items evenly and carefully, placing heavier, larger items on the bottom so that the stack doesn’t topple over. Don’t stack too high. The higher you go, the less stable the stack is. Also make sure to allow at least 18 inches of clearance under fire sprinkler heads, and keep items clear of overhead lights, too. If you’re storing items on a shelf, make sure the shelf is strong enough to hold the weight. And one last precaution: When you’re done stacking or storing items, inspect your work to make sure it’s safe.

15 Preventing Cuts and Bruises
Box knives Scissors Paper cutters Pinch points Slide Show Notes Two other often forgotten office hazards are cuts and bruises. For example, maybe you occasionally use a box knife to open packages or boxes. If you do, always cut away from you, never toward your body. And be sure to close the blade as soon as you’re done using the knife. Scissors with sharp points can also cut or puncture skin. Store them in the closed position with the pointed end facing away from you. Watch out for other items with sharp points like letter openers, which can cause a puncture wound as well. Improper use of paper cutters can result in cutoff finger tips. Keep hands away from the blade when cutting. And when you’re finished, put the blade in the down position and latch it. And also watch out for pinch points. For example, you could get a bruise if your hand gets pinched under a heavy box as you put it down. Or you could get a finger pinched if it’s caught as you close your desk drawer.

16 Office Hazards And Precautions
Do you understand the information presented in the previous slides? Slide Show Notes Now it’s time to ask yourself if you understand the information presented so far. There are numerous hazards in most offices. You need to recognize them and take the necessary precautions to avoid injury. Answer any questions trainees have about the information presented in the previous slides. Conduct an exercise if appropriate. Let’s go on to the next slide now and talk about office ergonomics.

17 Office Ergonomics: Risk Factors
Repetition Posture Force Other factors Slide Show Notes There are two common ergonomic risk factors for office workers— repetitive motion and poor posture. Most office workers are exposed to the risks created by repetitive motions resulting from such things as the repetitive nature of keyboarding and using a mouse. Maintaining an awkward posture for long periods is another risk factor for most office workers. Examples include extending arms to type, hunching the shoulders while working, bending or twisting your neck while you work, or leaning forward to get closer to the computer screen. Force might be another risk factor for some people in the office. If you are constantly lifting, bending, reaching, pushing, or pulling, you could be at risk of incurring an ergonomic injury. Other ergonomic risk factors include contact stress and vibration, but these are not normally problems for office workers. You don’t usually use your hand as a hammer or lean against solid objects for long periods. Nor do you normally use vibrating tools such as belt sanders or reciprocating saws. However, if you use such tools regularly in your home workshop, you could be at risk.

18 Office Ergonomics: Musculoskeletal Disorders
Injury to nervous system or soft tissue Pain in hands, wrists, fingers, forearms, elbows, or joints How it feels Report any MSD symptoms immediately and seek medical treatment Slide Show Notes When you are exposed to ergonomic risk factors you have a greater chance of injuring yourself. These ergonomic injuries are known as musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs for short. MSDs are injuries or disorders of the nervous system or soft tissues like muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage,and blood vessels. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common MSDs, especially for office workers who do a lot of keyboarding. Symptoms of MSDs include pain in your hands, wrists, fingers, forearms, elbows, or joints. This pain is often described as tightness, soreness, coldness, stiffness, burning, tingling, or numbness. Pain is often worse at night. If you experience any of the symptoms of MSDs, be sure to report the problem right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can minimize injuries and prevent long-lasting problems. Do you know the proper procedure for reporting symptoms of MSDs or other ergonomic problems? Explain your organization’s procedures for reporting MSDs and getting medical treatment.

19 Office Ergonomics: Proper Posture
Head facing straight ahead Knees bent 90 degrees Feet flat on the floor or footrest Slide Show Notes One important way to prevent MSDs is to maintain a good posture. This begins with keeping your head facing straight ahead while you work at your computer station—not turned to the side or tilting up or down. To keep your head aligned properly, place your monitor directly in front of you about an arm’s length away. The screen should be positioned so that while you work your eyes remain level with a point about 2 to 3 inches below the top of the screen. When you sit, your knees should be bent about 90 degrees so that they are comfortable. Choose a chair that can be adjusted for height. Make sure the chair is comfortable, even after you sit for 30 to 60 minutes. The chair should have a good, firm backrest to provide adequate lower back support. Be sure to sit all the way back in the chair so that your back is well supported. Your feet should be resting flat on the floor or on a footrest. Remove any obstructions from under your desk that interfere with the proper position of your legs and feet.

20 Office Ergonomics: Proper Posture (cont.)
Wrists in line with forearms Shoulders not hunched Elbows close to the side Slide Show Notes Another important aspect of proper posture is keeping your wrists in line with your forearms so that your wrists are not flexed up or down or bent to either side. Adjust your keyboard to the right height and tilt to keep your wrists comfortably straight. Also remember not to rest your wrists on a wristrest while typing. This puts pressure on your carpal tunnel. Only use a wristrest during typing pauses. To prevent injury, keep your shoulders in a comfortable, relaxed position while you work—not hunched and tense. Adjustable armrests on your chair can help support your shoulders. Also keep your elbows at your side while keyboarding. Extending your elbows out when typing puts additional strain on your shoulders and elbow joints. Think about your posture while you work. Are you maintaining proper posture to prevent MSDs? Demonstrate the proper posture described in this screen and the previous screen.

21 Office Ergonomics: Reduce Repetition
Alternate work activities Minibreaks Eye breaks Slide Show Notes Fortunately there are several ways you can reduce the risk of developing MSDs. One of the best ways to prevent injury is to break up your day with different tasks so that the same muscle groups are not used all day long. For example, if you spend a lot of time keyboarding, then every 30 to 60 minutes, take a little time away from the computer and perform some other task—for example, making copies, filing, or returning phone calls. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s productive and doesn’t involve typing. Another way to reduce the strain of repetition is to take minibreaks right at your desk. Between bursts of typing activity, allow your hands to relax in a flat and straight posture. Also take this opportunity to shift your position, shrug your shoulders, and rotate your neck gently. In addition, take eye breaks at least every 15 minutes. Look away from the monitor at something at least 20 feet away for about a minute. This allows your eye muscles to relax. Blink rapidly for a few seconds, too, to refresh the eyes’ surface.

22 Office Ergonomics: Reduce Repetition (cont.)
Stretching exercises Hands Wrists and forearms Shoulders Neck Back Slide Show Notes Stretching exercises can also help reduce the strain of repetitive tasks. You can do them right at your desk. Start by stretching your hands. Make a fist and then extend and spread your fingers. To stretch your wrists sand forearms, hold your arms straight out in front of your body and bend your hands up and down. Stretch your shoulders by rolling them back and forth or reaching your arms overhead, stretching, and then bending gently from side to side. Stretch your neck by moving your head gently up and down and from side to side. And finally, stretch your back by standing up, placing your hands on your hips, and arching gently backward. Do you regularly use stretching exercises like these to help reduce the strain of repetitive tasks? Have trainees practice these stretching exercises with you.

23 Back Safety Maintain good back posture when sitting, standing, or lifting Do not lift more than you can handle Use material-handling aids Make sure you can see over and around loads you are carrying Slide Show Notes Back injuries are unfortunately all too common in offices. That’s probably because office workers do so much sitting. In addition, many office workers aren’t used to lifting and carrying heavy objects on a regular basis. As a result their backs aren’t conditioned for that kind of work. Then one day, they have to move a box or lift a piece of equipment and their back gives out. To protect your back on the job, maintain good back posture whether you’re sitting, standing, or lifting. Keeping your back straight will help maintain strength and prevent muscle strain and disk problems. Also don’t try to lift more than you can handle safely. If something is big and heavy, get help and team lift the object with a co-worker. Or use material-handling aids like carts, dollies, or hand trucks to move heavy items. And always make sure you can see over and around the load you’re carrying to avoid trips and falls, which can also injure your back.

24 Safe Lifting Establish a wide and stable stance
Bend at your knees and hips and squat down next to the object Grip the object firmly Slide Show Notes One of the best ways to protect your back is to always use proper lifting techniques. Begin by establishing a wide and stable stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Bend at your knees and hips, and squat down next to the object. Remember, do not bend over at your waist. Your rear end should not be sticking out. Lifting like that is the way most back injuries occur. Grip the object firmly. Many injuries also occur when people lose their grip and try to readjust. The quick readjustment movement can strain back muscles.

25 Safe Lifting (cont.) Pull the object close
Tighten your stomach muscles Keep your back straight Rise up using your leg muscles, not your back muscles Slide Show Notes Once you have a firm grip, pull the object close to your body. Holding an object away from your body as you lift results in greater strain on your back. Tightening your stomach muscles will act as a kind of back brace because the stomach muscles will help support the upper body, taking some of the strain off the back. Then, keeping your back straight, rise up using your leg muscles to power the lift rather than your back muscles. Do you always use proper lifting techniques when you have to lift anything at work or at home? Demonstrate proper lifting techniques and have trainees practice the procedure.

26 Ergonomic Hazards Do you understand the information presented in the previous slides? Slide Show Notes Now it’s time to ask yourself if you understand the information presented so far. Working in an office exposes you to a variety of ergonomic hazards. You need to understand the necessary precautions to avoid injury. Answer any questions trainees have about the information presented in the previous slides. Conduct an exercise if appropriate. Now let’s move on to another common office hazard—stress.

27 Workplace Stress Stress factors Symptoms of stress Episodic stress
Benefits of stress Slide Show Notes Stress can come from many areas of your life. For example, pressures on the job can be stressful. So can personal problems, like financial difficulties, marital issues, or family illness. Lifestyle changes like getting married or divorced, having a baby, or moving to a new home can also be stressful. And let’s not forget all those little everyday annoyances like commuting to work in traffic, shopping in crowded stores, standing in lines, and on and on. Symptoms of stress include emotional distress such as anger, anxiety, or depression. You may also experience physical symptoms like headaches, neck or back pain, or stomach problems like heartburn. Sometimes stress is episodic. It comes and goes depending on what you have on your plate. Episodes of stress, for example, are common during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year. When things calm down, you’re likely to feel less stressed. Although stress is often a problem, it can also have some benefits. When channeled properly, stress can help you improve your focus and concentration. A positive response to modest amounts of stress can improve your work performance and even help you become more confident.

28 Stress Management Control your reaction to stress
Exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep Avoid stressful situations Get organized Laugh, relax, and take quiet time Slide Show Notes Most often, however, stress gets to be a problem, and can even negatively affect your health. That’s why you may need to use some simple stress management techniques. One step you can take to better manage the stress in your life is to try to control your reaction to stressful situations by thinking positively rather than negatively about the situation. For example, try not to get angry or expect things to get worse. Instead, use positive thoughts and self-talk to alleviate fear or worry. Remind yourself that you’ve gotten through tough situations before, and you can this time, too. Another great way to control stress is to release some of the tension by getting some exercise. Eating right and getting enough sleep also helps. Whenever you can, avoid stressful situations. Take a less traveled route to and from work to avoid the traffic. Shop when stores are less crowded. Pick your battles at home and at work, and don’t sweat the small stuff. If your life is getting hectic, get organized. Set priorities, develop routines, and maintain an accurate calendar of commitments. And finally, don’t forget to laugh, relax, and find some quiet time to do the things you like to do.

29 Key Points to Remember Offices have many hazards
Keep alert and take precautions Know how to respond to emergencies Reduce exposure to ergonomic risk factors Always lift safely Manage stress effectively Slide Show Notes Here are the main points to remember from this session on office hazards: Offices have more hazards than most people think. Keep alert to hazards and take precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. Know how to respond to emergencies. Reduce exposure to ergonomic risk factors. Always lift safely. Recognize symptoms of stress and take steps to manage it effectively. This concludes the office hazards training session. Give trainees the quiz, if appropriate.

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