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Office Safety

Ergonomics: Desk Set-Up (English | Spanish)
Ergonomics: Posture (English | Spanish)
Ergonomics: Workstations (English | Spanish)
Office Safety Payroll Stuffer (English | Spanish)
 

Many assume that workplace accidents don't commonly occur in an office environment. Unfortunately, that is not true. It is not unusual to hear of an office employee tripping over a computer cord or straining their back while moving a piece of office furniture. An office setting has its share of safety hazards, but many can be eliminated.

Office Traffic
• Keep floors clean and free of spills such as beverages, melting snow, and rainwater.
• Always walk, never run.
• Keep aisles and hallways clear of clutter, debris, and tripping hazards such as wastebaskets, electrical and computer cords, foot stools, and open drawers.
• Report torn or loose carpets, curled walk-off mats, loose tile, uneven floor surfaces, or any other condition that could lead to a slip, trip, or fall to a supervisor immediately.

File Cabinets
• Close file, desk, and cabinet drawers when not in use.
• Put file cabinets and other storage cabinets far enough away from doors and aisles so as to not interfere with exit routes or high-traffic areas.
• Place the heaviest files or loads in the lower drawers of file cabinets.
• Open only one drawer at a time.
• Use only the handle to open and close drawers to avoid finger injuries.

Documents
• Use caution when handling paper to avoid cuts.
• Fully close staples. Use a staple remover to remove staples.

Electrical Equipment
• Locate electrical outlets so that cords do not cross aisles or passageways.
• Use only properly grounded outlets and equipment. Avoid using extension cords.
• Replace damaged or worn cords immediately.
• Unplug before servicing or working on equipment.

Machines and Equipment
• Before operating, place guards on machines with exposed moving parts.
• Do not operate a machine until properly trained. Do not override safety devices. When in doubt, get help.
• Use common sense when using paper cutters. Keep fingers away from knife and cutting edges. Keep knife in down position when not in use. Replace loose guards, knife locks, and springs immediately.

Storage
• Use a ladder, stool, or portable stair for reaching high objects. Never use a chair, carton, or another object not designed for the task.
• Store heavy objects at ground level.
• Cover or sheath knives and scrapers before storing. Use only for intended purpose.
• Do not store flammable liquids and paint in an office area. If flammable or hazardous materials are needed for office machines, keep in limited quantities and store according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Other
• Turn on lights before entering dark rooms or hallways. Report burned-out or inadequate lighting to your supervisor.
• Do not lift beyond your capability. Get help with heavy or awkward loads.
• If overhead work is being performed, do not remain at desk or workstation.
• If your job requires you to enter manufacturing areas or a warehouse, wear the required personal protective equipment (e.g., hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection). Do not enter a part of plant that is unfamiliar to you. Ask a plant supervisor to accompany you.

Resources
There are several OSHA regulations that can apply to office operations depending on the type of operation. Some of
the most common are:
- 29 CFR 1910 Subpart E - Means of Egress
- 29 CFR 1910 Subpart H - Hazardous Materials
- 29 CFR 1910 Subpart N - Materials Handling and Storage

Additional Resources
WCF Insurance Safety Department
385.351.8103

Ask a Safety Consultant

https://www.osha.gov
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/

NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.

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Insurance coverage in all states other than Utah is provided by Advantage Workers Compensation Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WCF Mutual Insurance Company, doing business as WCF Insurance. Advantage is domiciled in Indiana; NAIC number: 40517. Administrative office: P.O. Box 571918, Salt Lake City, UT 84157-1918.
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