Offices appear much safer than they really are. Many teachers, administration workers and even students receive injuries and permanent disabilities due to ignoring office safety. Many of these injuries are preventable by using the proper safety precautions.
Falls are the leading cause of injury in any office. Anything from loose cords to a wrinkled doormat can serve as a potential hazard for teachers, administration workers and students alike. The elimination of these hazards is one step school personnel can take to create a safer school zone.
Follow these guidelines to prevent falling:
Keep offices tidy and free of clutter. Boxes of materials and supplies should be stacked away from traffic areas. Clean up any spills immediately, and keep garbage off the floor.
Cords and cables from electrical equipment and phones should be routed away from traffic areas. If they must cross traffic routes, tape them down or use special channels made for this purpose.
Keep chairs and stools in good repair. Damaged chairs should be removed from service so they will not be used.
Keep desk and filing cabinet drawers closed so no one will trip over them.
Report slipping and tripping hazards such as spills and loose flooring to maintenance personnel immediately. If you know the spill is water or coffee, take a few moments to wipe it up.
Use stepladders and stepstools if you have to climb. Never use makeshift climbing devices such as stacked boxes or chairs on desks.
Back injuries from incorrect lifting account for a surprising number of days lost from work. Here are some tips to protect your back:
Plan your lift first. Make sure you can handle the load alone, or get help from another person or a device such as a hand truck. Don’t try to lift heavy or awkward loads alone and get help moving things such as office furniture and equipment.
Get close to the load before you try to move it. Bend at your knees rather than using your back to pick objects up.
Do not twist your back. If you must turn, move your feet around instead.
Filing cabinets can be deadly. Follow these tips for safety:
Load the cabinet from the bottom up. If you fill the top drawer first, the cabinet may fall over.
Open just one drawer at a time. Opening more than one drawer may cause the cabinet to fall.
Never stack filing cabinets on top of one another—even small ones. It is too easy to pull the top cabinet over on yourself.