Safe Work Practices for the Office | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

Safe Work Practices for the Office

  • The following will help keep your office workspace safe and healthy:

    Avoid personal injury:

    • Guard the sharp edges of furniture to prevent personal injury.
    • Close desk drawers and pull-out surfaces when not in use. 
    • Avoid overloading the top drawers of filing cabinets to keep the cabinet from tipping over when drawers are open.
    • Open one drawer of the file cabinet at a time to prevent tipping.
    • Book cases or file cabinets taller than 64 inches must be secured or anchored. Keep bookcase doors closed when not in use.
    • Keep razor blades, tacks, and other sharp objects in closed containers.
    • Use the proper tool for the job at hand, (e.g., staple remover to remove staples)
    • Do not participate in horseplay.
    • Jewelry, long hair, and clothing must be kept clear of the moving parts of all office machines.
    • Report all defects such as loose tiles, broken steps, railings and doors immediately to the Maintenance Department.

    Avoid slips, trips, and falls:

    • Practice good housekeeping. Keep floors free of items that might cause tripping.
    • File cabinets should be placed where their use will not interfere with the office traffic patterns.
    • Keep file and desk drawers closed when not in use to help prevent tripping accidents.

    • Keep waste cans out of the way, do not overfill them.

    • Prevent slipping accidents by cleaning up spills immediately.

    • Do not lean too far back in chairs. They may result in over-balancing  and a fall.
    • Use only safety step tools or ladders for climbing. Don’t stand on swivel chairs or use them as step stools.

    • If it is necessary to run a cable or electrical chord across the floor, a cable cover must be used to protect wiring and prevent tripping.

    Practice electrical safety and fire prevention:

    • Do not overload electrical outlets.
    • Do not plug a multiple outlet strip (an extension cord with multiple electrical receptacles) into a second multiple outlet strip.
    • Multiple outlet strip cords must be 6' in length or less, and have a circuit breaker
    • Report immediately, any damaged electrical cords, broken switches, loose connections or bare wires to the Maintenance Department.
    • Unplug any office machine that smokes, sparks, or delivers an electrical shock. Have it inspected by the appropriate repair personnel.
    • UMES is a smoke-free environment and smoking is prohibited inside all UMES buildings.
    • Be careful with flammable liquids. Only the quantity needed for use should be in the workplace. They should be kept in a ventilated area, away from excessive heat or ignition sources.
    • Power switches must be off, or the cord unplugged, when electrical equipment, such as a typewriter, is being cleaned or serviced.
    • Do not run extension cords through walls, ceilings, or doors

    Practice fire safety:

    • Office doors shall be free of obstructions at all times to permit egress in case of emergency.
    • Do not block aisles, exits, stairways, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, sprinkler heads, or electrical panels.
    • Do not store items or position furniture or equipment closer than 18" from a sprinkler head.
    • Know the evacuation plan for your building
    • Participate in FIRE DRILLS

    Maintain building health:

    • Do not cover air vents
    • Keep windows closed
    • Do not place furniture, equipment or materials in locations that will interfere with air movement around thermostats.
    • Avoid overwatering plants to prevent standing water conditions that encourage mold growth.
    • Report any observed pest control problems to Environmental Health and Safety.