Safely Working Inside
Let’s not forget about the many employees working inside buildings. And as hot as these past few weeks have been, inside is the place to be when possible. Be reminded of the potential injuries and hazards that can occur in office and lab settings.
✓ Be organized. Using hallways for storage is not permissible per the fire code. But don’t overlook clutter in walkways through office spaces, labs, and workshop that creates a trip hazard waiting to happen. Store items in their proper location. Use shelving, peg board hangers, and file cabinets to have a specific storage spot for each item. But most importantly, place those items back in their place after use.
✓ Keep items easily accessible. Yes, storage space is scarce and sometimes the best solution is place things higher. How do you reach them? No, do not step up in an office chair – particularly a rolling one. Have a small step ladder handy instead.
✓ Don’t crash into each other. Is there a blind corner or turn in the hallway that you can’t see around until you’re there? Consider installing a convex mirror.
✓ Keep cords contained. Extension cords are often necessary, but don’t let them become a trip hazard. Always tape them down or purchase an appropriate cover.
✓ Get a grip. Wet floors can cause falls when walking and unexpectedly hitting a slick spot. If you spill anything, wipe it up immediately. Add carpet or slip resistant mats at entrance ways where rain and mud may be tracked in. Mats may also be needed around ice machines or sink areas where a slip hazard is also common.
An ergonomically friendly workstations will help reduce injuries from repetitive motion and posture related strains. These issues are often developed over time and harder to detect.
✓ Use adjustable equipment. People come in all shapes and sizes; what is comfortable to one person may not be comfortable for the next. Learn how the equipment can adjust and know the most ergonomically beneficial way to set up a workstation for you.
✓ Keep your feet on the floor. Even a nice adjustable chair that is too high, causing your feet to dangle, will not be able to reduce pain and discomfort. A footrest is an option; ensure it is wide enough to not impede movement.
✓ If the mouse is away… this has nothing to do with the cat playing, but it can cause neck and shoulder pain. Keep your computer mouse beside the keyboard, not at a different level.
For accessibility assistance please contact Leslie Woolington.