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Emergency Management and Environmental Health & Safety

FSU HomeEmergencySafetySafety ManualWork Practices

X General Work Practice Guidelines

  • Scope.
  • Floors, Doors and Passageways.
  • Stairways.
  • Washrooms/Waste containers.
  • Windows.
  • Electrical Cords and Outlets.
  • Office Machines and Equipment

This procedure prescribes safety precautions to be observed by all employees.

Floors, Doors and Passageways
  1. Walk, don't run inside buildings.
  2. When floors are being waxed or washed, observe signs and proceed cautiously.
  3. If water or other substances is found on the floor, remove them or report them to the housekeeping department, immediately.
  4. Pick up small objects, such as rubber bands, paper clips, pencils etc. These objects can create a slipping/tripping hazard.
  5. When approaching a hall or passageway hidden by a corner, keep to the right and go slowly in order to avoid bumping into someone who may be coming around the corner.
  6. Shoes with broad heels should be worn because they take corners more safely.
  7. Chairs, footstools, wastebaskets and other articles are not to be placed in aisles.
  8. Telephones and office machines are to be placed so that the cords will not obstruct aisles and passageways.
  9. Approach doors with caution and open slowly. Stand and walk clear of exit ways.  Someone coming through the other side may not know you are there. When double doors are involved, use the door to the right.
  10. Hallways are to be kept clear to prevent injury during emergency evacuation.
  1. Pause before starting downstairs, do not hurry when going downstairs.
  2. Keep to the right using the handrails.  Make sure you have completely ascended or descended the stairs before releasing your hold on the handrail.
  3. Keep your eyes on the steps ahead of you, refrain from doing anything, which distracts attention, such as searching your handbag for keys, turning your head to talk to with a fellow employee.
  4. Keep stairways free from debris.
  5. Defective handrails, lighting, and stair treads are to be reported to the safety director and/or the supervisor immediately for correction.
Washrooms/Waste Containers
  1. Keep the floors free from water, soap and other objects that can create a slippery condition.
  2. Waste containers are not to be used for disposing of useless glass, pins, needles, or any other articles that may cause injury to housekeeping personnel.
  3. Do not place drinking glasses, cups and other items on towel dispensers.
  1. Do not lean out of nor sit on the sill or casing of a window, even when the window is closed.
  2. Articles are not to be placed on windowsills.
  3. No object is to be thrown out of window.
Desks, Tables, Supply Cabinets
  1. Drawers and doors are not to be left open, someone may fall over and trip over them.
  2. Place objects on desks and tables in such a way that they will not fall or be easily displaced. 
  3. Wen opening desks drawers, exercise care to prevent them from falling out.
  4. Place materials in cabinets in a manner that will prevent the contents falling out when doors are opened.
  5. When a sheet of glass is used to cover desk tops, counters or cabinets, the edges and corners should be rounded smooth. Remove broken or chipped glass immediately.
  6. Stored heavy in the bottom of cabinets.
  7. When seating yourself at a desk, do not assume the chair is in place.  Place your hand on the back or arm of the chair to hold in place while you sit down.
  8. When seated, keep both feet on the floor.  Do not sit with one leg folded under you. This can cause poor blood circulation to the legs, numbing and causing you to fall if you should get up and attempt to walk.
  9. Chairs should be inspected periodically for broken rollers, nuts, bolts, supports, etc.
  10. Office furniture is not to be used as a ladder.  Obtain a ladder that meets the needs of your operation.
  11. Office furniture should be kept free from splinters, rough edges, and loose and defective parts at all times.
  12. Store boxed supplies properly.  Do not leave full or empty boxes in aisles, offices or in doorways indiscriminately.  Empty boxes are to be removed as soon as possible to prevent tripping and fire hazards.
  13. When opening boxes, be particularly careful with cutting blades, ensuring that blades does not slip.  When not in use, enclosed the blades in the guard. If boxes are opened by pulling the flaps, be careful of staples, which may be holding the flaps in place.
  14. When stacking boxes, be sure each box is placed squarely on the box under it and that they do not tilt.  Do not stack above 4'(feet) unless the load is secured.
  15. Do not open more than one file drawer at a time, particularly the top drawer.  Distribute materials evenly through files.
  16. Keep top of file cabinet free of objects.  Do not use top of cabinets as a gather all because it creates a "falling object hazards”.
  17. Do not stack heavy objects or boxes overhead, when removing these items present a potential for back injury.
Electrical Cords and Outlets
  1. Replace electrical cords and broken plugs, which have become frayed, immediately.  Plugs are to be replaced with closed front type.  Do not attempt to tape a broken plug.
  2. Place equipment near an outlet to avoid cords running across floor, aisles, and through doorways.  If it is necessary to have cord running across traffic path, provide a cord enclosure guard to minimize the tripping hazard.
  3. Machines must have ground wire connections and be connected to grounded outlets. Do not alter plugs to eliminate the grounding connection.
  4. Defective outlets are to be repaired immediately.  Call Physical Plant for repair of defective outlets.  Prior to repair such outlets are to be isolated or covered so they cannot be used.
  5. Unused floor outlets which are flush mounted with the floor must have a protective cover in place at all times.
  6. Raised outlets (pedestal type) are not to be located in aisles or under the desk in footrest region.
  7. Portable equipment (i.e., fans) needs to be equipped with three-prong plug including a grounding connection.
Office Machines and Equipment
  1. Office machines, particularly data processing machines, have many hazards such as moving belts, rollers, gears, etc., which are to be adequately guarded before being placed in service.  Normally, guards are installed by the manufacturer as standard equipment. If not, they are to be installed locally before the machine is placed in service.
  2. Electrically operated machines, if not double insulated, are to be equipped with a three-conductor cord (grounded).  Do not modify plugs to connect them to an ungrounded circuit.
  3. Unplug all electrically operated equipment prior to attempting to clear a jam, make an adjustment or alter a malfunctioning part.
  4. Before changing components connected to computer, adjusting the belt or making any adjustments to the printer, turn it off.
  5. Do not remove protective guards, open protective hoods, open side doors, or remove side panels from machine while machine is in operation.
  6. Ensure through periodic maintenance checks that hinges and latches, which hold protective guards, hoods, and panels in place are in a safe working condition.  If such guards are found to be defective have them repaired immediately.
  7. When machines having certain moving parts exposed, due to necessity, do not wear dangling jewelry and loose clothing that could become entangled in the moving parts.
  8. Do not place objects on top of machines.  Vibrations from the machine could cause the object to fall and injure someone.
  9. When maintenance personnel are working on equipment, do not attempt to help move equipment.  Engaging in such activity could cause a muscle strain.
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