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Safe Work Practices for Office and Administrative Employees

These Safe Work Practices are provided for your information and education.  They are intended to provide you with basic safety and health information that will assist you in avoiding injury while performing your daily activities.

These Safe Work Practices are part of Section Two, Training and Education, of the Injury & Illness Prevention Program of Cabrillo Community College District, and are required by Section 3203 of Title 8, the mandatory safety legislation of Cal/OSHA.  You are obliged to follow these Safe Work Practices while performing your work activities. 

You are encouraged to contribute ideas to expand or improve these Safe Work Practices.

1. Warn others working in the area when a file drawer is open so they do not turn around or straighten up quickly.

2. Paper cutter should be provided with a finger guard.

3. Retaining spring on the paper cutter should be adjusted to hold the blade in the up position.

4. Lock paper cutter blade in down position when not in use.

5. Do not leave a knife or scissors on the desk with the point towards you.

6. Thumbtacks, razor blades, and other sharp objects should not be stored loose in a drawer.

7. Use caution when cleaning up broken glass. Do not place loose in trashcan. Wrap in heavy paper and mark “Broken Glass”.

8. Fans used in work areas should be equipped with proper guards, which prevent fingers from being inserted through the mesh.

9. Copiers should be turned off before attempting to remove jammed paper.

10. Organize workstations so that all materials are within easy reach.

Video Display Terminal Users

These specific Safe Work Practices for users of video display terminals and keyboards should be viewed not only as a way to prevent injury, but also as a way to maximize comfort on the job. Adjustments need to be made to each workstation to customize the station for maximum comfort and efficiency. Most adjustments can be made using existing furniture and equipment. If these safe work practices are implemented diligently, the employee should find work less stressful and less fatiguing from uncomfortable surroundings.

1. Keyboard should be positioned so wrists and hands are straight add key with your hands in a straight line with your forearms so you don’t bend your wrists either upward or downward.

2. Your arms should hang comfortably from your shoulder and close to your sides. Arms should bend at a right angle at your elbows. If keyboard is at the right height, your arms and shoulders will be loose and relaxed when you use it.

3. Adjust the seat height of your chair to keep your thighs parallel to the floor or slopping slightly downward. Adjust the back rest of the chair to maintain the natural curve of your lower back. Pillows or rolled up towels are not recommended unless prescribed by medical experts since such use will change the fit of the chair.

4. Keep feet flat on the floor to help maintain good posture and leg

5. If above adjustments do not permit your feet to rest on the floor, a footrest should be used.

6. Shift position frequently.

7. If possible, alternate different tasks throughout the day.

8. Be aware of the early warning symptoms of fatigue. When the arm, hand, back, or neck begins to feel tired or strained, the body is signaling that it needs to take a break.

9. Adjust VDT screen to avoid glare. Use contrast/brightness controls, position angle of screen, adjust nearby blinds or drapes, or use anti-glare filter.

10. Regularly clean the screen.

11. Adjust the height of chair to allow eyes and hands to be in the proper position in relation to screen and keyboard.

12. Adjust VDT screen to be at least an arms distance away from operator.

13. Eye to keyboard distance when seated should be between 17-20”.

14. Adjust VDT so that viewing is within top one third part of screen with head and neck in a natural neutral position. If you wear bifocals or trifocals, you may need to lower the monitor to keep the screen in focus.

15. Learn and practice exercises that relieve eyestrain and fatigue, for
example:

• Blink slowly and frequently to keep eyes moist.
• Rest eyes from light – shape hands into shadow cups and place lightly
over closed eyes and hold for one minute.
• Periodically look away from screen and focus on another object at
least 20’ away.
• Roll eyes clockwise, then counterclockwise three times.

 

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