ES&H Manual



6105 Appendix T1

Office Safety Requirements



1.0             Purpose


Most office hazards are easily controlled by using common sense; following manufacturer and product label recommendations; and enforcing good housekeeping techniques. Some hazard issues, however, can only be controlled during day-to-day operations with the cooperation of the individuals involved. These issues include, but are not limited to:


·         Personnel Hazards

·         Fire Hazards

o   Slip and Trip Hazards

o   Electrical

o   Repetitive Motion - Ergonomics

o   Smoking

o   Lifting, Carrying, and Lowering

o   Safe Egress

o   Reaching


o   Housekeeping

·         Mechanical Hazards


o   Sharp Edges

·         Chemical Hazards

o   Pinch/Puncture/Cuts

o   Toxic Material



This document provides action steps to be performed to mitigate these recognized hazard issues. 


2.0             Scope


This office safety program provides guidelines for safe behavior and practical solutions to typical safety/health issues found in an office environment. It is impractical to address every issue that may occur. Jefferson Lab expects its employees to act responsibly and to use common sense when addressing an issue not specifically stated within this document.


The process steps for this procedure are performed in coordination with ES&H Manual Chapter 6106 Office Safety.


3.0             Responsibilities

NOTE:           Management authority may be delegated at the discretion of the responsible manager.


3.1              Everyone at Jefferson Lab

·         Act in a professional, responsible manner in buildings under Jefferson Lab’s authority.


3.2              Supervisor/Subcontracting Officer’s Technical Representative (SOTR)/Sponsor

·         Inspect and enforce good work practices as outlined within this document.


4.0             Process Steps


Unless otherwise stated, everyone at Jefferson Lab may perform the process steps outlined below.


4.1              Personnel Hazards


4.1.1        Slip and Trip Hazards

Accidents are often caused by obstacles in the walkway, defects in floor/stair coverings, or wet surfaces.


Step 1:            Correct the problem if willing and able; or proceed to Step 2.


Step 2:            Place warning devices such as cones, signs, or temporarily rearrange furniture to direct traffic away from the problem area.


Step 3:            Submit a Facility Management Work Request to correct the problem.


Use cable ties, tenders, or floor guards, available on Webstock, to prevent trip hazards.


4.1.2        Repetitive Motion

A poorly designed workstation can cause health problems. ES&H Manual Chapter 6105 Appendix T2 Office Ergonomics provides considerations for configuring an ergonomically correct work station.


4.1.3        Lifting, Carrying, and Lowering

Individuals are not to lift heavy objects unassisted. A variety of service professionals and equipment are available to perform this type of work.


Step 1:            Test the load. If there is strain on the back, arms, or leg muscles, go to Step 2.


Step 2:            Request assistance from a co-worker;




      Alternate Step 2:       Submit a Facility Management Work Request.


If you are unfamiliar with proper lifting techniques Jefferson Lab offers Safe Lifting (Ergonomic) Training (MED05).


4.1.4        Reaching

If you need to climb to reach things use a suitable step stool or ladder (see ES&H Manual 6132 Ladder and Scaffold Safety). If one is not available:


Step 1:            Order one through Jefferson Lab Webstock. If you need assistance in selecting and appropriate item contact Industrial Safety to discuss approved options.




Alternate Step 1:       Submit a Facility Management Work Request.


4.1.5        Housekeeping

Often hazards are overlooked because of poor housekeeping. Do not allow unused items to clutter an area.              Repair Broken Equipment


Step 1:            Submit a Facility Management Work Request for repair of broken equipment.


Step 2:            Prevent the equipment from being used while awaiting service. 

·         Unplug it. 

·         Tag it with an explanation of condition; date; contact name; and telephone number.              Replace Out-Dated Equipment


Step 1:            Request new equipment per your department’s purchasing procedures.


Step 2:            Use Jefferson Lab’s approved purchasing methods:

·         Webstock

·         JLab Requisition System - Maximo

·         Per your Supervisor’s direction              Shelving

·         Store heavy items on lower shelves

·         Do not overload shelves              Drawers

·         Never leave a drawer open and unattended

·         Only open one drawer at a time              Layout 

Safe egress is considered to be at least 28-inches. (See the Fire Protection Engineer for a determination as various factors and exceptions exist to this rule.) 

·         Move furniture that may obstruct safe egress, cause an obstruction, trip hazard, or other difficulty in movement.

·         Doors must swing without obstruction.

·         Keep office equipment away from desk or table edge.              Storage

·         Use designated storage areas. Do not store items in walkways, designated egress pathways, or stairways.

·         Clearly mark boxes and storages bins with content description, contact name, and phone number.

·         Store items inside cabinets, not on top.


4.2              Fire Hazards


4.2.1        Electrical

Electrical incidents in an office can occur as a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse.


Step 1:            Purchase and use only Jefferson Lab approved electronic office equipment.


Step 2:            Follow manufacturers' guidelines for use and routine maintenance. Keep the owner's manual for future reference. 


Step 3:            Inspect cords and plugs periodically. 

·         Replace those that are damaged

·         Use GFCI outlets near water 

·         Do not overload a single outlet

·         Use cable ties/tenders to prevent fraying


Step 4:            Submit a Facilities Management Work Request if additional outlets are required.


Step 5:            Submit a Custodian Re-Assignment/Property Relocation and Disposal Request to remove/dispose of damaged, expired, or excess equipment.


4.2.2        Smoking

Individuals are not permitted to smoke in any building under the authorization of Jefferson Lab. (See Administrative Manual – 208 Employee Performance and Conduct, Section 07 – Smoking Policy). 


Step 1:            If smoke is observed or smelled within a building perform emergency evacuation procedures per ES&H Manual Chapter 3510 Appendix T1 Building Evacuation Procedure and your supervisor/SOTR/Sponsor’s instructions.


4.2.3        Safe Egress

As part of its emergency response procedures Jefferson Lab requires that everyone be advised by their supervisor/SOTR/sponsor of the means for safe egress from their primary assigned location to a designated “muster point.”  Muster points are identified on emergency egress plans posted at strategic locations within the buildings. 


Step 1:            Remove items stored in egress pathways.


Step 2:            Periodically review egress and muster point locations.


4.3              Mechanical Hazards

Office equipment and tools pose unique hazard issues if not maintained or stored properly. These hazards include but are not limited to:


4.3.1        Sharp Edges


Step 1:            Keep cutter arm/blades locked when not in use. 


Step 2:            Ensure the tension device holds the arm/blade securely in the position during use. (e.g., Guillotine-type paper trim should not fall shut during use.)


4.3.2        Pinch/Puncture/Cuts


Step 1:            Keep tools and equipment closed when not in use.


Step 2:            Keep your fingers well clear of the blade’s path.


Step 3:            Keep your hands away from spinning, grinding, sliding or flexing tools and equipment.


4.4              Chemical Hazards

Jefferson Lab understands that chemicals (e.g., printer toners, adhesives, and sanitizers) are used in an office environment and has determined that working with chemicals carries an unmitigated Risk Code >2 (see ES&H Manual Chapter 6610 Chemical Hygiene Program). At a minimum all tasks requiring chemicals are discussed with your supervisor so that it is clearly understood that the following activities are being performed:  


4.4.1        Toxic Material


Step 1:            Read and follow the information on the product label and/or the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). (If you are uncertain how to interpret the information, or if you want more information about a product, contact the SDS Coordinator).


Step 2:            Adequate ventilation requirements are enforced.  Excessive concentrations of airborne chemicals can pose a health hazard. 


Step 3:            Disposal consideration. Reprographic chemicals (e.g., liquid and dry toner), paints, and adhesives cannot be disposed of in regular office trash. Contact the SDS Coordinator for appropriate disposal options.


5.0             Revision Summary


Revision 1.2 – 11/02/20 – Updated header and footer, change ESH&Q to ES&H, minor edits no approval needed

Revision 1.1 – 11/02/15 – Periodic Review; reference to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) replaced with Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

Revision 1.0 – 12/21/10 – Formerly titled ‘Workplace Safety Requirements’, renamed to reflect current laboratory operations











ES&H Division

Smitty Chandler





This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 11/5/2020.