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Preventing Cuts and Punctures

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Cuts and punctures happen when people use everyday office supplies without exercising care. Follow these guidelines to help reduce the chance for cuts and punctures:

  • When sealing envelopes, use a liquid dispenser, not your tongue.
  • Be careful when using kitchen knives, scissors, staplers, letter openers, and box openers. Any of these items could cause a painful injury.
  • Avoid picking up broken glass with your bare hands. Wear gloves and use a broom and a dust pan.
  • Place used blades or broken glass in a rigid container, such as a box, before disposing in a wastebasket.

5. Preventing Machine Accidents

Only use machines that you know how to operate. Never attempt to operate an unfamiliar machine without reading the machine instructions or receiving directions from a qualified employee. In addition, follow these guidelines to ensure machine safety:

  • Secure machines that tend to move during operation.
  • Do not place machines near the edge of a table or desk.
  • Ensure that machines with moving parts are guarded to prevent accidents. Do not remove these guards.
  • Unplug defective machines and have them repaired immediately.
  • Do not use any machine that smokes, sparks, shocks, or appears defective in any way.
  • Close hand-operated paper cutters after each use and activate the guard.
  • Take care when working with copy machines. If you have to open the machine for maintenance, repair, or troubleshooting, remember that some parts may be hot. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for troubleshooting.
  • Unplug paper shredders before conducting maintenance, repair, or troubleshooting.

Some items can be very dangerous when worn around machinery with moving parts. Avoid wearing the following items around machines within unguarded moving parts:

  • Loose belts
  • Jewelry
  • Long, loose hair
  • Long, loose sleeves or pants
  • Scarves
  • Ties

6. Preventing Slips and Falls

As outlined in the General Safety chapter of this manual, the easiest way to avoid slips and falls is to pay attention to your surroundings and to avoid running or rushing. To ensure safety for others in the office, however, follow these guidelines:

  • Arrange office furnishings in a manner that provides unobstructed areas for movement.
  • Keep stairs, steps, flooring, and carpeting well maintained.
  • Ensure that glass doors have some type of marking to keep people from walking through them.
  • Clearly mark any difference in floor level that could cause an accident.
  • Secure throw rugs and mats to prevent slipping hazards.
  • Do not place wastebaskets or other objects in walkways.