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Section B.3
University of South Carolina Safety Program Guide

OFFICE AND CLASSROOM SAFETY

Introduction

Though offices and classrooms are thought of as relatively safe working environments, they can present potential risks that are often overlooked. Blocked exits, tripping hazards, improper storage practices, and electrical hazards are some of the potential safety concerns that could be found in any office or classroom.

Scope and Application

This Safety Program Guide applies to all office and classroom space used by a Department.

Program Description

As with any other functional area within your department, each office and classroom should be inspected annually. To promote consistency and completeness in this process, use of the self-audit checklist is recommended.

When operational deficiencies (e.g. improper storage on shelving, blocked stairways, damaged extension cords, etc.) are discovered, clear responsibility for corrective action should be assigned to a specific individual. Facility deficiencies should be referred to Facilities Management or appropriate facilities or physical plant operating unit. Guidance in making this determination is available from Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

In addition to the items listed on the Office and Classroom Safety Self-Audit Checklist, related topics are covered in other sections of the guide. Safety Program B.1, Computer Workstations, describes methods to prevent repetitive motion injuries and eye strain related to work with computers. Safety Program B.2, Back Care Program, is appropriate where an individual's job involves lifting or moving large or heavy objects. Safety Program C.7, Portable Ladder Safety, applies to use of portable ladders to reach areas more than six feet from the floor.

Roles and Responsibilities

Department

  • Perform annual safety surveys of departmental spaces.
  • Correct deficiencies or refer to Facilities Department as appropriate.

Supervisors

  • Ensure unsafe conditions are corrected in a timely manner.

EHS

  • Provide guidance to Department in conducting safety surveys and assessment of results.
  • Assist in developing solutions to problems identified during surveys.

Individual

  • Report unsafe conditions to supervisors.

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