Leaflet 20 - Office Safety by Bv79aD6

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									                                           BFG SHEF MANUAL - PART 2 – LEAFLET 20

      Leaflet 20 - Office Safety

      Table of contents

      REVISION SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................... 1
      REFERENCES: ................................................................................................................................. 1
      INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................ 2
      DUTIES............................................................................................................................................ 2
            Commanding officers .......................................................................................................... 2
            Line managers..................................................................................................................... 2
            Employees........................................................................................................................... 2
      GUIDANCE FOR LINE MANAGERS ....................................................................................................... 2
      RISK ASSESSMENTS ......................................................................................................................... 2
      OFFICE HAZARD SURVEY AND ACTION PLAN ....................................................................................... 2
      W ORKING ENVIRONMENT .................................................................................................................. 2
      TRAINING ........................................................................................................................................ 2
      RECORDS ........................................................................................................................................ 3
      ANNEX A - OFFICE MACHINERY – POTENTIAL HAZARDS AND RISKS ..................................................... 4
            Potential Hazards ................................................................................................................ 4
            Toners ................................................................................................................................. 4
            Carbon Black ....................................................................................................................... 4
            Polymer Resin ..................................................................................................................... 4
            Selenium and Cadmium Sulphide ....................................................................................... 5
            Ozone .................................................................................................................................. 5
            Nitrogen oxide ..................................................................................................................... 5
            Carbon monoxide ................................................................................................................ 5
            Ultra Violet Light .................................................................................................................. 5
            Noise levels ......................................................................................................................... 5
            Fire potential........................................................................................................................ 5
            Heat ..................................................................................................................................... 5
            Laser Printers ...................................................................................................................... 5
            Risk Assessment ................................................................................................................. 6
            Safety Data.......................................................................................................................... 6
            Recommendations .............................................................................................................. 6
            Sources/further advice ........................................................................................................ 7
      ANNEX B – POTENTIAL HAZARDS CHECK SHEET ................................................................................. 8

      Revision summary

      The only authoritative version is that published on the HQ BFG SHEF Website. All other copies,
      printed or electronic, are defined as uncontrolled. Changed information since the last revision is shown
      in blue text below and is hyperlinked. Previous revisions are then incorporated in black text but remain
      indicated on the record below until overwritten by subsequent amendment. Minor editorial and syntax
      changes as well as any deletions are not shown.

      Comments or suggestions for amendment are to be submitted through garrison SHEF focal points to
      SO1 SHEF G3 Ops Sp HQ BFG.

                                 Subject (Ctrl+click)                                                            Date of revision
           Working environment                                                                                   16 Jul 10
           New Annex B - Potential hazards check sheet                                                           16 Jul 10
           UKSC or GSG replaced with BFG                                                                         03 Mar 12


      References:

      A.       JSP 375 Vol 2, Leaflet 17.
      B.       Arbeitsstättenverordnung.
      C.       BGI – 774.


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                                BFG SHEF MANUAL - PART 2 – LEAFLET 20

Leaflet 20 - Office Safety

Introduction
1.     Offices, although normally considered benign, do have their own particular hazards ranging from
psychological, such as stress, to physical such as slips, trips and falls or work related upper limb disorder
(WRULD). Research shows that office workers tend to be exposed more to health rather than safety risks but
nevertheless both have the same priority when considering the methods of elimination and/or the controls
required.

Duties

Commanding officers
2.    Commanding officers are to ensure that their unit has adequate arrangements for the management of
hazards and risks in their office environments. The arrangements are to be monitored and reviewed as
necessary.

Line managers
3.    Line managers are to ensure that all office hazards are identified and the risk of harm assessed and
appropriate control measures implemented to reduce the risk of harm to employees.

Employees
4. Employees are to use any office equipment in accordance with the manufacturer instructions and the
training provided by the employer.

Guidance for Line managers
5.      Detailed guidance on managing the risks associated with office environments is provided by
Reference A. There are a number of typical hazards in an office environment that may be considered as
significant risks to the staff, for example: Work Related Upper Limb Disorders, use of electrical and
mechanical appliances such as electrical staplers or guillotines, manual handling and slip, trips and falls.

Risk assessments
6.      Risk assessments are to be completed for all office environments and where risks are evaluated as
significant, but cannot be eliminated, then appropriate control measures are to be implemented to minimise
them to as low as reasonably practicable. Some further guidance on risk associated with office machinery in
particular are at Annex A.

Office hazard survey and action plan
7. It is recommended that units complete for each office area a short hazard survey and action plan at
Annex B. This is not mandatory but compliance will help inform risk assessments and to plan remedial action
required and reduce, in so far as is reasonably practicable, the risk of these hazards affecting staff or visitors.
The hazards shown may not apply to all areas, whilst some may have others hazards and control measures
which need to be added. This is a matter for local judgement.

Working environment
8.     There are a number of differences between References A and B such as temperature and room
space. Providing heating schedules are effective, these are unlikely to impinge on the employees' H&S.
Where DEL and military work together in an office environment then References B and C are to apply in
order to conform to the SofS direction to comply with overseas standards. It should be noted that the
workplace temperatures for DEL employees are both different and more proscriptive than those for the UK.
Further advice on workplace temperatures is in Leaflet 37 of this manual.

Training
9.     All new employees are to receive appropriate H&S induction training so that they are fully familiar with
the hazards and risks associated with their office environment. Instruction should also be given on specific
issues such as how to use the office equipment safely, where to get first aid assistance, and what actions to
take in the event of an emergency. The level of the induction training can vary considerably and is
dependant on local circumstances based on the risk assessment. Refresher and further training is to be
provided as appropriate.


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10. Line managers are required to be competent to carry out risk assessments. In the majority of cases,
based on risk, no special training is required, but the assessor should have an understanding of the office
environment and an ability to make sound judgements. Competency therefore can be seen as a combination
of knowledge, skills, experience and personal qualities, which includes the ability to recognise the extent and
limitations of one's own competence and the need for further assistance where necessary.

11. Where a line manager does not possess the necessary competence to, for example, carry out a DSE
assessment then advice and help should be sought from the local USA or other specialist. It is stressed
though that the responsibility for completing a risk assessment lies entirely with the line manger.

Records
12. Risk assessments should be retained for 5 years and are not to be destroyed on review but held in
case of future potential claims as a result of an accident or incident. Where the assessment identifies the
potential for employees to be exposed to a prescribed reportable disease, impulse noise or radiation which
requires health screening or surveillance then a copy of the assessment should form part of the employee's
records and kept for 40 years.

13. Arrangements must be made to protect the information in these records and to ensure that they are not
lost or destroyed in event of a unit being disbanded, moved, amalgamated or restructured.




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Annex A - Office Machinery – potential hazards and risks

OFFICE MACHINERY – POTENTIAL HAZARDS AND RISKS

1. Large machines which are capable of collating or are used regularly for long copy runs should be sited
in dedicated copy rooms with adequate natural or mechanical ventilation. If this is not possible, they should
be placed well away from staff workstations and long runs of printing or copying carried out at times when
the minimum of stress will be caused to staff, e.g. break times.

2. Photocopiers and laser printers are used world-wide by many people without any problems. Office
machinery like any machinery that is installed, maintained or operated improperly can cause problems of an
unpredictable nature. In addition, certain individuals are more susceptible to the possible problems caused
by office machinery than others are.

3. According to the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health and specialists in atmospheric
particles, the average printer releases toner particles which can get deep into the lungs and cause
respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Appropriate installation and operation can reduce the hazards and
risks.

Potential Hazards
4. The sources of possible health concerns relates to Toner, Carbon Black, Polymer Resin, Ozone, Light
and Ultraviolet Light, Noise and Heat and Laser Beam.

Toners
5. Toners are usually a combination of synthetic resin and carbon black frequently with other supplements.
Toner is a fine powder, which in itself is not classed as a substance hazardous to health, but any dust in
substantial concentration may cause respiratory tract irritation resulting in coughing and sneezing.

6. Toner dust may become airborne for a variety of reasons; toner dust spilled inside the machine
becomes airborne by passing through the ventilation fans into the room, the waste toner compartment fills up
and causes toner to back up inside the machine or the careless renewal of the toner cartridge causes a spill
of toner into the room.

7. Toners should be handled with caution, protective gloves should be used, dust release minimised and
instructions observed. Exposure to skin can cause itchiness and other health effects can include headaches
and irritated eyes. Maintenance staff are at risk from repeated contact which can result in skin and eye
irritation.

8. If toner is spilt, it is best to vacuum it up, rather than brush it off to avoid raising dust. The remainder
should be removed using a damp cloth rinsed in cold water. Hot water should be avoided as it may cause the
toner to partially melt and become sticky. Toner may be disposed of as normal waste, though it should be
placed in a sealed bag to contain the fine powder.

Carbon Black
9. Carbon black is categorised as a ’nuisance dust’, it is only mildly toxic in itself, but will contain impurities
that are potentially carcinogenic. Numerous studies have been carried out to determine the effects of
exposure to carbon black. In all instances, there was no evidence of cancer production or fatalities. The
small content of carbon black is not a cause for concern.

Polymer Resin
10. The image fixing of the final copy uses a low melt polymer resin; this varies in its composition
dependant on the manufacturer. The heat required for this process is just sufficient to melt the resin and
vapour produced is minimal and insignificant.




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Selenium and Cadmium Sulphide
11. Some copiers use a drum impregnated with these chemicals. The gas they emit, especially when hot,
can cause throat irritation to exposed workers. This is mostly a risk to maintenance staff when cleaning or
grinding the surface of the drum.

Ozone
12. Exposure to concentrations of ozone is the most common concern amongst users of photocopiers and
laser printers. Ozone (O3) a form of oxygen, is a normal constituent of the earth’s atmosphere. It is a highly
reactive, unstable, colourless gas with a distinctive, sweet smelling odour, which can be detected when its
presence is too high.

13. Ozone is also produced during many industrial activities where UV radiation is emitted, e.g. arc welding,
during curing of printing inks, varnishes, lacquers and use of projection lamps. It is also produced around
high voltage electrical discharges such as electrostatic precipitators and x-ray machines.

14. Uses include improving air quality in offices, odour suppresser in hotel bedrooms, commercial kitchens,
cafeterias and food processing plants, as a disinfectant in drinking water production and in swimming pools.

15. Ozone is produced during the high voltage electrical discharge in photocopiers and laser printers.
Though ozone can degrade quite rapidly in the atmosphere, this process can be inhibited by high humidity,
temperature and by some effects of office furnishings.

16. As ozone is such a highly reactive substance, any adverse health effects will be found essentially at the
sites of initial contact; the respiratory tract (nose, throat and airways), the lungs and at higher concentrations,
the eyes. The principle health affects are produced by irritation of and damage to the small airways of the
lung.

Nitrogen oxide
17. This gas may be produced when there is a spark in electrostatic photocopiers. Its effects on people are
similar to those produced by carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide
18. This gas is produced when toner (containing carbon black) is heated in an inadequate air supply. In an
insufficient ventilated environment this can induce headaches, drowsiness, faintness and increased pulse
rate and carbon monoxide can cross the placenta and affect the unborn child.

Ultra Violet Light
19. UV light can cause eye irritation and burns. The photocopier lid should be kept fully depressed when
the machine is being operated.


Noise levels
20. Noise levels can reach up to 65dB(A) for standard photocopiers. Copiers with noisy collaters should be
positioned as far from staff as possible.


Fire potential
21. Excessive dust in electrical equipment will cause sparking. The availability of carbon dioxide fire
extinguishers near machines is essential.


Heat
22. Even though the majority of machines cut out when opened, they should be switched off before
attempting to extract jammed paper. Contact with surfaces that can be very hot should be avoided hands
washed immediately after paper removal to remove traces of toner dust.

Laser Printers
23. Unlike photocopiers, laser printers are usually placed on desktops beside workers. They produce ozone
like conventional copiers. Tests on the effectiveness of filters under factory conditions do not reflect the

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deterioration in performance under heavy use in the workplace. The regular inspections of filters which may
need replacing will reduce any hazard.

Risk Assessment
24. With some work activities, there may be exposure to small amounts of ozone that is without any
significant risk to health. These low risk work activities are mainly encountered in office environments. They
include working with most types of photocopiers, printers, projectors, x-ray machines (all types): medical,
dental, industrial and some types of room deodorisers.

25. Manufacturers and suppliers should provide recommendations on the siting and use of such equipment.
The preferred option is to put the equipment in a dedicated room. Where this is not practicable, it may be
necessary to site the equipment in a well ventilated area.

26. Slow output ozone generators are often used to improve air quality in offices, or to act as a commercial
odour suppresser. These generators emit small quantities of ozone. Assessment of the most appropriate
siting and ventilation should be carried out in the same way as for printers and copiers.

Safety Data
27. Most companies will supply Product Safety Data Sheets (PSDS) relating to their machines and by law
they have to provide on request, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) relating to the products used with the
machine, e.g. toner.

28. The PSDS will give details of siting requirements for the particular machine such as the minimum
volume of the room required for natural ventilation, noise emission levels and ozone emission levels.

29. The MSDS will give information on the health risks of the product, if any, such as exposure routes of
entry to the body, symptoms, first aid measures and waste disposal measures.

Recommendations
30. The responsibility for ensuring that a photocopier or laser printer does not present a health hazard is
shared between the manufacturer, the installer and the operator. Whilst the risks to health from photocopier
or printer use are slight, the following points should be borne in mind when they are purchased, installed and
used. Smaller machines which are not capable of collating and are not used regularly for long runs may be
housed within the room occupied by staff.

31. The following recommendations are made:

     a. Air vented from the machine into the room should be filtered (most modern machines incorporate
     filters to reduce ozone emission).

     b.   Machines should be sited so that exhaust emissions do not travel over workstations or personnel.

     c.   Machines should be serviced regularly.

     d. Consideration should be given to the adequacy of the ventilation in the room, i.e. size of room,
     natural or mechanical ventilation.

     e. Refilling techniques for toner in dry (xerographic) machines should be given special attention
     avoiding spillage wherever possible.

     f. Toner spillages should be cleaned up with care and ideally if persons are known to have
     compromised respiratory systems they should not be asked to carry out this task.

     g.   Spent toner from a machine should be placed in sealed bags for disposal.




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Sources/further advice
31. This advice has been drawn together from a range of internet sources to provide guidance and some
basic details of health and safety issues. It is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be taken as
an authoritative statement of applicable legislation. The following hyperlinks (IGS required) may be useful for
further reference:

http://www.tssa.org.uk/article-47.php3?id_article=982
“Photocopiers and printers in the office”

http://www.hse.gov.uk/printing/coshhessentials/index.htm
“COSHH Essentials for Printers”

http://www.lhc.org.uk/members/pubs/factsht/58fact.htm
“Indoor workplace air pollution”

http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/resources/General/printers.shtm
University of Edinburgh Health and Safety Health and Safety Department “Photocopiers and Laser Printers
Health Hazards”

http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=tl&catcode=as_chr_02&rid=152&pagenum=1&NextStart=1&pr
int=1
“How to plan the safe installation of ICT in schools”




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             Annex B – Potential hazards check sheet

Potential Hazards        Who might be harmed and                 What are you already doing?            What further          Action     Target   Action
                         how?                                                                           action is             by         Date     completed
                                                                                                        necessary?            (Named
                                                                                                                              person
                                                                                                                              or appt)
Working at height        Falls from any height can cause          Using proper step ladders; staff      Check to see
                                                                  shown how to use these safely.        that safe working
Filing on top shelves,   bruising and fractures.                  Internal windows cleaned by           process is being
putting up decorations                                            contractor using a stepladder.        applied
etc
Filing Cabinets          Opening more than one draw              All cabinets marked with               Ensure all
                                                                 appropriate warning labels.            replacement
                         may cause the cabinet to topple.        All staff instructed on safe use of    cabinets are of
                                                                 filing cabinets                        the safety type.



Stress                   All staff could be affected by          Applying COs Stress                    Use tool box
                                                                  Management Policy                     talks or quarterly
                         factors such as lack of job                                                    safety briefs to
                         control, bullying, not knowing                                                 remind all
                         their role etc.                                                                personnel of the
                                                                                                        units stress
                                                                                                        management
                                                                                                        policy

Electrical               Electrical shocks or burns from         All electrical equipment is subject    Ensure that all
                                                                 to PAT testing by a competent          portable
                         using faulty electrical equipment.      person and the results recorded        appliances have
                         Electrical faults can also lead to      in the electrical equipment            been tested
                         fires.                                  register                               If unsure, ask
                                                                 Staff trained to spot and report to    when the next
                                                                 office administrator/chief clerk       safety check of
                                                                 any defective plugs, discoloured       the electrical
                                                                 sockets or damaged                     installation will
                                                                 cable/equipment.                       be done.
                                                                 Defective equipment taken out of
                                                                 use safely and promptly replaced.

Fire                     If trapped, staff could suffer fatal    Ensuring full compliance with all      Regular fire
                                                                 Fire Risk assessments and              safety checks by
                         injuries from smoke                     control measures. Ensure that          competent
                         inhalation/burns.                       FSMP risks and control                 persons. Suitable
                                                                 measures are know by all               and sufficient fire
                                                                 occupants.                             trg to all staff.
Entrance Steps and       Staff and visitors may be               Ensure cleaning and clearing
                                                                 plan is in place, effective and well
walkways may be          exposed to hazards. Slips, trips        communicated. Plan ahead for
slippery Rain, leaves,   and falls.                              timely provision and use of
snow and ice.                                                    salt/grit etc




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