Did you participate in Spring Cleaning? The weather changes, so you can finally take linens outside to air them out. You do a thorough cleaning of your home, looking to make sure all is clean and in its’ place.
Have you done that for your work place?
SCM performs assessments of workplaces. And across the board in many sites, there are some areas that we often take note of that are in need of some “housekeeping.” Here’s a list. You may be able to come up with more.
1. In front of electrical panels. Some companies take the time and effort to provide striping or signage that the space is required to be kept clear. In some busy work places, if there is an empty spot, it often gets filled. First a ladder, then a broom, and the next thing you know, you can’t see the panel for the things stored in front of it. However, all electrical panels/equipment serving between 120 volts and higher require a minimum of three feet of clearance andare required to be freely accessible.This is a requirement of OSHA and the Fire Code.
2. On or around fire extinguishers. We remember an assessment on a particularly rainy day. The fire extinguishers in the facility had become convenient hangers for wet umbrellas. We have seen other facilities where, just like the electrical panels mentioned above, the area around the fire extinguisher had become cluttered with other objects. OSHA and the Fire Code require that fire extinguishers be “readily accessible.” If you are faced with a fire, you want the path to the extinguisher to be unobstructed, right?
3. Around automated fire sprinklers. Both OSHA and Fire Codes require that those automated fire sprinklers up in the ceiling have an 18-inch clearance. But it is so tempting to store things on the top shelves of cabinets and shelving, right near those sprinklers. If your work place was on fire, wouldn’t you want to have the sprinklers unobstructed and able to put out the fire as quickly as possible? If your building does not have sprinklers, many Fire Codes require that all storage be at least two feet below the ceiling.
4. Under wooden stairs. You have lots of file boxes full of documents to store. Those documents are, of course, printed on paper. And right over there, under the stairs, is a nice, open space. Why not store the paper there? Storage of combustible materials under stairways that are not protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system or which are not enclosed and protected by one-hour fire rated construction create the potential for the stairs to fail or be unusable during a fire. This could result in employees becoming trapped through the loss of the stairs as an exit.
5. Use of portable heaters in the workplace without an established procedure. The use of space heaters in a facility is often the result of poor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. When allowed, their use must comply with Fire Code requirements. This requires that the equipment be listed and approved for such use, be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, and that a clearance of at least 36 inches is maintained between the heater and any combustible materials.
What do all these items have in common? They are all fire hazards. Taking care of these housekeeping issues does more than tidy up the workplace. It protects your worksite from potentially devastating fires.
2019 Calendar of classes is now on the SCM Website. Start with thislinkand scroll forward to find the training you need.
6/17 – 19: 24 hour HAZWOPER. $449.
6/17 – 21: 40 hour HAZWOPER. $559.
6/20 – 21. 16 hour Crossover Module.$250.
You can register online through the links provided, or call our office at 925-362-2265.
We offer the California
Heat Illness Prevention course, the HAZWOPER First Responder Operations course and the Incident Command course online! See them and register at:
We offer discounts and group rates. To see more about our offers, follow this link: Discounts