Spring is not just a great time to clear your office of dust bunnies and vacuum around your desk; it is also a good time to eliminate safety hazards in your workplace or shop area. Check these areas while spring cleaning:
Inspect the building and outlying buildings: Take a good look at the exterior of your buildings. Yes, maintenance should be looking, too, but an extra pair of safety eyes is always a plus. Are there signs of damage, leaks, or deteriorated wood? Are signs faded? Don’t wait until next winter to correct these issues.
Inspect the grounds: Have footings washed away or hazards been uncovered now that the seasons have changed? Is cement spalling or potholes formed in the parking lot or roadways?
Electrical outlets and cords: Check electrical outlets and cords throughout your workplace. Frayed wires or loose fitting plugs are potential fire hazards. Look at outlets, fuse boxes, and extension cords to make sure they are not overloaded.
Fire extinguishers: Check your fire extinguisher at least once yearly, including the hose, nozzle, and other parts, to make sure it is in good condition. The pressure gauge should be in the “green” range. If necessary, move your fire extinguisher to an accessible place.
Flammable materials: Keep all flammable materials and liquids several feet away from gas furnaces and water heaters. When possible, store all flammable liquids in a UL-approved flammable liquid storage cabinet.
Furnace: Clean or replace your furnace filter.
Smoke/Carbon monoxide detectors: Inspect each smoke/carbon monoxide detector to ensure it is in working order, and test all detectors monthly. Ideally, have at least one smoke detector on each floor of your workspace. Install additional smoke detectors as needed. Plan the batter change of your detectors around a calendar event like daylight savings time.