Creating a comfortable work environment is crucial for employee productivity and well-being. However, it is essential to approach the use of space heaters with caution to ensure both comfort and safety. A study conducted at Cornell emphasized the impact of temperature on work quality, revealing that warmer employees tend to be more productive, while chilly workers are prone to making errors. To strike the right balance, consider implementing the following guidelines to safely incorporate space heaters into the workplace.
Guidelines for Safe Use of Space Heaters
- Inspect the Electrical Cord: Before using any space heater, carefully examine the electrical cord for signs of wear, frayed wires or cracked insulation. If any defects are found, the heater should not be used to prevent electrical hazards.
- Avoid Flammable Areas: Never use space heaters in locations where flammable materials are stored or used in order to prevent potential fire hazards.
- Choose Approved Heaters: Ensure that the space heaters used in the workplace meets essential safety standards and have been approved for use by a recognized safety testing laboratory.
- Automatic Safety Switch: Select space heaters equipped with an automatic safety switch that turns off the unit if tripped or knocked over. This feature adds an extra layer of protection against potential accidents.
- Direct Wall Plug-in: To minimize the risk of electrical issues, always plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet. Avoid using extension cords or power strips, as they may not handle the heater’s power requirements safely.
- Never Leave Unattended: It’s crucial to never leave a space heater unattended while in operation. Turning off the unit when not in use reduces the risk of accidents and contributes to overall workplace safety.
- Maintain Adequate Clearance: Allow at least three feet of clearance between the space heater and any combustible materials. This precaution helps prevent overheating and minimizes the risk of fire.
- Avoid Wet or High-Traffic Areas: Place heaters in appropriate locations and keep them away from wet areas and high-traffic zones, such as exit ways.
- Register with the Manufacturer: Stay promptly informed regarding any recalls or safety notices provided by manufacturer. This proactive measure ensures that employees are aware of potential issues and can take necessary precautions.
Reach out to an Advisor
By adhering to the outlined guidelines, employers can create a warm and secure work environment, striking a balance between employee well-being and workplace safety. Reach out to an experienced advisor to learn more about safety standards and key factors in successfully integrating space heaters into the workplace.