Space Heater Safety in the Workplace

Are you using space heaters in the workplace because it’s always freezing in your office? You’re not alone. Space heaters can be a common fixture in the workplace during the colder months. However, when they are used incorrectly, space heaters can wreck havoc in the workplace, causing fires, electric sock and even produce carbon monoxide.

As an employer, if you do not already have a formal policy prohibiting the use of space heaters within your facility, it is important to implement one immediately. Practicing safe use of space heaters is crucial to the safety of your employees and your work environment. Here guidelines that should be implemented in your workplace:

• Use of space heaters should not be allowed unless supervisors or management approves the use of such heaters.

• Units that have been listed or labeled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek) should be the only space heaters permitted for use.

• Keep the heaters at least 36 inches away from walls or other flammable materials.

• Proper placement of the space heater is key. Be sure it Is not in a high-traffic area where it may become a tripping hazard.

• If using an electrical space heater, make sure electrical cords and plugs are not frayed or damaged. Always plug the heater directly into the wall outlet, and be sure the power cord is not crossing a walkway.

• Be sure the space heaters are never left unattended and all employees turn off the heater at the end of the day before leaving the office.

Safe habits in the workplace can create for a safe and happy work environment!