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Space Heaters at Work

Q: One of our employees says she is always cold and has brought her space heater to work. She keeps it under her desk. Is this an OSHA violation?

A: The 1997 Life Safety Code (LSC), under paragraphs 12/13-7.7, prohibits portable space heaters in ambulatory care facilities. However, exceptions allow space heaters in nonsleeping staff and employee areas where the heating elements don't get hotter than 212 F.

From a fire prevention standpoint, be sure her space heater is turned off before she goes home. A space heater close to a chair, left on overnight, could result in melted chair bases, burned coats or worse. Because of those dangers and the impracticality of trying to accurately measure the 212 F threshold set by the LSC, most health care facilities do not allow space heaters on the premises.

Posted by Quality America on March 16, 2007 | Comments (0)

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