Quality America

Ask Dr. Dunn - Crowded Office

Q: We've outgrown our current building and plan to relocate to a larger facility next year. In the meantime, space is at a minimum and, in some areas, boxes and other things are stacked from floor to ceiling. Any suggestions for avoiding OSHA violations?

A: First and foremost, be sure that your means of egress in the event of a fire or other disaster is clear. This means that doorways, aisles, fire extinguishers and exits are clear and free of debris. Aisles should be at least 44 inches wide and not be blocked by storage boxes, surplus furniture, copy machines or other equipment. Don't allow items to be stored closer than 18 inches from the ceiling below sprinkler heads. Also, don't store items higher than 5 feet unless a stepstool is accessible. Stacked items must be stable and secure. Keep stored items at least 3 feet from a heat source. Do not store combustible items directly in front of outlets. Dispose of trash frequently to avoid accumulation in aisles and express routes.

Need help with OSHA compliance? Ask Dr. Dunn or browse our helpful osha manuals & compliance programs.

Posted by Quality America on December 30, 2005 | Comments (0)


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  • About Dr. Dunn

Dr. Sheila Dunn is president and CEO of Quality America, Inc., a health care consulting firm located in Asheville, NC. She holds a doctoral degree in medical
laboratory education, and is a widely
respected lecturer and author of more than 200 articles on practice management and regulatory compliance issues for the primary care medical market.
(More about Dr. Dunn)

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