Quality America

Ask Dr. Dunn - Space Heater

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.

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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