During cold weather months, space heaters are commonly used in the workplace. Using these heaters properly will keep employees warm. However, if used incorrectly or not as intended, a fire could start, an electrical shock could occur, and carbon monoxide may be produced if the heater burns fuel. To better control these hazards, all companies should have an enforced space heater policy and established best practices if they are allowed.
■ Prior to use all heaters should be approved by management.
■ A clearance of a minimum of 36 Inches around each heater should be maintained.
■ Combustibles and flammables should not be in this area.
■ Do not place in high traffic areas where they can cause trip falls on the cord or heater.
■ Frayed or damage damaged electrical cords should never be used.
■ Do not use in conjunction with power strips or extension cords.
■ Plug unit directly into an electrical socket.
■ Do not run cords across walkways or under rugs.
■ Heaters should never be left unattended. It the employee leaves the room to attend a meeting or goes out for lunch the heater should be turned off and unplugged at the end of the day.
Fuel Fired Space Heaters:
If used make sure they are safe and consider the following:
■ Complete at least annually, inspections by a certified technician to properly adjust and clean.
■ Follow all manufacturer’s instructions and maintenance schedules such as:
1. Inspect the built-in safety devices (oxygen depletion, tip over and touch sensors).
2. Inspect fuel lines and tanks for possible damage, corrosion and possible leaks
3. Before turning on or lighting the heater make sure the controls are working properly.
4. Inspect the exhaust fan for blockage.
5. Visually look at all gaskets and vents and check for any possible corrosion, possible blockage or holes.
6. Inspect for any possible damage, do not use if damage is found.