Filing Cabinents - File Cabinet Safety Tips

File cabinet injuries and mishaps occur every day. But they are easily prevented. A few simple safety tips will help you to make file cabinets, the most used piece of office furniture, safe for everyone.


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The number of workplace related injuries is on the rise. File cabinets, with their moving parts, bulky metal frames and heavy drawers, can be a workplace hazard. Regardless of whether you use wood lateral file cabinets, vertical file cabinets, desk side file cabinets, or fireproof file cabinets, the risk is just as great.

And wooden file cabinets are no safer than metal file cabinets. That being said, you can keep yourself and your co-workers out of harm's way, and productive, by following a few simple safety tips.

Closing file cabinets correctly – Most of us close a file cabinet drawer without giving much thought as to whether we are doing it correctly. You don't want to shut a drawer with your fingers curled around the edge of the drawer when pushing it shut. That is why the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation recommends always using the handle to close the file cabinet drawer.

Opening file cabinets correctly:

Take special care when opening filing cabinet drawers in crowded areas. Be sure, before opening, that no one is in the path of or crouched beneath the drawer. The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation also recommends carefully checking the edges of your cabinets for roughness or irregularities to avoid scratches or cuts. If you find a rough area, it can be filed down or the cabinet can be repositioned so it won't cause injury.

Filing cabinet location:

When placing your filing cabinet, make sure that the drawers do not open into high-traffic corridors in your office. If possible, situate cabinets in less-traveled areas of your office so protruding drawers are not a hazard.

Manage file cabinet load:

Control your urge to stuff all of your files in the top drawer of your file cabinet. Top-heavy cabinets are at risk of falling over when you open the drawers. Instead, evenly disperse the cabinet's contents among all drawers.

Think low when storing heavy items:

The University of North Dakota recommends storing items in the lower drawers of filing cabinets. Heavier items in the lower drawers will stabilize the cabinet. Also, the top of the file cabinet is not a safe place for storage. If someone were to slam a drawer or open one quickly, the item may slide off the cabinet.

Spread out your files:

Make sure that there is ample space in the drawers so that workers don't have to strain to insert or remove files. This is one way to prevent hand and wrist injuries. This will also improve your ability to find documents with minimum manual effort.


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