Office File Cabinet Safety Tips

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File cabinets are a common feature in most offices. These large pieces of furniture can store massive amounts of information and are useful for organizing papers. However, filing cabinets are a source of many workplace injuries. Taking some safety precautions with the file cabinets in your office can help to prevent many of these common hazards.

Storage

  • Many people fill their filing cabinets with little thought to the careful placement of each item. Keeping the filing cabinet properly organized will help to prevent injuries and accidents. When possible, the drawers should be equal in weight. If they are uneven, the heavier items should be placed at the bottom. A heavy top drawer can cause the entire cabinet to tip over when the drawer is pulled out. If items other than files are being stored in the cabinet, make sure that they fit neatly into the drawer. Items that stick up past the top of the drawer can get caught in the cabinet, making it difficult to open.

Placement

  • Filing cabinets should be placed out of the path of traffic when possible. This will help to reduce injuries caused by running into an open drawer. Placing the filing cabinet up against a wall will also help to keep it stable and sturdy. When installing new file cabinets, always make sure that they are level so that they aren't in danger of tipping over. A file cabinet that tips forward may have the added danger of drawers that slide open on their own.

Maintenance

  • A good set of file cabinets will be a useful piece of furniture for years to come. Some simple maintenance can keep the cabinet in good working order. Check periodically for rough edges. Wood cabinets may develop splinters and metal cabinets can have sharp, jagged corners. Sand or file down these rough spots as soon as you notice them. Make sure that the cabinet always has a sturdy handle on it. If the handle is loose or falls off, it should be repaired right away. Closing a drawer without the use of a handle can result in painfully pinched fingers. You should also take the time to reorganize the file cabinet periodically. Make sure that there is plenty of room to comfortably pull files out of the cabinet, and replace them without having to struggle with stuffed drawers.

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