An EHS Checklist for Low-Risk Technology Facilities

An EHS Checklist for Low-Risk Technology Facilities

April 4th, 2016

For environment, health and safety (EHS) managers at technology companies, identifying, assessing and prioritizing potential risks in a lower-risk environment - from offices to call centers - is part of the job. And when it comes to EHS programs, compliance is just the start.

The following EHS checklist can serve as an assessment guide for EHS managers of low-risk technology facilities, including the basic requirements facilities need to meet. In addition, this checklist can help uncover other EHS opportunities. EHS programs not only ensure compliance with state and federal requirements, but can also cut costs, decrease a company’s environmental footprint, and boost company image. 

As you read through the checklist, ask yourself: How do my company’s EHS programs stack up? Can I check everything off the list? 

Get started and see where the risks and opportunities may exist. 

Life Safety and Emergency Egress

  • Emergency evacuation routes are clearly marked and are free from obstructions, and evacuation maps are posted.
  • Emergency exit doors are clearly marked, are functioning properly, and open in the direction of travel.
  • Emergency exits lead to a level and safe area that is clear of obstructions or impediments.
  • Evacuation drills are conducted regularly.
  • Regular inspections are performed to ensure that evacuation routes and emergency exit areas are clear and free from obstructions.

Medical Emergencies

  • Emergency Response Teams are formed and trained.
  • Emergency contact information is posted.
  • First aid supplies are well stocked and are not expired.
  • AEDs are checked regularly and maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Eyewash stations and emergency showers are clean, functional and tested at a frequency that meets regulations.

Fire Safety

  • Portable fire extinguishers are visually inspected each month with tags dated and signed.
  • Only trained personnel are approved to use portable fire extinguishers.
  • Sprinkler systems are functioning properly and tested annually.
  • Fire alarms are functioning properly and tested annually.

Slip/Trip/Fall Hazards

  • Work areas are free of tripping hazards such as cords, wires, free-standing electrical fixtures, or damaged carpet or tiles.
  • Work area aisle ways and storage areas are orderly.
  • Warning signs and/or mats are provided when floors are wet.
  • Snow and ice removal is performed when needed.
  • Exterior asphalt and paved areas are maintained to provide level walking surfaces. 

Resource: Check out this infographic with 3 easy tips for making your technology workplace safer.

Offices and Workstations

  • Furniture such as office chairs, desks and cabinets are in good condition and provide an ergonomically safe workstation. 
  • Cubicle walls are secured and not damaged.
  • Portable space heaters are not used unless approved. 

Housekeeping

  • Drinking fountains are clean and in good working order.
  • Staff refrigerators and freezers are cleaned out weekly.
  • There are no combustible materials being stored in boiler, mechanical or electrical rooms.

Maintenance

  • Elevators are inspected regularly and certificates are up-to-date.
  • Doors and locks are in good working order.
  • Ceiling fixtures such as lighting, projectors, televisions and fire sprinkler heads are adequately secured.
  • Temperature and humidity are at normal levels, and there are no signs of mold growth or water leakage in the facility.
  • Burned-out lights are replaced promptly.

Material Handling & Storage

  • Heavy objects and boxes are not stored at heights.
  • Shelves and cabinets are in good condition.
  • Portable ladders are equipped with non-slip feet.
  • Metal ladders are not used for electrical work.

Electrical Safety

  • Electrical cords are not run under carpets, mats, doors or walls.
  • Electrical panels are labelled, closed and undamaged.
  • The space in front of electrical panels is kept clear and free of flammable or combustible materials.
  • Extension cords are not used in place of permanent wiring.

Waste and Recycling

  • Recycling and waste management services are provided, and they’re being properly maintained. (i.e. excessive accumulation of waste and recycling isn’t happening.)
  • All wastes have been identified and regulatory requirements are implemented
  • Common office wastes that have regulatory requirements include spent fluorescent lamps, used batteries, electronic waste (old laptops and cell phones), and facility maintenance wastes such as paints and solvents
  • Waste containers are labelled and kept closed when not in used.
  • Waste areas have appropriate signage and security and inspections are being performed regularly.

Regulatory Permits

  • The facility has identified and is complying with all regulatory requirements, including obtaining required permits, for owned and/or operated equipment. 
  • Common building equipment that have regulatory requirements and may require permits include emergency generators, boilers, fire pump engines, and cooling towers.
  • Copies of all other permits, licenses and approvals have been obtained and conditions are being met.

Chemical Management

  • Safety Data Sheets are maintained and available to all employees for all chemicals at the facility.
  • Regulatory requirements for bulk quantities of chemicals are identified and complied with. Potential bulk chemicals with regulatory requirements include diesel fuel for emergency generators, lead acid batteries in large uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, and refrigerants in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. 
  • All flammable chemicals are kept in a flammable storage cabinet.
  • Any new chemicals are reviewed for health and safety concerns and waste disposal requirements before use.

Program Administration

  • All incidents are being reported in a timely manner and investigated. Corrective actions are implemented promptly.
  • Employee safety training is being completed and is up-to-date.
  • OSHA Posters (All in One) explaining employee rights are displayed.

Resource: See all the employer responsibilities for a safe work environment as outlined by OSHA.

If you’re unable to check off all of the above EHS considerations, start by prioritizing the most pressing issues to tackle first, as well as any low-hanging fruit items that can be quickly or easily remedied.

If you are unsure, or need help, consider reaching out to an EHS consultant to ensure your facility is meeting all regulatory compliance requirements. 

For information on how EHS consulting services can help you maintain a healthier and more productive workplace, reduce business disruptions, preserve your brand’s image and meet stakeholder expectations, check out our RiskRight EHS®  services.

News Categories

EHS and Compliance
Health and Safety
Tech