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Moving Office Furniture? Call for Help

Multiple-choice question: When it comes time to move a filing cabinet in your office, what do you do?

1) Submit a CEF Service Request, which gets directed to Labor Poolís manager Robbie Robinson for scheduling

2) Stand up tall, grab that baby, and rock it into its new location across the room

3) Call a co-worker and struggle to share the load and not lose hold

4) Analyze the hazards and plan the work safely (e.g., empty drawers first, use at least one other person, clear egress before starting the move, etc.)

5) Consult with your supervisor about the best way to proceed and any budget concerns that hinder your request to Labor Pool

If you answered #1, you're doing great; if #4 or 5, you are on the right path but still need to be careful; if #2 or 3, you need to practice self-preservation a bit more rigorously.

SLAC employees sometimes move office furniture and other things on their own because of the perceived delay and cost of using CEF's Labor Pool. As we all know, this introduces the risk of personal injury because most of us are not professional movers and don't use the correct equipment and technique to complete the task.

Normally, the Labor Pool is able to keep up with the usual flow of requests in a reasonable time. Give them as much advance notice as possible and try to manage your expectations—is it really that much of a rush? If you have a special issue (scope, cost, or time frame), talk to your supervisor.

While the ES&H Coordinating Council has recently acknowledged that it is part of the line management's job to ensure that no unsafe move is carried out, we each need to take individual responsibility by consistently planning work after analyzing the hazards. How do we do this? By filling out either a routine or non-routine JHAM, depending on frequency of the activity. Please see the ES&H website for guidance. If, in completing the non-routine JHAM, you and your supervisor determine that you cannot safely perform the move yourself, then you must use the Labor Pool or other appropriate means to accomplish it.

Keep it simple by asking the experts in Labor Pool to handle these moves. If you choose not to use Labor Pool's services, at least know what you're attempting and obtain the right equipment and assistance to keep you healthy and injury-free. We donít want the furniture to be in better shape than we are!

—Janice Dabney
   SLAC Today, June 29, 2006