Photo by Matthew Simoneau.
When acquiring a new office one of the first things you do is work out how to best utilize the space within. Shelves can have quite a big role in your space design, but keep in mind that safety comes first.
1. Think Before You Hang It
Let’s start with some facts, according to a survey by the US Department of Labour being struck by an object is one of the 4 top causes of fatalities at work. Even if this nice empty wall beckons you to dress it up with a shiny new shelf, make sure the wall can support it.
Your shelf has to be perfectly horizontal and accessible. If you force your employees to crawl up shelves to get to the one they need, you might want to add ‘mountain climbing’ to your list of requirements when you hire new people.
On the other hand you could just try and space the shelves properly. It might save you from having to recruit new people in the first place, too!
2. Can It Pull Its Weight?
Or rather, can it withstand it? If you need to place a lot of items on your office shelves, you want to make sure you acquire sturdy ones. Don’t go cheap where safety can be compromised as human life is invaluable.
Another thing you want to keep an eye on is worn out mooring. If your shelf has been out for a while and starts to get wobbly, it’s a good idea to ensure it won’t fall off all together.
3. Space Them Out
This applies especially to libraries or similar storage places: make sure your aisle is wide enough. If you keep bumping into the shelving as you move your book trucks et al, your shelves will suffer more wear and tear. Believe it or not, this is something a disaster planning consultant will look at.
4. Push Them In
Make sure that shelving with a retractive mechanism works properly: does it slide well? If it’s electronic, do the wires show? If wires are showing, are they in good condition?
You probably got the gist by now – while there’s no need to get paranoid, ignoring safety is a bad idea, so make sure you don’t shelve the subject.
Does your place of work look after you?
Estelle Page is an interior designer with a love for style. However she’s aware that safety comes first and all of her work is created with that in mind. Here she writes for Rapid Racking Ltd.