It started with an email on Feb 24th with the subject line of “Space Heaters.” It was from our office manager and said:
Occupational Health and Safety will be here Friday morning @ 8:00am to check all the space heaters in DBS; they are checking to make sure we are compliant with the requirements. The policy is # 724.32.1, below is taken from the policy:
- Space heaters must meet four criteria:
- Must have a Tip-Over Switch
- No greater than 1500 watts
- Certified safe by a testing laboratory (I am going to assume that the “Certified Lori Testing Laboratory” isn’t going to work)
- The pattern on the grille face must not have an opening greater than 1 inch
- Use of an extension cord to connect a space heater is prohibited. Space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall outlet.
- The front of space heaters shall be located at least 12 inches from combustible materials. (Do you think that would that include my feet?)
This immediately brought back the memory of when I worked in Ohio and my boss came to my office. As we were chatting, he stated: “It’s warm in here. Do you have a heater on?” To which my immediate response was: “No, heaters are not allowed.” And that was the end of that. Kind of like the don’t ask, don’t tell theory.
At my current job they are allowed but you have to meet the above criteria. Here is what my heater set up looks like:
Now, I am certainly not overly familiar with OSHA codes, but I do have a notion that my heater probably will not pass inspection. (In my defense, that is what it looked like when I started so I didn’t build it. And we are supposed to get new electrical wiring for the building sometime in 2028).
My response to the email: Opened Outlook. Appointment on Thursday, March 2nd at 4:30 pm: Unplug space heater and hide it in drawer.
It is nice to know that the universal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” space heater use is the same at all businesses.