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Old 08-26-2004, 09:20 AM   #1
dullard
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Default Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

At the university where I teach one lecture, the graduate students, lecturers, post docs are getting their workspace cut in half. An office designed and built for 8 people with 8 small desks can comfortably fit 6 people (since computer equipment takes up some desk space. Most of these offices have 5-8 workers in them. Now one professor with all the power wants a 3rd and 4th break room all to himself - meaning that the easiest way for them to do so is to compact the graduate students, lecturers, and post docs into a more confined space.

Their plan is to have 14 workers in the office designed for 8 people. That doesn't include the multiple undergraduate students coming for help or the outside guests who use the same offices. So on a typical hour, there will be 16 people needing desks and chairs to do their work but just ~6 available desks and 8 chairs.

I think post docs, lecturers, and graduate students are exempt from any federal safety laws. But still I'm just curious if there are any minimum requirements for other office workers.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:22 AM   #2
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

there might be some sort of fire code violation going on (too many people, not enough exits..)
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

I don't know, but how large is the space they're trying to squeeze you into?
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:28 AM   #4
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

No, but they have regs for prison cells!
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:29 AM   #5
dullard
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Default Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

I think the fire code lets something like 49 people in a room with one exit (whatever the number, we are far from it). The room looks to be about 12 ft x 36 ft. There is space for more desks (that aren't being offered) if the refrigerator, microwave, shelving units, lab equipment, and file cabinets were removed.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:29 AM   #6
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Default Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Dullard, I have the upmost sympathy for you. I've been in those situations quite a few times (and being about two months away from my PhD... I'll probably be in it for a few more years as a postdoc). Its amazing how some professors have ENORMOUS offices (with huge wooden desks and matching bookshelves)... and we have a cubbyhole that wouldn't be sufficient for the average third grader.

I second eakers recommendation--fire codes can be your friend. Especially if you have the really tall cubicle walls. And don't forget to "add in" the extra people that come visit--like undergrad seeking help. Not to mention, if you're at a public university--most of them have to do "cost-efficiency" analyses to perform building alterations (I know we do here at VT)--and this might not be "cost efficient" enough.

Good luck. :-) You can always move your "office hours" to the local coffee shop--that's what I ended up having to do.
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

try looking here

http://www.osha.gov
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:51 AM   #8
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Default Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Quote:
Originally posted by: gotsmack
try looking here

http://www.osha.gov
I tried for an hour, gave up, and posted here. That isn't a very well designed website (or I suck at the internet).
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:56 AM   #9
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Eat alot of beans.....
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:00 PM   #10
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

I asked around, and the law is 42" diameter for each person. It doesn't matter if the people must stand on bookcases to fit that 42" diameter zone, but that is the law. Yes, they can barely fit them in. Luckilly I found out the current plan is 12 per room instead of the original 14.
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:02 PM   #11
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Our poor QC guys have 4x4 (maybe 4x6) cubes. It's disgraceful...
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:03 PM   #12
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

wouldnt it be easier to get rid of the professor that wants a 3rd and 4th breakroom....
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:05 PM   #13
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Quote:
Originally posted by: BooGiMaN
wouldnt it be easier to get rid of the professor that wants a 3rd and 4th breakroom....
if there wasnt such a thing as tenure that would be a great solution!!!!:beer:
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:06 PM   #14
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Ogg
Quote:
Originally posted by: BooGiMaN
wouldnt it be easier to get rid of the professor that wants a 3rd and 4th breakroom....
if there wasnt such a thing as tenure that would be a great solution!!!!:beer:
well i never meant fire him

but im sure with that many people gettign 'rid' of him one of them might squeal...
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:08 PM   #15
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Quote:
Originally posted by: BooGiMaN
wouldnt it be easier to get rid of the professor that wants a 3rd and 4th breakroom....
A the fun of university politics. When one professor has the inside track to money and brings in 10x the amount of any other professor, then the university will do whatever he/she chooses. First choice: get a new department chair that happens to be your best friend. Second choice: hire two new professors who happen to have previously worked for you. Now you have so much power that the other professors in the department cannot out vote you. Your domination is complete.
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:09 PM   #16
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Reminds me of that Dilbert comic where they had that new cubicle. It was called the Hellhole 3000 and was some tiny pod with urine/food tubes O_O
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Old 08-26-2004, 01:40 PM   #17
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Default RE: Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Quote:
Originally posted by: ArmchairAthlete
Reminds me of that Dilbert comic where they had that new cubicle. It was called the Hellhole 3000 and was some tiny pod with urine/food tubes O_O
Yes, they are small, but on the other hand the pellets are excellent.
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