Are there any federal regulations on minimum cubicle size?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by dullard, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    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.
     
  2. eakers

    eakers Lifer

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    there might be some sort of fire code violation going on (too many people, not enough exits..)
     
  3. mugs

    mugs Lifer

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    I don't know, but how large is the space they're trying to squeeze you into?
     
  4. nwfsnake

    nwfsnake Senior member

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    No, but they have regs for prison cells!
     
  5. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    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.
     
  6. HokieESM

    HokieESM Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. gotsmack

    gotsmack Diamond Member

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  8. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    I tried for an hour, gave up, and posted here. That isn't a very well designed website (or I suck at the internet).
     
  9. woowoo

    woowoo Platinum Member

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    Eat alot of beans.....
     
  10. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    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.
     
  11. Electric Amish

    Electric Amish Elite Member

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    Our poor QC guys have 4x4 (maybe 4x6) cubes. It's disgraceful...
     
  12. BooGiMaN

    BooGiMaN Diamond Member

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    wouldnt it be easier to get rid of the professor that wants a 3rd and 4th breakroom....
     
  13. Ogg

    Ogg Diamond Member

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    if there wasnt such a thing as tenure that would be a great solution!!!!:beer:
     
  14. BooGiMaN

    BooGiMaN Diamond Member

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    well i never meant fire him ;)

    but im sure with that many people gettign 'rid' of him one of them might squeal...
     
  15. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    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.
     
  16. ArmchairAthlete

    ArmchairAthlete Diamond Member

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    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
     
  17. kranky

    kranky Elite Member

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    Yes, they are small, but on the other hand the pellets are excellent.