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Using Office Equipment Essay

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Different types of office equipment are used to more quickly and efficiently deal with all manner of administrative tasks. Equipment such as computer, photocopier, scanner, printer, fax machine and shredder.

The computer often referred to as PC is used for the internet, communication such as e-mail or memo and to search for information. Work can also be processed using microsoft programs. The photocopier is used to copy documents and reprint them.

The scanner is used to scan paper documents and transfer them onto the computer creating a virtual copy. The printer is used to print out copies of documents from the computer. The fax machine is used to send copies of documents or important information to other businesses. The shredder is used to dispose of any documentation with sensitive or confidential information on it. This equipment also enable paper to be recycled.

The different features on a computer enable me to access the internet to research information about the task I need to complete. I can also use emails on the internet using the computer, this helps me communicate within the organisation and externally and allows me to be constantly updated with information. Important information can also be sent securely using this. I can access Microsoft programmes that include Microsoft word, which I use to write letters or Excel which is used to input data onto spreadsheets such as student course attendance records/registers.

The different features on the photocopier are invaluable in saving time and paper as they enable me to copy two-sided using duplexing and collect batches of papers using the collate offset (essential for lengthy training forms). The copier also allows me to change a colour document to black and white and print it. I can also resize the original document to a smaller or larger size and using A3 paper can produce a large document which can be folded in half.

I would choose different equipment for certain tasks. For example if I required a copy of a document from the computer that needed to be a paper copy i.e. a form which needed to be completed and signed by a student or tutor, I would use the printer to print off the document then I would photocopy the document and print it out as many times I needed.

Outcome 2: Understand the purpose of following instructions and health and safety procedures.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using office equipment because by doing so it not only saves time and paper, avoiding having to redo work which may be flawed, but also maximises the best use of the particular machine reducing the potential for damage/malfunction. This can also avoid work being lost i.e. if a copier is not correctly set vital pages of a document can be omitted.

Similarly keeping all equipment serviced and in good working order ensures it is always safe to use, working to maximum capacity and hopefully avoids breakdowns which can be time wasting. Equipment also needs to be kept clean and hygienic for the same reasons and to ensure germs are not passed from user to user within the office environment.

From a Health and Safety perspective it reduces the risk to the user if the instructions are thoroughly studied and any necessary training or guidance is given before equipment is used. A company can be held responsible if an employee is injured using equipment in the work environment for which they have not been appropriately trained/instructed.

Outcome 3: Understand how to use equipment in a way that minimises waste.

With regard to copying of documents waste can occur if master copies are not checked and loaded accurately and if the equipment is not set correctly i.e. using the duplexing setting forms can be printed double sided reducing page numbers. More expensive ink cartridges can be saved by printing documents in black and white as opposed to colour.

Keeping waste to a minimum in the business environment is as vital as in all areas of society. It helps minimise damage to the environment such as carbon emissions, energy inefficiencies, water wastage, etc. Reducing waste helps to limit the environmental impact an organisation can have by reducing air and water pollutions and limiting the amount of materials that contribute to landfills. Reduced waste can prove cost effective to a business. By operating efficiently less expenditure is required for materials and orders to restock supplies are reduced. Similarly using less fuel and electricity has the dual benefit of reducing energy bills and carbon emissions.

Outcome 4: Be able to use office equipment.

I have been tasked with restocking the packs of diagnostic assessments and individual learning plans for tutors to hand out to trainees. For this I have used an Olivetti (d-copia 3500MF) photocopier located in a dedicated room separate from the main office.

The manufacturers instruction manual was not available, however having been briefed by my supervisor as to the organisational guidelines for the safe and appropriate use of the equipment, I ensured the copier was set to produce batches of 10 to be collated as they printed to save time and to copy double sided to reduce waste.

I did encounter a problem when completing this task as a pack of paper had been stored inappropriately and was damp. This caused the machine to jam and a light indicator signalled which compartment of the machine was affected. In accordance with safe procedure I removed the offending paper.

I was not informed that if the copying process is interrupted the copier will default back to single sided copying and this unfortunately lead to a batch of forms being wasted. This error was flagged up by my supervisor who I had requested to check my work and further incidents were avoided by ensuring the damp paper would no longer be used and the setting rechecked if any other printing interruptions occurred.

On another occasion I had been using the photocopier to produce lengthy training documents which were essential for the following day however grey ink smudge marks started to occur on the bottom of each page as it was printed out and after checking with my supervisor we agreed this was unacceptable. I then was authorised to telephone the service company whose telephone number was located on the front panel of the machine and I explained the fault. The service company confirmed an engineer was in the area and would call later that day to repair the equipment as necessary. I was then able to complete my task thus avoiding disruption to the tutors planned training sessions.

Whilst overseeing the copying I was also given a box of confidential paperwork which I used the shredder to dispose of, regularly emptying the container when the red light indicated it was full. After switching off mains power I ensured surplus paper was removed from the rollers and swept debris up from the floor to avoid slips/falls. Shredded paper is recycled in the designated bin located nearby.

On completion of the tasks as requested by the end of the day I ensured the documents were filed in their appropriate slots ready for any tutors to collect at their convenience. I then refilled the copier with paper and cleared away all the work surfaces in order that they could be used the following day.


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