The workplace as we know it has changed. Safety in the workplace has also changed. The reality of full time working from home has materialised for many of us this year. A welcome change for many – not so much for others! Safety when working from home, however, cannot be overlooked; despite the changes in circumstances. This week we are focusing on the common risk factors associated with the home environment as your workplace.
RISK OF FALLS, SLIPS AND TRIPS
Offices are designed with wide, open walkways, space to maneuver chairs, desks, etc. The home is not necessarily designed for this. Something as simple as getting to and from your workstation can be a very different scenario when you work from home. The home environment allows for many more obstacles, risks etc.
-Watch out for wet surfaces, if you decide to vacuum or mop the floors at lunchtime, ensure the space is dry when getting back to your desk.
-Watch for obstacles – if you share your home with other family members, consider the fact that others may leave objects where you are not expecting them!
-Look around your desk and decide if there is a safe, clear pathway for you to access this space.
-Change up your desk/work station layout if needed. You may need to rethink things to achieve the desired level of safety when working from home.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CABLES
Cables, again something which can look very different in the home office scenario. Where offices are designed around power points and safe access, your home office may not be!
-If possible design your space to allow for easy access to a power point- avoid the need to walk across a cable.
-Avoid overloaded sockets when working from home; don’t keep equipment plugged in unnecessarily.
-Check for any damage to your cables. Do this frequently. Discontinue use of damaged or faulty equipment immediately and inform your line manager.
STAY CONNECTED TO MAINTAIN SAFETY WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
A challenge to working from home is the potential disconnection between employees. Remember that anything you would report while in the office- needs to be the same when your office is in the home. Safety, when you work from home, is just as important as it is when you are in the office. The importance of staying connected to your team – when working alone at home, needs to be remembered!
ERGONOMICS SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMPANY
Fit For Work provide a range of ergonomics services that are suitable for those working from home/remotely or those who are office-based. To learn more about office setup and good ergonomics principles, you can reach out to Fit for Work at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how an ergonomic programme within your office can increase productivity, increase staff satisfaction, improve staff retention and reduce sick leave.