Working from home long-term means working on your work space

Slip and fall accidents can trip you up at home or at work

Nov. 21. By Cheryl Kane. At-the-office work locations have many safety features as a result of legal requirements and collective sources of oversight; a Work from Home (WFH) situation may be quite different.

It is worth the time to evaluate WFH workspaces to make sure we are safe whenever we WFH.

Trips & Falls
Prevent files, cords, and other items from crossing walkways. If you must, use proper cord covers that lay flat. Cords following a wall to the outlet can eliminate this obstacle. Using stick-on cord guides along the desktop or sides can keep them from working their way into the walkway.

Electrical Cords
Homes were not designed to handle all the needs of cords related to computers, extension cords, space heater cords, printers, desk lamps, small refrigerators and microwaves in a spare room turned office. It’s easy to overload a circuit. Overheated wires and outlets can lead to a fire. A licensed electrician can ensure you have enough power and safety features built into your office to help keep you and your family safe.

Misaligned chairs, desks, computer screens, and writing areas can create unexpected physical strains that may take time to show up. Locating a reliable workplace home ergonomic diagram may be a big help in setting up an appropriate workspace.

General Safety
Due diligence by everyone: Reasonable efforts by all is necessary. If you had safety protocols at your at-work office, how can you mimic them at home?

Employers: Understand how the type of work assignment given to WFH employees can be done there safely, and the kinds of hazards the employer-provided tools or supplies might pose. Appropriate training and/or additional equipment may be necessary.
Workers: Let your employer know what safety related items you need. Don’t be shy-you can work more efficiently if you are safe; injured workers aren’t.

Employers who are already required to keep track of work-related injuries in the workplace are required by OSHA to do the same for WFH workers. Workers should be made aware of this.


—Cheryl Kane, MBA, PHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, & professional speaker specializing in problem solving and service quality. Email her at:
[email protected]


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