Remote Worker Safety: Preventing Injuries at Home

Published on Oct 28, 2019

Preventing Falls

  • Run cords and cables so they don’t cross walkways
  • Keep floors and stairways clear of clutter
  • When using stairs, keep one hand on the railing
  • Tape or tack down area rugs to keep them lying flat
  • Close drawers immediately after use
  • Clean up spills right away
  • If you need to reach high objects, use a step ladder if you have one—don’t climb or stand on anything unsteady

Preventing Ergonomic Injuries

  • Lift safely—get close to the object, bend at the knees and don’t twist while lifting
  • Get help moving heavy objects
  • Store heavy items at waist level
  • Arrange your work area to fit you:
    • Find a comfortable chair that supports your back
    • Raise your feet on something, if necessary, to keep your back against the chair and your thighs parallel to the ground
    • Keep your keyboard at or below elbow-level to prevent your forearms from resting on a hard edge and your wrists from bending
  • Take breaks when sitting for a while or doing a repetitive task—walk around or gently stretch

Preventing Strike Injuries

  • Put your phone down when walking so you can see where you’re going
  • Make sure you have clear walking paths around your home
  • Don’t store heavy or unstable items above waist level
  • Keep equipment away from the edges of desk or tables
  • Secure shelving or other storage furniture taller than five feet so it can’t tip over
  • Fill file cabinets from the bottom up, and don’t open more than one drawer at a time
  • Close desk, cabinet and file drawers when not in use

Preventing Electric Shock

  • Inspect power and extension cords before using—they should not be frayed, taped or missing the third ground plug
  • Don’t overload power outlets
  • Use only one power strip per outlet, and make sure it has plenty of air circulation
  • Don’t run cords where they can be damaged from chairs or people walking on them
  • Don’t cover cords with rugs or mats
  • Unplug cords by gripping the plug, not the cord itself
  • Never use electrical equipment if your hands or feet are wet or the equipment is wet
  • If equipment or appliances feel hot, give off an odd smell or start smoking, turn them off, unplug them and do not use again

A little caution can go a long way toward keeping your employees safe, whether they’re working in the office or telecommuting from home.

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