Staying Safe When Working From Home – Top 5 Tips
Working from home is increasingly popular and occurs across a variety of industries. New technology means it is easier than ever to be connected to our employers, the workplace and each other, allowing for more flexible working. However, home working often means working alone – it’s the same as being on a building site or visiting a client, your home becomes your workplace and it should be just as safe. This article describes some of the hazards of working alone at home and how you can help reduce them.
What Are The Hazards of Lone Working at Home?
There are a variety of hazards when working from home, the main ones being down the environment or illness. Here are some common hazards.
Trips/slips and falls
Of course, you can have a trip or fall in your home at any time but during working hours, you are your employer’s responsibility and as such, they have a duty to check that you are ok. If you work alone, something such a fall down the stairs could be fatal if you live alone and there is no checking system in place.
Electricity and other environmental factors
When working from home you will use many electrical goods, such as your laptop, chargers and even the kettle and toaster. This increases the risk of receiving an electric shock. Other hazards also lurk in the home, chemicals (cleaning products), the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire risks.
When working alone from home have you considered what would happen if you suddenly became ill and couldn’t call for help? Many illnesses can strike fast and some, such a heart attack can be fatal if help isn’t sought quickly.
Stranger danger applies even to those working in the comfort of their own home. Burglars could strike thinking that the house would be unoccupied during the day or if it is known that you work from home an intruder could still try and force entry to rob or attack you.
Top 5 Tips For Staying Safe When Working Home Alone
1) Environmental safety
Your employer should be able to help you asses your home environment for safety risks and install the necessary measures. For example, electrical goods should be PAT tested, fire alarms installed and carbon monoxide detectors.
It is important when working from home to make sure that the house is secured. Keep your doors locked, windows shut and consider installing an intercom which lets you view who is at your door without having to answer it. Doro chimes are also a good idea.
3) Keep your lone worker device nearby
If you have a lone worker device you should keep it charged and to hand at all times. It could save your life. A lone worker device can be a lifesaver in any of the situations mentioned above under hazards. From attacks by an intruder to a sudden illness.
4) Keep a tidy workplace
Exactly the same as working in an office you need to keep walkways and stairs free from trip hazard and obstructions. Not only is this safer for you but you will benefit from having a clutter-free home and less cleaning to do.
5) Take regular breaks
When working from home it can be difficult to schedule in proper breaks and just work right through the day. Without the reminder of seeing your colleagues trooping off to lunch, it can be difficult to get into a proper break routine. Set reminders in your phone to take a break, make a hot drink or eat food.