Our office is run out of the family house, which is very convienant for all of us, especially when the kids are off school for holidays or illness, but it does mean that it’s not up there as one of the safest office spaces to work out of.
But there are a few hazards which are easy to avoid, even in a home office environment:
- Trip hazards; ensure wires are covered, also electrical hazards are one of the leading causes of office fires; never overload an outlet.
- Proper training can help avoid muscle strain when lifting
- Appropriate office equipment can help avoid eye strain and Keyboards should be adjustable to improve comfort and reduce strain.
- Arranging the office appropriately; for example stacking things on shelves correctly so they don’t fall and putting things away so they don’t drop out of cupboards. Also boxes should not block an exit path.
Sitting at the desk may seem a very simple task, however, sitting and typing for a longer period of time may cause sore wrists, or an unhealthy position of the body may result to strain and back pain.
When sitting in front of a computer, the body should be positioned centrally to the monitor and keyboard. You should sit up straight with feet rested flat on the floor. If this is not possible, a footrest should be used (I use the dog hahaha). Thighs should ideally be horizontal with the knees and level with the hips.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) state that back pain can be caused by poor posture, obesity and psychological stress among other factors, all of which can easily come into play in an office environment if work is tense and if employees don’t take regular breaks from their desks.
This graphic from Accident Advice Helpline is very good for helping you spot hazards. Obviously working with family I wouldn’t want to place a claim against them, but not everyone is as lucky as me!