Don’t forget the safety of your work-from-home employees

by on April 17, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

If you’re among the growing number of businesses that have employees working from home, are you looking after their health and safety, too?

OSHA hasn’t insisted on any right to control safety in home offices or inspect them. But prudent Safety Directors will want home-office employees working safely for at least a couple of reasons:

  1. Productivity, and
  2. Workers comp considerations. An injury incurred in a home office or work space may be compensable.

Hazard watch
Here’s a checklist you can provide your home-workers to make sure their offices don’t present dangerous hazards:

  • Ventilation. The work space should be adequately ventilated, especially if the employee is working with chemicals or other volatiles.
  • Fall protection. All stairs with four or more steps should have handrails.
  • Electrical. Equipment should be free of hazards like frayed wires, bare conductors, flexible wires running through walls, or exposed wires fixed to the ceiling. Outlets should be of the three-pronged, grounded type.
  • Computers. They should be connected to a surge protector. Ergonomic guidelines (See should be observed.
  • Slip and trip. Power cords and phone lines should be secured under desks or along baseboards. Floors should be clean and level and any carpets secured.

Finally, if a home work space is lacking in any of these respects, you may need to negotiate with the employee over who will pay for the needed modifications.

photo credit: Zach_Beauvais

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