Monday, 23 January 2017

Working from home // Some ideas for keeping safe

This post contains sponsored content but as always, all words are my own.

If you work from home then you'll know that it requires a certain amount of dedication and organisation to not be distracted from all the every day chores and things that need doing around the house. The family home is generally associated with happy memories and free time.... so when I started working from home, it was pretty hard to adjust to thinking of it also as a place of work. I'm easily distracted and creating a home office, somewhere I can actually go and get on with stuff when my child is at preschool was super important for me. 

One thing I have never put much thought into until recently was staying safe in my 'workplace', which is really my home! Sheilds general NEBOSH training providers recently got in touch with me and asked if I would like to talk about workplace safety and so I couldn't think of a better time to start thinking about making sure that my place of work is safe and that the items I used are fit for purpose.
SHEilds are a company who are one of the world's leading health and safety training providers and have over 15 years experience mentoring all over the world. They offer a variety of eLearning training courses including City & Guilds and NEBOSH, the latter of which will provide you with a wealth of knowledge including identifying workplace hazards, methods of hazard control and the legal requirements for health and safety at work. All essential topics, no matter where your place of work is!

I've been thinking of ways that I immediately make a difference to my work space to ensure that it is safe not only for myself but for my family too as I work from home. I wanted to share these ideas as small changes can really make a big difference. It doesn't matter where you work, whether it's from your dining table or an office.... it needs to be safe and secure!

Electrical dangers

Firstly and probably most obviously, check your electrical equipment is safe to use. Cords that feel worn or warm to the touch should be replaced and should also be organised and secured to avoid tripping over on them. For electrical outlets that are unused, it is super easy to install safety covers. Also, ensure that your computer is positioned on a stable and suitable work surface. I have a small child and dog in the house that love to grab stuff so it is important that any electrical equipment that I used is secured and out of reach to prevent it from falling or causing electric shocks!

Floor level safety

Potential dangers can quickly be eradicated from ground level by anchoring furniture and heavy equipment to either the walls or floor. This is especially important when there are children around. Also, make sure that mess and fallen items are routinely removed from the floor space to prevent tripping. Small office items such as paperclips and elastic bands are choking hazards so ensure that these are well out of reach. Office items such as shredders and scissors can also be extremely dangerous around small children too so keep these firmly out of reach or even locked away somewhere. 

Safety equipment

Regular offices are required to have a certain amount of safety equipment and so I think that if you work from home then it's a good idea to make sure that you have the same! Have a well stocked first aid kit on hand, working smoke detectors and even a fire extinguisher. Make sure you have adequate insurance too that covers not just your home but your work too. 

Working environment

Finally, make sure that your work space is a place that will work efficiently for you. If you work from home then it can be tempting to take your laptop to the sofa and work there but I find that I am so much more productive if I work from an actual desk in a designated work space. Make sure you have adequate lighting, suitable storage, sufficient heating and a comfortable chair.... these things can make all the difference!

Do you work from home? How do you ensure that your work space is safe? Let me know in a comment below!

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