Here’s what to be on the look-out for if you’re working at home, according to the American Society of Safety Engineers:
  • Falls that could occur when reaching for high shelves, and tripping on cables and wires;
  • Floor surfaces that could cause slips, trips, or falls;
  • Heated surfaces such as coffee makers and portable heaters that could trigger a fire;
  • Electrical circuits, especially in older homes, that might not be able to handle the added electrical load from fax machines, computers, scanners, and other office equipment.

    ASSE offers these recommendations:

  • A licensed/bonded electrician can inspect existing home electrical systems and provide upgrades if needed;
  • A fire evacuation plan should be developed, such as installing a ladder as an escape route if the office is on the second floor;
  • Use a hand-held cart when moving heavy boxes;
  • Move desks closer to power outlets and phone jacks, or install new outlets, to eliminate tripping hazards posed by cords and cables;
  • Be wary of where you place your wires;
  • Watch out for cords, toys, fans, the ironing board, and pets who may chew on cords or office equipment;
  • Be sure that your desk, chair, and other furniture and office equipment is configured to reduce ergonomic stress and strain;
  • Ergonomics is particularly important if a laptop computer is used.