Health and Safety Checklist for Home Business Owners

If you’re operating a business from home, one of the most important factors is how your office is configured.  Working from home can cause complacency in this area, but that can be hazardous.

Below is a list of areas in your home office to look at with your health and safety in mind. The benefits of creating a healthier and safer home work environment are as inexpensive as they are clear.

You owe it to yourself, any employees, and even your family, to create home office conditions that are conducive to efficiency and health.

Let’s start with home office safety:

First aid kits- Standard offices have first aid kits, so home offices should two.  Be sure to have one (or two) geared toward offices rather than homes.  And the more equipment or machinery you have, the more extensive your first-aid kit should be in response.

Fire safety- If your home office is separated from the rest of your house, make sure you have a working fire alarm installed in the area and that there is a well maintained dry chemical or carbon dioxide fire extinguisher on hand.

Electrical outlets and wires- The idea here is to limit fire hazard by limiting appliances plugged into a particular outlet.  If you can’t change the circuitry of your house, use quality extension cords, multi-outlet strips, and surge protectors.

Safe storage- In an effort to conserve space in your home office, you may get the urge to purge some pretty heavy items up and out of the way. Before you do so, consider what would happen if said items were to come toppling down. If the result would be unsettling, then a change is in order.

Health in Your Home Office

Location in the house- The key here is to create a separation between your home office and your living area. If the layout of your house allows, having a completely separate space and entry to your home office is ideal. If not, there are plenty of low-cost options, such as using moveable room dividers and screens.

Lighting-  If you aren’t able to work in a space that has a window, then at least make sure you take enough breaks to walk outside a bit. You also have to make sure that any artificial lighting is not only adequate, but also pleasant. Finally, make sure your setup reduces harmful glare and reflections.

Ventilation- If you can’t breathe properly, you won’t work properly. Even if your home office has a decent airflow, you will still gain tremendously from bringing in a couple of air-purifying plants. If you have a lot of floating dust particles then consider buying an air purifier. On the other hand, if it’s stuffy and dry you may want to invest in a humidifier.

Ergonomics- Be sure to acquire a good ergonomic chair that promotes blood circulation; then be sure to and sit properly at your desk. You can keep your wrists and hands comfortable as well with an ergonomic keyboard and padding.

Noise Level-  If you have noise from adjacent areas, try noise canceling headphones. If you work with loud machinery then make sure you are wearing ear protection.

Decor-  Everything you see influences how you feel about your work and your role in it.  Giving your office a much needed makeover does not have to cost big bucks. Choose wall art and decorative objects that say something about your vision and goals. Choose pleasant colors, meaningful memorabilia, or decor that makes you feel successful and motivated.

A little investment of time and money in your work space can result in big paybacks: increased productivity, efficiency, health, and a brighter attitude.