Telecommuting safety considerations
Review the following telecommuting safety considerations for best practices related to work-from-home arrangements.
- Establish a clearly defined workspace that is kept clean and orderly.
- Temperature, ventilation, lighting and noise levels are adequate for maintaining a normal level of job performance.
- Floors and walkways are clear and free of hazards. Floor coverings in the workspace are secure and free of tears, irregularities or other tripping hazards. Cords and cables are secured away from walking areas.
- Stairs with four or more steps are equipped with handrails.
- File cabinets and the computer workstation are level and stable.
- First-aid supplies are readily available.
- Employee follows company protocols regarding information and data security.
- Walkways, aisles and doorways are kept unobstructed.
- A working smoke detector covers the designated workspace. Smoke detector batteries are changed at least semi-annually, or the smoke detector is directly wired.
- A charged, accessible fire extinguisher is near the workspace.
- More than one exit is available from the workspace. Fire exits are clearly defined and kept unobstructed.
- The workspace is kept free of trash and combustible materials.
- Radiators and portable heaters are located away from flammable items.
- Electrical plugs, cords and outlets are in good condition and free of hazards such as frayed, loose or exposed wires.
- Electrical plugs, outlets and switches have appropriate covers or plates.
- Electrical outlets are grounded with three pronged plugs.
- Extension cords and power strips are not daisy chained and no permanent extension cords are in use.
- Computer equipment is connected to a surge protector with sufficient capacity to avoid overloading.
- Sufficient ventilation is provided for electrical components.
- Circuit breakers or fuse panels are properly labeled and accessible.
- Desk, chair, computer and other equipment are of appropriate design and arranged to eliminate strain on the body.
- Chair should be adjusted to support the lower back. Feet should rest flat on the floor or be supported by a footrest.
- Knees should be bent at approximately a 90-degree angle.
- Keep about 2-3 inches between the front edge of the chair and the back of the knees.
- Allow arms to rest at the sides rather than stretched out in front.
- Position body so that employee is able to reach the mouse without rotating arm outward or reaching to the side.
- Position mouse as close as possible to the keyboard.
- Keep keyboard at approximately elbow level, with forearms level and flat.
- Avoid leaning wrists or forearms on the edge of the desk.
- When typing, wrists should be in line with forearms and not bent upward. Wrists should be kept fairly straight when keying.
- Place the top of computer screen at or just below eye level and use a document holder.
- Sit so the employee can see detail comfortably on the screen without leaning forward.
- Make sure the employee is able to read the entire screen comfortably without tilting his or her head up or down.
- Position computer monitor and keyboard directly in front of the employee.
- Take brief stretch breaks throughout the day to reduce fatigue.