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Tips for Making Your Home Office Safer for Working from Home

June 3, 2024

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With many people’s jobs being done on computers, and with many meetings now being conducted virtually, remote work has become more and more popular. In fact, nearly 13% of U.S. workers are fully remote, according to Forbes.

There are many perks to remote work, including the lack of a commute, the ability to do household tasks during downtime, and a more comfortable work environment. For many people, the cons include lack of social interaction, communication problems, and distractions.

However, there may be another drawback to remote work that many people are unaware of: the risk of injuries. While few people worry about getting injured while working from home, it happens to many remote workers each year.

If you work from home, follow these tips to make your home officer safer for you and others in your household.

Focus on Ergonomics

  • Adjust your chair, desk, and computer setup to promote good posture. The top of your monitor should be at eye level, and your chair should support your lower back.
  • Ensure that your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest and that your wrists aren’t strained or forced to move uncomfortably while typing.

Ensure There’s Adequate Lighting

  • Make sure your office has plenty of light to reduce eye strain. Position your desk to take advantage of natural light, but avoid direct glare on your screen.
  • Supplement with additional light fixtures if needed to ensure adequate lighting of your work area during darker hours.

Maintain Electrical Safety

  • Keep power cords and cables organized and away from walking paths to prevent tripping.
  • Use surge protectors for all electronic devices to protect them from power surges and reduce fire risk.

Prioritize Fire Safety

  • Keep a fire extinguisher accessible in your home office. Make sure it's suitable for electrical fires.
  • Install a smoke detector in or near your office and test it regularly.

Create Good Indoor Air Quality

  • Ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. Open windows when possible or use an air purifier to maintain clean air.
  • Keep plants to help naturally purify the air and add a touch of nature to your workspace to improve mental health.

Keep a Clutter-Free Environment

  • Regularly organize and declutter your space to reduce hazards and improve focus.
  • Ensure all pathways are clear and that storage is easily accessible but out of the way.

Rest and Take Breaks as Needed

  • Incorporate regular breaks into your work schedule to prevent burnout and repetitive strain injuries.
  • Create a comfortable area for taking breaks away from your workspace to relax and recharge.

What to Do if You Get Injured While Working from Home

Unfortunately, even the most well-prepared remote workers can still suffer injuries at home. If you get injured while working from home, following these steps can protect your health and right to compensation:

  • First, assess the severity of your injury. For minor issues, administer first aid using supplies from your home kit. If the injury is more serious, don't hesitate to call for emergency assistance or head to the nearest medical facility.
  • Next, inform your employer about the incident as soon as possible. This is especially important if the injury might lead to time off or require medical attention. This documentation is vital for any potential workers' compensation claim and helps your employer address any ongoing risks in your home setup.

  • Finally, keep all records of medical treatments and expenses. These documents are essential for insurance purposes and any claims you need to file. Remember, your health is paramount, so follow through with all prescribed medical advice and adjust your workspace as needed to prevent future injuries.

Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help

As long as you’re an actual employee and not an independent contractor, you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for any work-related injuries you suffer, even if they happen at home. However, getting approved for benefits isn’t always easy. A significant number of applications are denied, and it’s often due to small mistakes and oversights. If you were working from home, you may also have difficulties proving the cause of your injuries were work-related, without the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys ensure our clients’ applications are error-free and optimized to maximize their chances of approval in the shortest time possible. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.

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