The work environment has changed,
but safety concerns should not.
but safety concerns should not.
2020 was a year like no other, with COVID 19 presenting challenges like never before. Life as we knew it changed overnight, with restrictions placed on all elements of life as we knew it. Up to 40% of workers in Europe worked from home fulltime as a result of the pandemic.
Most people are facing more personal challenges than ever before – juggling home schooling, financial worries, and completely altered social interactions. Others are also experiencing more work pressures than ever before, facing difficult targets as businesses try and recover from the pandemic. On top of this, COVID 19 remains a huge health threat, and we are being urged to stay at home to protect ourselves and others.
When we’re at home, we are likely to feel like we are completely safe, and nothing can go wrong – yet our homes are full of potential dangers that often go unnoticed. Working remotely can result in a false sense of security as we aren’t in the office, although this should not be the case.
Accidents are occurring at an increasing rate in the home because often, people aren’t fully concentrating on the task in hand. Have you ever changed a lightbulb without turning off the socket, or used a chair instead of a ladder to reach something? Daily tasks such as cooking also present challenges. I’ve worked in safety training for 20 years and even I fell victim to this, experiencing two domestic accidents – two small cuts on my hand, and a first degree burn whilst trying to cook at home.
Over the years in our workplaces, we learn about the rules and procedures that protect us at work. Despite this, there’s little learning about human behaviour, our habits and how we can be protected. Now, when so many of are working from home, this could mean we are exposed to more incidents as we aren’t focused on keeping ourselves as safe as possible.
Companies are expecting employees to work from home, and we must ensure we’re being safe. At home, we are isolated from normal workplace procedures and as part of this, traditional safety measures.
This article is intended to make you aware of some key tips to help keep you safe:
- Turn off the power if you are doing minor repairs and use the right tools for each type of service- ask an expert if you aren’t sure;
- Check if cleaning products are stored correctly and out of reach of children or pets;
- If you work from home, make sure you have a suitable chair and table. Take regular breaks and maintain good hydration and nutrition;
- Create good habits in your household, such as always washing your hands when you get home, and ensuring you take your time when completing tasks;
- Choose a suitable and comfortable place to do your job. Don’t work in bed, or with the laptop resting on your lap;
- Respect your working hours to ensure you don’t get too tired and increase the chance of making mistakes;
- In the home office it is common to lose focus as you have many distractions that could include household chores, or kids. Keep your focus and mind on the activity you are doing in the moment.
Working from home presents both advantages and disadvantages, and this is a challenging period we will look back on forever. Even though your surroundings may have changed, you are still an employee and your safety matters. Utilising some of the tips mentioned in this article could make all the difference to your working life, and your personal life too, now they are more intertwined than ever before.
Territory Manager South Region
What is SafeStart?
SafeStart is an international company that has been operating for more than 20 years, taking a human approach to safety by changing habits and behaviours. The programme focuses on employees and their families inside and outside the work environment.
Since 2009, SafeStart has globally led the area of safety training, reaching over 4 million people in 3,500 companies in over 60 countries.
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