If you run your business from home, you might not put too much thought into your safety. After all, your castle is where you should feel most secure.
However, you do incur risks, both to your business property and your health. Please remember these seven safety measures when running your organization out of your home.
1. Secure Your Business Assets
Depending on your line of work, a single lawsuit could wipe out operations. Please ensure you have adequate coverage in place to protect yourself against such eventualities.
For example, what happens if you’re an accountant and a client gets hurt while dropping off paperwork at your home office? Is your current homeowner’s insurance sufficient to cover the cost of their hospital care if they end up needing a lengthy stay — unlikely but possible?
You might want to consider an umbrella policy that picks up the slack where your current coverage ends. Such protection also safeguards you against data theft and loss of vital business equipment that your existing homeowner’s plan doesn’t cover in full, if at all.
Of course, it’s best to prevent theft from occurring in the first place. Installing an automatic garage door offers the best level of protection from thieves entering and helping themselves to any equipment stored in this location. Investing in a complete home security system is also well worth the price. In today’s information age, it could protect you against lawsuits in case of data theft if someone breaks in and steals your computer.
2. Protect Your Health
There’s a lot of talk about “human infrastructure” these days, but the pundits do get one thing right — you are your business’ ultimate asset. You have to take care of yourself to protect your success.
Please ensure you cover yourself with health insurance, even if you feel fine. While it’s tempting to go without to cut costs, no one is immune to accidents or illness. Over two-thirds of all American bankruptcies involve medical bills — please don’t become a statistic.
3. Keep Your Home in Good Repair
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth specific guidelines for businesses with employees who work from home. Please keep these in mind if you have such staff members on your payroll — you could be held liable for injuries in some cases.
As the business owner, you don’t have anyone you can sue for worker’s compensation if your worn-out basement stairs send you flying toes over teakettle. Please regularly inspect your property for safety hazards and address them without delay.
4. Spare Your Eyes From Strain
Many small home businesses require workers to spend countless hours staring at the screen. If you find yourself with a headache at the end of each day, please take action to protect your eyes.
You can find special blue-light-cutting glasses that decrease glare and set your device’s brightness level to twilight mode to further reduce this wavelength. Additionally, follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
5. Safeguard Hazardous Materials
If you’re a parent, it’s probably instinctive for you to place that container of antifreeze well out of reach of little hands. However, you might not recognize the risk to children and pets if you don’t have any at home.
However, you could face liability if a client visits your home and their toddler gets into something they shouldn’t. Please ensure you follow safety guidelines for keeping hazardous materials appropriately stored.
6. Think Ergonomic
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of occupational illnesses reported occurred from repeated upper-body strain. Please don’t think these injuries only happen to those who do heavy lifting, like construction workers. They can also result from horrible office chairs.
Find the most ergonomic furnishings you can. Your chair should allow your feet to rest flat with your knees bent and offer lumbar support. You can also investigate variable-height desk options that let you segue from standing to sitting.
7. Maintain Work/Life Boundaries
Many careless workplace accidents — including those in the home — occur when you’re fatigued. You can see this principle at work behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, and exhaustion doesn’t help your coordination during other daily tasks.
Therefore, strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Create a wind-down ritual where you close your computer or office door or otherwise leave your labor behind at day’s end. Set a timer to remind you to take breaks throughout the day. Avoid the temptation to burn the midnight oil simply because your workspace is only a few feet away. If you wouldn’t drive to the office at 1 a.m, go back to bed and quietly read until you find sleep again.
Remember These 7 Safety Measures When Running Your Business From Home
Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility, and those who run their businesses from home have sole charge of their well-being. Please remember the seven above measures to ensure your health and the longevity of your enterprise.