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Home Work Area Safety

February 3, 2000
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Related Topics: Ergonomics and Facilities, Featured Article
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OSHA won’t be knocking at the average telecommuter’s door anytime in the near future. Still, it’s a good idea to remember that home office space, as well as traditional office space, is prone to fire and other physical hazards. Here’s what to watch for.

Make sure:

  • Pathways are clear and uncluttered. Office furnishings and equipment, file drawers and electrical cords don’t interfere with a fast and easy ability to exit the area.
  • A working smoke detector and fire extinguisher are close by.
  • Adequate electrical outlets are available. A separate circuit breaker may be needed to prevent overloading the existing electrical system. Employees may want to consider a home inspection by their local power utility.
  • Air quality and ventilation are good and adequate means of heating and cooling exist. Home offices can get warm fast with all that equipment buzzing in what is likely to be a small space.
  • Stands and shelves for equipment and reference materials are sturdy and correctly set up.

SOURCE: CCH Incorporated, Riverwoods, IL, January 2000.

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