OH&S for freelancers and home-based businesses

Many freelancers or sole traders who work from home-based offices don’t place any importance on having a formal Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) policy, or even making sure they maintain a safe workplace.

But whether you work in an external office or in a home-based office, it’s important to have a set of OH&S rules and stick to them to make sure you maintain safety in your workplace.

For example, if you are a typist, writer or editor, your OH&S policy might include having:

  • an adjustable chair and footrest
  • computer screens at the correct height
  • good artificial lighting and (where possible) natural light
  • rules about regular breaks from work (such as a break every 2 hours)
  • an office floor that is clear of obstructions such as leads, cords or bins
  • desks/tables that are not overloaded with equipment or overly cluttered
  • storage cupboards or shelves that are safe to access
  • if you store anything in high cupboards: a step ladder
  • if you meet clients in your office: enough space for an extra chair and a direct and safe route from the doorway to the client’s chair
  • electricity outlets and power boards that you can use safely. For example: no overloading; no mobile/iphone or other chargers left plugged in; when appliances not in use, switch off at power board switch/wall sockets.

For other ways in which freelancers, sole traders and other people who work from home can stay safe at work, go to: Safety first for scribes and editors.

Image: Pixabay – Creative Commons licence (no attribution required)

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