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Home Office/Work Space Safety Tips

Many people work at home these days. But these convenient work spaces present serious hazards for families. With home injuries resulting in almost 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits each year, home office workers need to think about their safety. It's especially important if children live in or visit your home.


Careful supervision is the best way to keep young children safe.

Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Closely watch young children at all times.
  • Keep your work space off-limits to children unless a grown up is with them.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • If you work and take care of young children at the same time, set aside one area of your work space for the playpen or mark out a play area with a blanket. Make sure these areas are in your direct line of vision, and away from equipment and office supplies.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • If you have an entire room to use as an office, install a door lock and keep it locked when not in use.

When you establish a work area, look at it from a child's point of view and take steps to make it safer.

Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Put home office equipment so it is out of children's reach. Place desktop equipment away from the edges of tables and desks so children cannot reach it.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • When choosing a paper shredder, look for one that comes with safety features to protect children and larger pets from injury.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Be aware that shredders, paper cutters, paper hole punchers, electric pencil sharpeners, and other home office equipment can be tempting for children. These should be placed well out of children's sight and reach.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Make sure taller bookcases are bolted to the wall so that they cannot tip over. Don't permit children to climb on any furniture.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Keep file cabinet drawers closed when not in use.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Locate the trash barrel away from children's reach.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • If your work space is in its own room, install a smoke alarm and test it regularly.

Be aware of work space hazards and control them.

Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Only an adult should use office equipment.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Unplug shredders and other office equipment when they are not in use.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Use a large ashtray and put water on the cigarette or cigar butts before you throw them away.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Keep matches, lighters and cigarettes out of children's sight and reach. It is safest to keep these dangerous materials locked.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Thumb tacks, paper clips and other small objects are choking hazards. Keep these where young children cannot see or reach them.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Keep power strips and electrical cords out of walkways and out of children's reach.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Install safety covers on unused electrical outlets.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Keep scissors, letter openers and all sharp office supplies away from the edges of the desk. Ideally, these should be kept in a drawer, out of children's sight and reach.
Home Safety - Work Space Safety Tips
  • Keep emergency numbers posted by the telephone.
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