Okay, so you’ve got your insurances sorted, you know your obligations regarding tax and BAS, your website is looking schmick and you’re starting to pull some decent business through the door. Life is sweeeeeet!
But, have you thought about your WHS obligations? It doesn’t matter if you’re ‘only’ a sole-trader or partnership, or not employing staff, you still need to be aware of good ‘ole Workplace Health and Safety. In fact, you owe it to yourself, your clients, and your family to be working safely and sustainably!
I’ve put together a very basic WHS checklist highlighting various aspects of your home work environment that you should, at the very least, be aware of / observe in your own small business.
- Level Floor
- Adequate lighting
- Adequate ventilation
- Smoke-free environment
- Emergency Exit path is direct and free of obstructions
- Security is adequate
- Power outlets are not overloaded with double adapters and power boards
- Earth leakage circuit protection is in place for work related equipment
- Electrical cords are safely stowed and free from damage
Workstation Set Up:
- Work surface is sufficient in size for tasks undertaken
- Work surface is a single continuous surface with most frequently used items within easy reach from a seated position
- There are no sharp contact points on the workstation or other equipment
- Chair has adjustable seat height, tilt, angle and back rest, and moves freely
- Chair has adequate lumbar support and padding
- The chair height is adjusted so that feet are flat on the floor and knees are bent at right angles with thighs parallel to the floor
- Arm rests can be stowed whilst typing, but may provide support during other activities
- Keyboard position is flat and at a distance from the user which allows user to relax shoulders with elbows close to body
- Mouse is at the same level and directly next to the keyboard
- Monitor height is adjusted so that top of the screen is at slightly lower than eye level with viewing distance between 350mm and 750mm
- Monitor is placed so as to avoid glare
- Telephone is within easy reach from the seated position
- Long periods of continuous activity are broken by performing other tasks, changing position, standing up and stretching
- Safe posture is adopted
- Type C First Aid Kit is supplied and available
- Smoke detector is installed in / near work and is properly maintained
- Fitness and health is suitable to the tasks being undertaken by the worker
Of course, for more in-depth info, please speak to your relevant WorkSafe office (In Australia, these are State-based organisations and, therefore, differ from State to State).