Stephen F. Austin State University

Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management

Home Workspace Safety

Employees participating in teleworking may use the following guidelines to assist them in a survey of the overall safety and adequacy of their alternate worksite. The following are only recommendations, and do not encompass every situation that may be encountered. Employees should understand that the teleworker is responsible for ensuring the alternate work space is safe and free of conditions that could pose a hazard to the health and safety of the employee and others or danger to equipment being used.

General Workspace Safety
  1. Develop a workspace that is away from distractions, noise, and is devoted to your work needs.
  2. Choose a work space that accommodates the workstation, equipment, and work related materials.
  3. Leave walk ways and isles clear and free from objects, where possible, to reduce tripping hazards
  4. Arrange file cabinets so that they are not top heavy and opened drawers do not block aisles.
  5. Inspect and repair carpeting with frayed edges or loose seams. Avoid using throw rugs that can cause tripping hazards in your workspace.
  6. Choose a work space with adequate lighting, ventilation, and temperature.
Fire Safety
  1. Develop and practice a fire evacuation plan for use in the event of an emergency.
  2. Check your smoke detectors regularly and replace batteries once a year.
  3. Have a working fire extinguisher conveniently located in your home, and check the charge regularly.
  4. Avoid fire hazards by never overloading electrical circuits.
  5. Confirm that all phone lines and electrical cords are secured under a desk or along the wall, and away from heat sources.
  6. Keep your work area clean and avoid clutter which can cause fire and tripping hazards.
Electrical Safety
  1. Always make sure electrical equipment is connected to grounded outlets.

  2. Make sure computer equipment is connected to a surge protector.

  3. Always power down computers after the work day is over and turn off all electrical equipment during thunderstorms.

  4. All electrical plugs, cords, outlets, and panels should be in good working condition.

  5. Extension cords and power strips should not be connected to one-another (Daisy Chained) or used in a permanent manner.

Computer Workstation
  1. Computers are heavy. Always place them on sturdy, level, well maintained furniture.
  2. Choose office chairs that provide good supporting backrests and allow adjustments to fit you comfortably.
  3. Locate your computer to eliminate noticeable glare from windows and lighting. Place the computer monitor at a height which is comfortable and does not produce neck or back strain.
  4. Locate computer keyboards at heights that do not cause wrist strain or place the keyboard on an adjustable surface.
Further Safety and Security Measures
  1. Do not allow non-employees to operate or repair SFA owned equipment.
  2. Always keep SFA files and information in a secure place and do not advertise your home office to strangers.
  3. Always use proper lifting techniques when moving or lifting heavy equipment and furniture.
  4. Always report accidents and injuries immediately to your supervisor.
Training
  1. For additional training on teleworking ergonomics watch the video below.
  2. If you have any additional questions please feel free to reach out the SFA Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management Office 936-468-4514.

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