We are all spending more time in our houses these days - especially over these long winter months! Home has become the place we eat, sleep, play and for many of us, where we work. Homes don’t come with a Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Manual so we’re here to offer some useful tips from our in-house OHS committee member to keep you safe in your new work environment.
Tidy & Declutter
Having a tidy home isn’t simply a nice-to-have! A tidy home is a safer space and important for injury prevention (one of the leading causes of workplace injury are slips and falls!), fire safety and overall hygiene (1). Make your clean routine more manageable and fun by listening to music, doing it in small chunks and using products that have an uplifting scent. Get extra motivation by subscribing to the Clean Crate Subscription and receive exciting new products to try every season.
All workplaces generally have a WHMIS program which states that “workers are entitled to know the hazards of the products that could cause harm in the workplace, and in procedures to safely work with those products.” Using natural non-toxic products in your home is an important step toward household safety. However even the most natural substances can be harmful if ingested or exposed to eyes and other sensitive body parts. Think about it, plants are as natural as you can get, but we all know that eating any old plant isn’t safe! Always read product labels to familiarize yourself with any hazards and call your provincial poison control if you or a family member has been exposed. They can quickly ease your mind if you are uncertain (like they did when my 2 year old ate a full stick of blue chalk!)
Alright this might seem like a no brainer but storage is important. When I was doing OHS safety inspections of workspaces, storage safety was an issue in most locations. So here’s the quick rule of thumb: lighter items up high and heavier items waist height. This prevents injury from items dropping as well as injuries associated with lifting heavy items off the ground. It’s a real thing!
Body Positioning & Ergonomics
Notice how you feel in your body when you are doing any type of work in your homespace. Are you standing to the side of your sink so you have to twist your body to do the dishes? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat at your kitchen table while you review your receipts for the day? Are you slouching on the couch with your camera turned off while you listen to a zoom meeting? Make an effort to maintain a neutral balanced body position in standing or seated positions, keeping the natural curvature of your spine, stacking your joints, and evenly distributing your weight from left to right and front to back. Practicing mindful body alignment is important for prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.
At Clean Crate our goal is support you in creating a safe and happy home - and planet. We hope these tips will keep you and your families safer as you work in and from your home.