Since the world went into lockdown in March, many of us have been working from home. In fact, according to research by Finder.com, 60% of the UK’s adults were working from home within a month of the Coronavirus lockdown being announced.
With so many of us having to rapidly adapt to this new way of working, there has been something of an adjustment period. And while rapidly buying home office furniture and mastering Zoom calls have been top of the priority list recently, there is a more serious issue to consider, and that’s how to avoid injuries in the home. Keeping safe at home is now more important than ever. Here’s a look at what type of injuries could happen and how to avoid them.
National Accident Helpline recently conducted a survey to find out which rooms are the most common for injuries. This research revealed that almost three-quarters of Brits (73%) have hurt themselves at home more than once in the last year, and the kitchen is the most common room (60%) where we’re getting hurt.
In many ways, it makes sense for our home to be where we are injured the most. This is the most familiar space to us and that means we tend to think less about what we are doing. By taking the time and being aware of potential dangers, we can avoid being hurt.
It’s easy to be distracted, especially if you’re trying to dash back to your home office for a conference call or to meet a deadline, but it’s this juggling of the everyday and the work day that can lead to injuries. To help you keep safe at home, here are some tips to consider.
Wipe up spills
The smallest splash of water could lead to you slipping and falling so it’s always worth cleaning any spills as soon as they appear.
Think about where you put hot liquids
Whether you’re running on caffeine or you’re making lunch, it’s likely that you’ll regularly come into contact with hot liquids. Make sure that you take the time to carefully drain boiling water or place hot liquids in a place where you won’t forget about them and injure yourself on them later.
Also, avoid putting your mug of tea or coffee on a table where there’s a tablecloth or runner as you might pull at the cloth causing the mug to fall with it. Likewise, if you’ve been homeschooling around your workday, it’s worth placing hot drinks high up away from little ones.
Be careful on the stairs
If your home has stairs, it’s likely that you run up and down them throughout the day, especially if your new home office is upstairs. To avoid falling, make sure you have a sturdy handrail that you can hold on to and double check that the carpets are secure.
Accidents do happen, even if you take plenty of precautions to make your home safe. If you are injured at home and it’s more than a simple cut or graze, it’s worth seeking medical attention. Don’t put any medical examinations off as this could make your injury worse.
Also, it’s important that you get the best advice from your GP or, if it’s a serious injury that requires a trip to the emergency room, from the medical professionals who examine you. They have a duty of care so it’s important that you communicate well with them. If you’ve been scalded after you spilt boiling water, for example, and the burn is quite serious, you’ll be given advice about how to keep it clean and avoid infection. If not, you might have grounds for a medical negligence claim – especially if your injury is impairing your ability to continue to work.
To keep safe while working from home, add preventative measures where possible and take your time, even though you’re in a familiar space. Should you still get hurt and you think you might need to see a professional, be sure to go and get an expert opinion.