Freelance work is incredibly varied, and can cover a wide range of industries. So whatever industry you work in, you should certainly make sure to protect yourself in a number of ways so you can stay working as effectively and efficiently as you should be.
When you need to keep yourself safe in your line of work, there are services on the market, such as FSB H&S advice, which can give you guidance on how to stay safe at work. So, with that in mind, here is some advice on how you can stay safe while working as a freelancer.
Making sure you’re insured
As a freelancer, you want to keep yourself financially safe as much as you want to keep yourself physically safe. To make sure you don’t get hit by any unexpected financial burdens, make sure you have the right kinds of insurance to protect yourself in your line of work.
For example, if you do anything at all that involves being in contact with members of the public, then public liability insurance is a necessity.
This kind of insurance will protect you if anyone is accidentally injured or their property is damaged on your premises, such as slipping on an unmarked wet floor, or cutting themselves on an exposed tool, for example.
Product liability insurance is similar in a fashion, and you need this insurance if you ever create or manufacture products to sell.
Let’s say you’re a freelance woodworker, for example, and you’ve crafted a desk for someone. They take it home, and it breaks, which injures your customer. In this case, potential compensation is covered under your product liability insurance.
Professional indemnity insurance is the last kind you may need as a freelancer. If your current work leads you to provide a service or advice that goes wrong and costs your client money to fix, the costs of a claim against you will be covered by professional indemnity insurance. This would be useful if you’re a freelance consultant, for example.
Insist on training when it’s necessary
If you’re a freelancer in an industry that makes use of machinery for day to day operation, such as construction, there may always come a point where you’re using new equipment no matter how long you’ve been working in the industry.
So if you’re ever unfamiliar with a piece of equipment or a procedure, don’t worry about asking for some training first. Whoever you’re working for at the time still has a duty of care for you, and should always ensure that you’re fully trained on anything that you’ll be using to complete your work.
Don’t forget about the little things
You might even be a freelancer who works completely from home and who doesn’t have many safety requirements. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, or accountant.
Well, ever since 2015, self-employed people whose work poses no actual threat to any member of the public have been exempt from health and safety law, which certainly takes away some stress from day-to-day work of home-based freelancers.
Even so, do keep in mind your own physical safety whenever you’re working. It doesn’t have to be a major issue, but more making sure you’re aware of your workspace and surroundings during work hours.
For example, even if you just work on a computer, things like investing in a high-quality chair will help reduce the risk of any back injuries developing. Taking regular breaks from the screen will help reduce eye strain.
If you work with a lot of tools, try to keep most of the wires out of your way so there’s less risk of getting caught in them and tripping. It could even be just making sure that your workspace is frequently free of clutter, allowing you to focus on you work without distractions and obstructions which will help reduce the risk of accidental injuries.
Simply putting your own safety at the forefront of your mind whenever you’re working will help ensure that you can stay injury-free and able to work as best you can at all times, which will help further your reputation as a professional, reliable and safe freelancer whatever your industry.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.