Working from home has largely been focussed on ensuring everyone has enough bandwidth and tech to continue operating as normally as possible.
Also, the majority of businesses have been pushed to improve the user journey for online access and many trying to make a major shift and move to cloud services as well as improving their cybersecurity.
But what about occupational health and safety?
What obligations are employers and employees meant to maintain?
Are they different when staff work from home?
The short answer is that if you have staff working from home then you have the same obligations to ensure they have a safe workplace.
That means ensuring office areas are properly set up with desks and chairs that are ergonomically safe.
Screens, keyboards and mouses and trackpads need to positioned correctly to ensure workers don't develop problems like sore shoulders, wrists or backs.
Should you audit home offices?
SafeWork, the New South Wales workplace health and safety regulator, makes some suggestions for things people need to consider when it comes to working from home. Its list of items to consider is a good place to start.
- risks associated with slips, trips and falls
- workstation ergonomics and designating a specific work area, moving furniture to allow comfortable access, providing adequate lighting
- manual tasks
- electrical safety such as maintaining electrical equipment, and installing and maintaining smoke alarms
- psychosocial risks such as personal security and isolation
- environmental hazards such as noise
- reporting changes that may affect their health and safety when working from home
You can also download a work from home checklist
As an employer, you should really look into this topic seriously.
For example, What if some gets hurt at home in work hours? Before you get involved in any legal matter, maybe you should really research it and be repaired.
To find out more, simply check out the link below to WorkSafe Australia website