As many employers seek to minimise risk and allow more employees to work from home, or making plans to allow them to work from home, questions have been asked about ensuring the safety of workers when they’re completing paid work they would usually complete in a company environment.
Robin Price, who spoke with the ABC, is a lecturer in employment relations explained that regardless of where the work is carried out, employers have a responsibility to make sure that the environment is safe.
“If you’re an employee and you’re working for someone, they have a duty of care for your health and safety,” she said.
Worker’s compensation insurance will cover most cases where a worker is injured if they’re working from home, but there are a number of health and safety concerns that experts warn could be significant as the rates of people working from home rise. These include the set up at home, such as the ergonomic set up of the workspace and the risk of RSI or similar.
Larger employers will likely already have a work-from-home WHS policy and training, which Dr Price explained as “people having to check their own workplace.”
“From an employer’s perspective, if you can show that you have trained your employees on how to conduct their work safely, then that’s a protection for you.”
“I think most jobs can be done from home — a very large percentage,” she said.
“Most of the research shows that people actually are more productive when they’re working at home.”