The coronavirus pandemic coerced numerous organisations into promoting work from home. However, the effectiveness of this situation fostered the idea that this trend is here to stay. Now, businesses are re-creating a model that accommodates the idea of work from home for employees. As this plan is extremely effective for single parents, remote employees, as well as for the company itself, the concept of work from home is expected to become the new normal.
However, despite imposing a work from home opportunity, employers still have the responsibility to abide by the health and safety regulations. While the company is unable to control the extraneous factors, such as the home working environment, they are still required to carry out checks to ensure that the safety of the workers is not being compromised. With that said, in work from home situations, workers also have to play a part in certifying their own safety.
What does the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Act State?
According to the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Act, the employers are required to protect the safety and well-being of all the workers. However, while the regulations are not specified for employees working from home, there is still a requirement for the companies to ensure that their employees are protected against physical and psychological harm. Considering this, it is imperative for organisations to come up with a plan to protect the safety of their employees.
The Nature of Jobs and Related Claims
Office work refers to the responsibilities that a person covers when they work in an office environment. This includes strategising, creating reports, communicating with clients and more. In the case of office work, the most common personal injury claims relate to placing excessive pressure. If you force your employees to work beyond their capabilities, they may suffer from psychological stress, as well as typing injuries. Additionally, in case you provide the employers with equipment to work from home (such as a phone, laptop, etc), make sure that the equipment is safe to use.
Manufacturing of goods
The employees who are required to manufacture products and services from home are at the most risk of encountering personal injuries. In such cases, employers are required to make sure that the worker is provided with hazard-free chemicals, products, and materials to carry out the task. In addition to this, it is also the responsibility of the employer to supply the workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to make sure that the work is being carried out safely.
Home-based work for the provision of services
If a business is based on supplying services, instead of products, it is essential for companies to ensure that the employees are taking a cautious approach. Fundamentally, the employer holds the responsibility of providing the required materials for the workers to carry out the task. These materials must be extremely safe to use. Additionally, employers must also provide health and safety training to certify that the supplied materials are being used in a safe and secure way.
What Companies Can Do
Supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If your employees are working from home, make sure that you provide them with the relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), required for the job. Additionally, if you are supplying materials or machinery, make sure that they are safe to use.
Deliver Webinars for Health and Safety Training
In addition to supplying the materials, employers are required to arrange a safety training course. You can host a seminar on video-sharing software to educate your workers about the safe usage of the supplied material/ machinery.
Deliver Webinars for Maintaining a Healthy State of Mind
Working from home, in isolation, can lead to mental health problems. Just to stay on the safe side, you can arrange a webinar to educate employees on the different ways they can look after their mental well-being. This initiative can further ensure that the quality of the work is not compromised.
Reducing Excessive Work Pressure
When it comes to working from home, there is no way to account for the number of hours the employees are putting in. In such situations, employers can often bombard the employees with work, which can lead to psychological and physical injuries (such as a carpal tunnel). Therefore, it is imperative to avoid putting excessive pressure on the workers.
What To Do If You Are a Personal Injury Victim?
If you feel that you are a victim of a personal, work-related injury, you can submit personal injury claims to receive compensation. For this purpose, you can take assistance from an experienced lawyer, who can submit the claim to the relevant authority. However, if you are working from home, you may need to supply additional evidence to support your claims. These may include:
- Evidence for inaccurate advice on the health and safety regulations
- Documentation that proves the company’s refusal to supply PPE
- Documentation that proves the company’s failure to inform workers on regulatory changes
- Documentation that proves the company’s pressure to complete an excessive amount of work.