While Working from Home, Work Health and Safety Law is as important
With the Delta Variant running rampant are you and your employees working from home? If you or your employees are, then you need to make sure that work health and safety (WHS) is still a top priority.
Let’s not have one more worry to burden ourselves with now and in the future. Make sure you are familiar with WHS. And that you and your employee’s meet obligations to minimise any risks. Safe work Australia and Comcare provide work health and safety advice. And checklists you can use.
Below are links to Safe Work Australia Covid 19 information for workplaces
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Working from home checklist
Keep in mind that both employee employer, have a duty to minimise risks. And look after work health and safety matters. Ensure the workstation at home is safe from risks. Make sure there are no poor ergonomics, lighting, and trip hazards. There are many simple actions you can take to minimise risks and look after your health.
For individuals, here are a few tips on work health and safety while working from home
Funny bloopers of working from home
Watch this for workstation setup
Take breaks, stand up every so often and do some of these stretches
Some other simple things you can do to help your mind and body while working from home
- If you can, as an employee check in with your work colleagues from time to time. The same applies as an employer, check in with your employees throughout the day. Make sure that you are all ok and getting enough support and good rest breaks.
- Remember to separate work time, from family time and break time.
- Go for walks in your breaks when possible
As an employer your responsibilities to comply with WHS Laws remain
Employer’s still have the same responsibilities to follow with WHS laws. Also, for your state, territory, and country. So, make sure you are familiar with them and the requirements for you. Provide guidance to your employees on what is a safe home office environment. Know what a good workstation set up looks like. There are many ways we can adjust settings to be more ergonomic. Like, how to sit when working from the kitchen table or bench.
It is challenging to work from home when also juggling home schooling. So, setting boundaries and taking time out to supervise children must be part of the mix. Both the employer and the employee need to recognise this and be flexible. Bouncing a toddler on one knee while trying to complete work is dangerous for both of you and does not work. So, having boundaries and setting time out to take care of home life as well as work life is necessary.
Listed on the Safe work Australia website are some great resources such as
- SafeWork NSW – COVID-19 and Mental health at work
- Beyond Blue – How to look after your mental health when working from home. The Beyond Blue coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348. Or, the Beyondblue website.
- Black Dog Institute – Managing your mental health at home
- Family and mental health support — Department of Social Services
- Heads Up – Healthy workplaces support
- Australian Psychological Society – Tips for coping with coronavirus anxiety
- Smiling Mind – Supporting yourself and others through Coronavirus
- Safe Work Australia – Mental Health
Have a support person available that you and your employees can contact. If you do not have a human resources department. Or, an employee help program. You can nominate a trusted person to keep confidentiality and remain impartial.
Other resources are available to help employees and employers. The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provide information on working from home. About, arrangements and entitlements.
It is a good idea for Employers, to conduct visual checks on workstation setup for work health and safety
As an employer, it would be wise to check the employee’s workstation set up at home. You can do that by Zoom, photo’s or using Facebook Facetime. Or, have your employees record a short video of their setup. Then, you will have some evidence of the work setup of your employees for your records. Also, to prove that you have done what you can, to minimise risks. Further, you might need to provide some support to your employees. To get any needed office furniture. Such as, being able to pick up their office chair for the duration of working from home.
These are a few quick tips to help take care of yourself and/or your employees while working from home. And minimise any work health and safety risks. I hope you found these helpful. If you would like to learn more and get support, contact me.
Related resources for Work Health and Safety, Hazard identification and employment law