A safe telecommute to work

Telecommuting

Employees who are carrying out work for their employer from their home are still covered under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. As such, employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of their worker is not affected by the conduct of the business in their home.

Employers should consider a range of factors before entering into a telecommuting arrangement including communication requirements, managing work flows, use of equipment and workplace health and safety and workers’ compensation requirements.

Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure a worker’s at home work area meets workplace health and safety requirements. An assessment of the work area should be carried out before the worker starts telecommuting.

Factors to consider include:

  • Musculoskeletal risks associated with slips, trips and falls
  • Work station ergonomics
  • Manual tasks
  • Electrical safety
  • Psychosocial risks such as personal security and isolation, and
  • Environmental hazards such as noise.

Workers also have a duty of care or obligation in relation to their own workplace health and safety, which also applies when they are working for their employer in their own home.

Employees may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation for injuries sustained while working from home and should contact WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 128 for more information.

Last updated
12 December 2017