By the end of spring 2020, the world of work had changed irrevocably, with nearly half of full-time employees doing most of their work from home. In these new work environments, safety standards were compromised, and people were injured.
So how can you keep yourself safe while working from home? And what can you do if you are injured?
What obligations does your employer have to keep you safe?
Employer’s health and safety obligations do differ from the office when you are working from home. Under health and safety regulations, your employer is not required to undertake maintenance in your home, and it is your responsibility to keep your work environment neat, tidy, and free from hazards.
However, your employer is still required to do everything they can to meet health and safety regulations while you are actively working for them. Your employer must still provide you with equipment and services to ensure you remain unharmed at work.
What equipment should you be supplied with?
Although you are working at your home, your employer still has a duty of care to you while you work. This includes providing you with the correct equipment to do your job safely while you work at home.
If you work at a desk and a computer, this includes providing you with the correct monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, and even desk so that you are not harming yourself while you work. Your employer should also assist you in an at-home risk assessment so they can get you the equipment you need.
What are the most common work-at-home injuries?
Unsurprisingly, the top two work-from-home injuries are back and neck pain. Often related to not working with adequate equipment or improper seating. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort while you work from home, you have a duty to report this to your line manager and health and safety representative.
Other personal injury types that employees encounter while working from home include tripping over loose cables and extension cords, resulting in trips, falls, fractures, and even bone breakages.
What can you do if you are injured in the line of duty at home?
If you are unfortunate enough to injure yourself while working from home, you may feel nothing can be done about it. That is not exactly true, though. As we have said, your employer still has a duty of care to you.
The regulations are different for work from home injuries. Still, if you feel that your employer was negligent in their duty of care, you should discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer who can best advise what you can do.