|Employers must understand they are liabe for the duty of care of workers safety even when working from home.|
Whether working from home is reasonably practicable will depend on the specifics of the workplace, the facilities available for workers to work remotely and the ability for workers to do their work safely from home.
GPS Geo Guard is protecting and safeguarding a business, most valuable asset – People or staff
Implementing a simple solution to help mitigate risk like a lone worker or high risk worker personal emergency device with red alert emergency safety alarm and man down incapacity alarm with GPS location and 2 way audio for instant communications and 24 hour emergency monitoring to ascertain each incidents situation report and potential pass on critical information to emergency services or a simple call to the user to comfort them and then alert management of a business can help tick the box for an employees duty of care but also give a level of comfort to the your staff, knowing that you have taken extra steps for the safety and well being of them whilst working from home and doing work external from the office.
In deciding whether working from home is appropriate for your workers, in consultation with workers and their representatives, you should consider:
the individual worker’s role
- whether the worker is in a vulnerable person category for contracting the virus (see our information on vulnerable workers)
- do you potential hazard risks, slip, trip, fall, medical incident
- do you have potential social risk physical verbal assault
- suitability of work activities
- workflows and expectations
- workstation set up
- surrounding environment such as ventilation, lighting and noise
- home environment, such as partners, children, vulnerable persons and pets
- communication requirement such as frequency and type
- mental health and wellbeing of the worker
- safe working procedures and training requirements, and
- journeys to and from the workplace.
Under the model WHS laws, each employer has a duty of care for the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace. This duty extends to identifying and managing the risks of exposure to the COVID-19 virus and putting appropriate controls in place in every workplace where the employer engages workers to carry out work or directs or influences workers in carrying out work.
If work can be completed at home, and the risks that arise from working remotely can be effectively managed, encouraging or directing workers to work from home may be the best way to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Any existing workplace policies on working from home would apply to arrangements implemented as part of the COVID-19 response. You may need to vary your policies to reflect the broader requirements of the COVID-19 situation such as the ability to work from home while also caring for children. As with all work health and safety matters, you must consult with your workers and any elected Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) on working from home arrangements.
Whether working at the office or at home, a worker has the right to stop or refuse unsafe work when there is a reasonable concern of exposure to a serious risk to health and safety from an immediate or imminent hazard. In some circumstances, this could include exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Any concerns about health or safety should first be raised with you or the HSR. A worker may also contact a union for advice. If a worker decides to stop work as it is unsafe, they must notify you as soon as possible and be available to carry out alternative work arrangements. See also our information on workers’ rights and the Fair Work Ombudsman Coronavirus and Australian Workplace Laws webpage.