Thanks to technology, working remotely has become a more accessible and more plausible option for employees everywhere. With more companies offering work from home policies, it’s crucial for employers to be aware of the unanticipated risks and be ready to address them.
Keeping employees who work remotely safe is a difficult challenge since they are not in a controlled work environment. OSHA will not do home safety inspections; however, the agency maintains employers are responsible for safe working conditions regardless of location. Because employers are responsible for worker safety, injuries that occur while working off-site will likely fall under workers’ compensation.
Despite the challenges, getting everyone involved, and providing the necessary tools, training, and support will go a long way toward improving the chances of implementing a successful safety program for employees working remotely.
Remote employees face a variety of safety risks. To prevent accidents and injuries, these employees should understand their employer’s safety goals and requirements. Employers should have a policy for remote workers and review it regularly.
Get Employees Involved
The most effective way to improve remote worker safety is to involve employees. Employees who currently work remotely have valuable knowledge and experience that can help shape the company’s work from home policy. These employees can help determine what is needed to prevent injuries, regardless of where the work is performed.
Providing ways for employees to become involved in hazard identification and assessment, training, and program evaluation is a smart investment of time and money. And it can pay off in cost reduction and injury prevention.
Working hours should be spent in a comfortable, safe, and efficient environment. When creating workspace specifications, it’s important to identify and eliminate risks. An optimal setup includes:
Incorporating good risk management strategies into company workspace specifications can minimize risk. It can also help employees understand safety risks so they can practice the right prevention strategies.
Remote work policies offer many benefits to both the employee and the employer; however, it may also increase the potential workers’ compensation risk. Without proper safety training and ongoing communication, the initiative may result in accidents, incidents, and injuries. Make sure you are navigating through it correctly and safely, creating clear guidelines to keep your employees safe and the company protected.
We're here to help.
While every effort has been taken in compiling this information to ensure that its contents are totally accurate, neither the publisher nor the author can accept liability for any inaccuracies or change circumstances of any information herein or for the consequences of any reliance placed upon it. This publication is distributed on the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or services. Readers should always seek professional advice before entering into any commitments.
4200 University Ave, Suite 200
West Des Moines, IA 50266-5945
708 Heartland Trail, Suite 1000
Madison, WI 53717