How Safe Are Your Employees Who Work From Home?

Telecommute

Telecommuting hazards

Here’s a question you may not have thought about:  If one of your employee is working at home and is injured, are you responsible?

The answer depends on individual circumstances.  For example, electrocution from a faulty cord on a computer you provided is different from a slip and fall on the way to the bathroom. As technology allows more and more work to be performed remotely, it’s a good idea to adopt safety expectations for your employees’ home offices. Here are some ideas to keep in mind if you have staff working from home:

  • Temperature, noise, ventilation and lighting levels should be adequate.
  • Electrical equipment should be free frayed or exposed wires and wiring and electrical cords should be secured and out of the way.
  • The work area should be large enough to safely accommodate all equipment and wiring.
  • Hallways and doorways should be free from obstructions.
  • The working environment should be free from clutter or materials that could create fire hazards.
  • Floor surfaces should be clean and dry, and carpeting should be properly secured.
  • There should be ample lighting for the work that the employee will be doing.
  • The working area should be equipped with sufficient electrical outlets to accommodate all necessary equipment safely.
  • Desks and chairs should be the appropriate size, height, etc., to provide comfort.
  • Some organizations ask employees to sign a statement indicating that they will comply with the company’s stated safety requirements; others even ask employees to bring in photos of their work areas indicating that they are in compliance with safety regulations.

Employee safety needs to be your concern even when staff works from home. If you have telecommuting staff, please contact our office at (800) 622-7370 to discuss your protection options.

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Categories: Risk Management, Workers' Compensation