Why keep your employees safe while working from home?

In previous blogs, we have talked about some of the best practices for avoiding common hazards at the workplace. However, we have questioned if it’s possible that workers who continue performing their work activities from home are also exposed to potential hazards and how employers can manage their safety.


In this blog, we tell you why working from home safely must be a relevant topic in your organization, and we share some useful tips for protecting your people.


As coronavirus continues to spread across the US, there’s still a level of uncertainty regarding when would be appropriate for employees to return to work. For instance, Google and Amazon have announced that employees will not return to the office until at least 2021 Other companies like Twitter have claimed that some of their employees could permanently work from home. These decisions are clearly based as safety concerns continue to grow.


Now that many US employees have migrated to work from home policy, a PwC’s survey found that most of the employees said they want options to keep working remotely once COVID-19 is no longer a concern. 72% said they would like to work out of the office at least twice per week. By contrast, a third of employees prefer never to go back to the office. It’s not unreasonable to think that from now on working remotely will continue.


In addition to this, OSHA’s current policies don’t include safety standards for employees who work from home and employers are not required to inspect the spaces for work of their employees. In other words, keeping a safe work environment at home it’s up to each of us.


The possibility of experiencing a work incident at home is not the same as experiencing one at the physical workplace of course, but it doesn’t mean that employees can’t face some risks while working from home.


Here we share you some tips to create a safe and comfortable work environment at home:

  • Make sure your work home environment is free from hazards

Cords and extensions that can be potential tripping hazards. Your work space has to count with enough air ventilation, good lighting and be free of excessive noise to work securely. Also, you can decide if it’s necessary to install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in case of shock and fire hazards.

  • Be aware of ergonomics

Working in awkward positions during hours can lead to pain and strain injuries over time. Opt for ergonomic office furniture that allows you to have a natural head, neck, wrist and back posture.

  • Try to create a consistent daily routine

Try to set a regular time to end your work. Take frequent breaks through the workday to stretch and exercise, especially if you work for a long period of time. Additionally, you can practice mindfulness techniques, do things you enjoy in your free time and keep a regular sleep schedule.


Although there are not strict safety standards for employees who work from home, Laurel Farrer, president of the Remote Work Association, recommends employers to implement three actions to manage working from home safety: 

  • Keep the conversation open with your employees by creating activities or providing to them materials related with the topic. 
  • If it’s possible, designate an expense to help employees to improve their work home office furniture.
  • You can schedule regular checks with your human resources department in order to conduct safety inspections and be sure your employees are working in a safe environment.


Kwema builds safer workplaces by providing safety wearables to employees who are exposed to potential risks and hazards at their job every day. Our safety devices activate an emergency protocol alerting safety supervisors or 911, and are designed to avoid adoption hurdles and training costs.

Watch how Kwema is disrupting workplace safety

 

Photo by Susanna Marsiglia on Unsplash

 

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