How to ensure health and safety while working from home

Most companies make it a priority to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety regulations. Protecting employees and ensuring their well-being is vital to creating a sustainable working environment in the long term.

Currently, thousands of companies worldwide are working from home, which means that a large part of the responsibility falls on individual employees of the company.

Given this situation, it’s good practice for companies to take into account the basics of workplace health and safety in order to apply them remotely and ensure an optimal working environment, no matter where their employees are. 

Check out these 5 easy steps to prevent occupational hazards while teleworking:

1. Define a specific health and safety plan for remote work

If your company already has an occupational health and safety plan, it only makes sense to have one for remote work as well. 

All companies that are telecommuting need to make and implement a safety plan that’s appropriate for the conditions of telework. The United States Office of Personnel Management states that:

“All agencies must have a telework policy. Employees should familiarize themselves with their agency’s policy, and any relevant procedures and collective bargaining agreements to ensure they are in compliance with their requirements”.

2. Clarify the processes

Once the plan has been drawn up, the company must inform its teleworkers of any related security and health policies. On their part, the teleworker must apply the established measures.

Having a written agreement and clear communication by video call is the basis of risk prevention for employees. It’s important to verify they understand the regulations and emphasize how important it is to apply these measures.

3. Check each employee’s condition

The most common problems that employees can face while telecommuting include:

  • High-stress levels.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Visual fatigue.
  • Organizational problems.
  • Isolation.

In addition to taking all these into account, companies must also adopt the specific prevention measures established by the WHO related to COVID-19. As such, checking the remote working conditions of each employee is vital. 

A remote assessment must be carried out to diagnose and prevent any possible risks in the new workplace. It is not only a matter of ensuring that employees have an internet connection and access to company data, it’s also important to complete status checks to make sure the minimum conditions are being met for the security and health of the employee. 

Make sure each employee:

  • Has a designated, quiet workspace.
  • Has a chair, work surface, footrests, and a computer or laptop for work.
  • Knows the health and safety measures and is in compliance with the hygiene guidelines established for COVID-19.

Additionally, it’s key to monitor the emotional state of employees who are telecommuting.

Check out this article.

4. Train employees online

Just because employees are working from home, it doesn’t mean that companies have to sacrifice quality training processes. On the contrary, take advantage and encourage immersion in new areas such as workplace security and health at work. The key to this is to make it fun!

Now, more than ever, employees crave innovative processes that motivate them to continue learning. Using online gamified courses, you can guarantee high retention rates and effective implementation through realistic simulators that promote engagement—even long-distance.

5. Follow up on the implementation

Communication between all teams in the company is key. Companies need to follow up with how their teleworking guidelines are being implemented and if they are being followed.

Transparency is crucial throughout the process in order to identify areas for improvement and to ensure that measures are being updated as necessary.

In short, having a safe environment for remote working is essential. To achieve this, all employees must adapt to established health and safety standards.

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