Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risk Assessments – Managing Safety Obligations for Employees Working from Home

Coronavirus’s (COVID-19) relentless economic and societal impacts continue to create challenges for both individuals and organisations. As Coronavirus (COVID-19) forces people worldwide to work from home, disruptions to typical working processes are frequent. Something that typifies this trend is business’ safety obligations to their employees. Someone working from home does not absolve the employer from having a responsibility for that individuals’ safety.

Working from Home

Employers are responsible for their employees’ safety, regardless of where their work is performed.

While we think of employee’s homes as safe places, what happens in the event that a staff member injures themselves whilst working from home? It would be irresponsible to assume that employees are not at risk because they are in their own residence. Injuries in the home happen every day, whether it is a fall in the study or slip down the stairs. Safety hazards are also prevalent in homes, issues like overloaded power boards and faulty smoke detectors pose common threats to domestic safety – there is no “HomeSafe” to govern such issues.

As more people are forced to work from home, the level of direct control that organisations have over their safety during the working day diminishes. When your employees are operating remotely, from many different locations, how can you be proactive in taking safety precautions? It is not feasible to inspect your employees’ residences and even if it were, it would be invasive and inappropriate.

Online Self Risk Assessment 

JESI offers an Online Risk Assessment tool that provides employers with a cost effective and efficient solution for fulfilling their safety responsibilities, whilst also looking out for their employees’ wellbeing. The risk assessment tool allows employees to complete a quick two-minute questionnaire to gauge home safety and report any hazards around their home workplace to management. The speed and efficiency of this process means it is easy for employees to complete and for employers to meet their safety obligations.

A fundamental component of digital risk assessments’ immense value to an organisation is the streamlining of safety processes. JESI’s two-minute Risk Assessments is completed online. Having such a cost effective and efficient solution means organisations no longer need to rely on inefficient, manual risk assessment checklists.

Management have access to the risk assessments through their online dashboard.

Regular Daily Check-ins

Research from Buffer has shown that working from home is not without mental health concerns:

While safety needs to be a top priority, organisations also have a responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees, this includes making sure that they are okay psychologically. JESI facilitates communication between employees and management – allowing for regular check-ins is key to the ongoing support of employee wellbeing.

With the current state of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s a certainty that more employees will be working from home. Employers cannot neglect their safety responsibilities and must be proactive in exercising care for their employees’ wellbeing.

For more information on looking after your employees’ safety and wellbeing while they work from home, reach out to the team at JESI.

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