Posted by: Francois Malan | Date: 11 May 2020
For the past few months the world has been shaken by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and businesses/employers were forced to ask employees to work from home by government laws/regulations (both State and Federal).
For some employers this is new territory, and the implications can be burdensome if not previously identified and addressed appropriately. Although inconvenient, this means employers must comply with their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (the Act).
The following provisions of the Act are particularly relevant:
In light of the above, employers could be liable for injuries or incidents sustained by workers in their home or alternative workspace despite employers having limited control over the environment.
However, any injury sustained by employees whilst working from home must satisfy section 32(1) of the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld), which states that:
An injury is a, personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment if the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury.
It is important that employers take reasonable precautions against any risks to health and safety of employees who work from home. This can be done by identifying and managing the relevant health and safety risks posed by the workers environment (e.g. home entrance, study or space where work is to be conducted).
The following steps or procedures may assist in protecting yourself or eliminating/minimising the risk to the health and safety of your employees:
If you are an employer who is unsure of their obligations in relation to employees working from home, or any other COVID-19-related matters affecting your employees, please do not hesitate to contact us.