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Potential risks while working from home put employers at risk of personal injury claims

Top risks highlighted by report from Adare Human Resource Management.

Practical solutions can prevent potential personal injury

‘Overloading multi-socket adaptors’ and access to ‘appropriate seating’ are just two of the health and safety issues identified as part of hundreds of risk assessments carried out on remote workspaces on behalf of employers. The information, compiled by Adare Human Resource Management, highlights how vulnerable employers are to potential personal injury claims as employees continue to work from home due to the ongoing health crisis.

Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe place of work, provide suitable equipment required to carry out tasks and ensure employees are adequately trained appropriate to the task and equipment. Despite this, many employers are not ensuring a safe workspace for their employees with over half of employees reporting at least one safety risk, according to information released by Adare Human Resource Management.
The top 3 potential risks highlighted are:

  1. Overloading multi-socket adaptors – 50%

  2. Issues with chair/ seating – 37%

  3. Using laptop without additional equipment, such as keyboard – 22%

Derek McKay, Managing Director of Adare Human Resource Management is concerned that many employers are not doing enough to ensure safe workspaces for their employees. “Given we are nearly a year into the crisis that has forced thousands of employees to work from home, we would have expected to see the majority of health and safety issues addressed by employers by now. Many of the risks we have identified have practical solutions, such as ensuring employees have a suitable chair or ensuring they take appropriate rest breaks and work the agreed hours as per their contract, particularly given the recent talk about employees’ Right to Disconnect”.

He added that employees must be reminded of their responsibilities as well; “those working from home also have an obligation to ensure they take the necessary precautions to mitigate risks and not wilfully put themselves in danger. And that they follow the training and direction provided to them by their employers as well as reporting any issues as soon as practicable”.

Worryingly a trend identified also from the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and Ergonomics assessments conducted over the last number of months, 14% of employees stated that they suffer from headaches and visual discomfort.

Adare Human Resource Management provides comprehensive online risk assessments and H&S training for organisations across the country, managed by a team of experienced Health and Safety Consultants, ensuring organisations are compliant with their obligations as set out in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts.

For more information go to www.adarehrm.ie.

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