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It’s the latest phenomenon. Call it what you will – teleworking, e-work, remote work, telecommunicating, mobile working, telecommuting, working from home, digital work, home-based work. It is the concept that is doing the rounds of business, government, the courts, the regulators, and homes, right across the global.

If teleworking appeals to you as an employer, then you need to appreciate that work health and safety legislation applies to all type of work and workplaces, including home-based working, and you need to implement appropriate guidelines, policies, procedures, and education for those individuals, to keep the workforce, including you, safe!

As a specialist in the provision of a simple, robust screening and induction solution, and as a contemporary organisation, WorkPro is committed to highlighting and educating our customers on safety related induction matters, and keeping you compliant as an Officer of an organisation. So, where do you start to consider the safety components of someone who is ‘teleworking’?

Here is some guidance information to help you to understand the areas that need consideration and help you prepare your business for workers who will undertake home-based work. Before we get started however, let’s be clear about the definition of a teleworker:

“One that is isolated from the assistance of other person’s, and who is not able to be directly supervised during the work day because of location.”

So, as a Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU), you have an obligation to manage and minimise the risks to health and safety of your worker, and will need to consider the following when it comes to work health and safety:

–          the role/position

–          formalising the request, including documenting specifics about the arrangement

–          request and authorisation process

–          review to ensure the arrangement continues to work for all parties.

This blog covers off the role/position to assist in devising an appropriate methodology but here is a link to a guide written by Telework Australia – an excellent resource and Australian perspective.

http://teleworkaustralia.net.au

  1. Before you start a collaborative discussion with the worker, have you considered the risk to the worker, working from home? Ask yourself:
    1. Will the worker be secure?
    2. Will the worker be productive and efficient?
    3. How will you consult and communicate with the worker?
  2. Have you developed a ‘Working from Home’ policy and provided it to the worker – here are some good examples that you may like to review: bit.ly/1cMH9BJ, bit.ly/dSdAi3,
  3. In conjunction with the Working from Home Policy, does the policy include a detailed procedure outlining the roles/responsibilities of both parties?
  4. Does the Working from Home policy/procedure contain a Request form
  5. Have you considered the ‘safe systems of work’ that need to be applied for your worker? Here is further reading about safe systems of work for an employer – bit.ly/12JtXXq
  6. Have you considered the equipment that will be required for a worker to undertake work and home and the costs that are involved?

Look out for the next teleworking blog later this week, related to devising a working from home request for the worker.

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