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How do we ensure working from home conditions are safe?

Q: We have a few employees working from home (in administration and IT) in other states and in remote locations. Could you please advise what procedures we are required to have in place to meet health and safety requirements?

A: Under health and safety legislation in all jurisdictions, you must take reasonably practicable steps to minimise health and safety risks to all workers, including those who work from home. This means ensuring the physical layout of the home workplace is safe and without risks to health, and that these standards are maintained by the worker.

Before allowing workers to work from a home office, you should:

  • Determine whether it is appropriate for the worker to work from home.
  • Inspect the home workplace before the worker commences working from home to identify health and safety risks.
  • Manage any risks you have identified in the inspection.
  • Train the worker in your policies and safe operating procedures.
  • Provide and maintain equipment that is safe and without risk to health.
  • Have the worker complete a 6-monthly home workplace inspection.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Working from home for current advice.

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