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The new OH&S model and working from home

by Melissa Behrend
| Dec 21, 2011 |
Employee Relations, HR Consulting, HR consulting Brisbane, Hr Services Brisbane, HR Systems, HR systems Brisbane, Human Resources Consultant Brisbane, News, Performance Management, Recruitment
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Working from Home what are the risks?

At the commencement of the new year there will be new Health and Safety laws introduced and along with this comes a much broader responsbility for companies who have employees working from home.

The new model will ask employers to monitor the health and safety of their employees (where reasonably practical) in carrying out their work duties where they occur.  Under the new laws a workplace is where work is performed from time to time that is, if the employee works from home, this will become a workplace.

Recently Telstra was in a legal battle with an employee who slipped whilst working from home.  The Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled they were responsible for legal and medical costs incurred, as well as the lost of income and future earning potential of that employee.  The impact of this decision may cost the company millions of dollars.

How can you avoid an incident like this - get your employee to complete a OH&S checklist e.g. are there smoke detectors present and working, is there a fire extinguisher available, are all floor coverings safe and non slip etc.

Links to media stories regarding the incident of Hargreaves vs Telstra

http://www.news.com.au/business/telstra-forced-to-pay-costs-compensation-after-worker-dale-hargreaves-slips-while-working-at-home/story-e6frfm1i-1226081649913

http://www.startupsmart.com.au/home-based-business/2011-06-27/telstra-ordered-to-pay-home-based-workers-injury-costs.html

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Written by Melissa Behrend

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