Working from home poses risks for employers

The trend for employers to show flexibility to work from home requests from staff has long been seen to pose some minimal risk as far as work health and safety issues are concerned. However, a recent decision involving an employee of Telstra has raised concerns that these risks my not be as minimal as previously thought.

The case involved an appeal by Telstra against their employee being awarded workers’ compensation for a number of accidents at the employee’s home, including a fall down some stairs as she was going to get a bottle of cough medicine – the employee claimed she had a coughing fit and fell.

This case highlights the need for constant vigilance by employers and the use of practical yet thorough hazard identification and risk assessment processes.

Contact O’Connell Employment Law Specialists for a copy of a free hazard identification checklist covering many of the normal risks associated with employees working from home.

Hargraves v Telstra [2011] AATA 417

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