Workplace accidents come in different forms and severity. These include vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and equipment malfunctioning. In the case of vehicle accidents, you may consider hiring a truck accident lawyer to help you in the negotiation process and determine the compensation for the employee.
Beyond the usual workplace accidents, injuries can also happen when working from home; employees are exposed to new safety risks because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mental health threats of being stuck at home. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how you can help your workforce prevent work-related injuries when working from home.
Create an ergonomic workspace
Although many companies are already allowing remote work, the COVID-19 pandemic has left numerous employees working from home for the first time. Many are used to working in a traditional office setup while their homes serve as their personal sanctuary after a hard day’s work. This means many employees don’t have a designated workspace at home — or even one that considers their physical health in mind.
Office ergonomics refers to the science of designing workstations to suit the limitations and capabilities of the modern-day employee. The main goal is to provide workers with a convenient working environment for optimal efficiency and productivity.
Since working remotely, many employees have complained about chronic fatigue and muscle pains. One way to solve this is to recreate the workspace to increase the productivity of the user. In other words, the employee has to ensure their home office is safe and comfortable.
You can start by placing frequently-used items or equipment within your reach to avoid straining or stretching. Employers have to provide the necessary resources to help their employees set up an ergonomic workstation. You can also ask them to describe where they plan to work to ensure the equipment will fit inside. This can be a desk, an office chair, monitor, keyboard, or anything to support their day-to-day jobs.
Encourage active lifestyle
Sitting for more than eight hours is not healthy for the body, whether you’re at the office at home. Experts say that prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle pose a greater risk to remote workers since their movements are confined in one space.
As an employer, the safety of your employees should be your top priority. Remind them about the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle even if they can’t go outdoors. A great tip is to set an alarm, so you get reminded when to take breaks. During your free time at work, consider doing simple stretches to keep your muscles relaxed and avoid overexertion injuries. In turn, employees should also take time to stretch their shoulders, back, neck, and feet.
Employees who have to switch to long-term remote work need to adjust their work routine. Even if they no longer come to the office, encourage them to wake up at the same time every day to prepare for work. By the end of the workday, employees should drop everything and make time for their family and other household tasks.
Keep communication lines open
Managers should maintain communication with their workforce even when everyone is working remotely. This means finding the right communication tools to ensure employees stay connected with their managers and coworkers.
Video conferences help in collaboration and bringing teams together, while one-on-one conversations benefit individual employees, especially if they’re having problems adjusting to the new work setup. More importantly, managers should avoid getting straight to the topic itself during meetings, instead take time for a little catch-up by asking employees how they are.
Working from home unavoidably brings feelings of isolation and loneliness to employees. The pandemic has removed opportunities for socialization, so workers have no choice but to focus on their job. Meanwhile, others struggle to share their workspace with pets, roommates, and family members. As a result, remote employees can’t set the boundary between work and personal life.
The best you can do as an employer is to encourage employees to explain their situation to their friends and families. For working parents, provide resources to help them balance work and childcare. You can create a modified schedule for them to accommodate their personal responsibilities at home.
If your workforce will remain working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to prioritize their health and safety. Even if they’re not physically in the office, your responsibility as an employer should never stop there. Making them feel their well-being is your priority can go a long way in avoiding work-related injuries while working remotely.