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  • Writer's pictureSonja Belle

COVID-19 Working from Home - the mouse is now the most dangerous creature in our house!

YES - it is true!

With many millions of employees being asked or being mandated to work from home in order to protect their health and reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers, especially those with an OHS or human resource function are anticipating the next round of problems to arise.

Instead of meetings on COVID-19, I am certain the table will turn to topics on OOS otherwise known as RSI!

Under the Western Australian Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984, an employer has a duty of care to mitigate loss, as too, do we as employees.

The situation now is that in periods as short as 48 hours, in the request and rapid flee of our employees to work from home, workers have moved from a controlled workplace with fully adjustable ergonomic chairs, height adjustable monitors, ergonomic mice, headsets and height adjustable desks etc to an environment unknown?

Often when working from home, employees work off a laptop (given its light weight, portability and function) or a desk top without adequate checks in place to make sure:

(i) they are safe

(ii) they are at reduced risk of developing an overuse type injury and

(iii) that they able to work efficiently and optimally at home.

This often means workers work in un-ideal postures and positions such as at the kitchen bench, off the dining room table, on their lap etc.

As both an Occupational Therapist and employer, what I predict, is in a matter of weeks we see an increase of employees complaining of sore necks, backs, headaches, wrists, forearms etc.

So what can you do?

The solution is very easy. You look at mitigating your loss and put risk management plans in place including offering your employees a remote ergonomic assessment by an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist with ergonomic expertise.

Both Occupational Fitness Solutions and our sister company, MTM Physiotherapy has worked using tele-health and remote technology for clients, using the same high level of service delivery as we do when we see our clients face to face. The benefits in contracting services such as ours are numerous, saving organisations thousands in terms of human and economic loss.

Together, working as a community we will get through this difficult time regarding COVID-19. For us this means trying to stay positive, sharing and collaborating and using innovative, creative ways to reduce any kind of loss.

Please contact our Managing Director Sonja Belle on 08 9380 6793 or via email for any questions or enquiries on this service.

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