For Worker Compensation to be valid when employees are working from home consideration must be given to the actual work space environment as duty of care for risk assessment and risk mitigation.
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An employer has a primary duty of care and must do what is reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of their workers, including when allowing workers to work from their home.
A worker has an obligation to take care of their own health and safety and follow health and safety policies, procedures and instructions put in place by their employer. This may include:
- following procedures about how the work is performed
- following instruction on how to use the equipment provided by the workplace
- maintaining a safe work environment (for example moving furniture to allow adequate workspace and providing adequate lighting, repairing broken steps)
- keeping their equipment safe, well maintained and in good order
- looking after their own in-home safety (for example maintaining electrical equipment and installing and maintaining smoke alarms)
- reporting changes that may affect their health and safety when working from home.
Injuries sustained while working from home are compensable if the injury arises out of or in the course of your employment, and the employment was a significant contributing factor to the injury.
Injuries sustained while on a recess break from work are also compensable, as long as the injury is not caused through voluntarily subjecting yourself to an abnormal risk of injury during the recess.