Disability Management When Your Employees Work Remotely
Technology has made it increasingly possible for employers to hire employees from anywhere they are able to work remotely. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has been increasingly embraced among the workforce, and it isn’t expected to go away anytime soon. And while there are several advantages to remote work, it is also not without its challenges.
For example, how can an employer implement an effective disability management program when employees are not onsite, and safety conditions are difficult to monitor? If an employee gets intoxicated while working at home and becomes injured, what does that mean for the employer and their legal obligation to keep employees reasonably safe?
While disability management for remote employees is no doubt more challenging than for onsite employees, it doesn’t mean there aren’t steps employers can take to help prevent injuries and manage their risks.
The following are some strategies you can incorporate into your company’s disability management program for your remote workers:
Create a work at home safety policy
Just like you have a safety policy for your onsite workers, there should be one for your remote workers as well. Include specific expectations for their conduct and environment that will mitigate the risk of injury. Ensure that this policy is distributed to your entire team, let them know that working from home is a privilege, and they are expected to adhere to that policy.
Require your remote employees to have a dedicated workspace
Your remote employees should have a space in their home where they work. This space should meet the same standards that your regular onsite office space meets, from having ergonomically correct furniture and equipment to being free of clutter that could pose a hazard.
If possible, supply your remote workers with the tools and equipment they need to work from home or provide them with a budget to furnish a proper workspace.
You may also choose to require that your employees provide photos of the space so you know they are complying with safety standards.
Review your insurance
If your company only recently started allowing employees to work remotely, then it is also a good time to review your insurance to ensure that employees working from home are covered.
If there is any doubt, contact your insurance company and see if it is necessary to make changes to the policy.
Regularly follow up with employees
Finally, it is important that you don’t lose track of your employees. Follow up with them regularly to ensure they are still complying with safety standards. You may wish to have scheduled conference calls to see how they are doing and ask whether their current equipment is still meeting their needs.
You may also want to consider having occasional virtual lunch and learns to cover topics relating to remote workplace safety or to general health and wellness. Keeping a culture of open communication where safety is promoted is crucial.
Contact TeksMed today
Disability management can be a challenge for any workplace, but it can be especially daunting when employees are working remotely. For assistance with your disability management plan, contact TeksMed today.