If you are working somewhere that isn’t your usual office you may be less inclined to think about workplace injuries, but if you are working from home you need to continue to look after your health and mitigate the risk of injury just as you would if you were at a regular workplace.
Read on to find out what some of the most common working from home injuries are.
Some people are unlucky enough to understand how painful migraines can be. In particularly bad cases migraines can be debilitating and may cause nausea, dizziness, impaired vision and a lack of concentration in addition to the pain.
Migraines can be caused by many factors including stress and hormones, but in a work situation, they can be triggered by a workstation that has been set up poorly and is under bad lighting or causing the worker to sit awkwardly or in a way that causes tension.
If you are experiencing migraines that you believe are a direct result of your home workstation set up you should ask your employer to arrange an in-home assessment.
Injuries impacting a worker’s mental health should not be overlooked, particularly after a trying few years. Stressful or toxic working environments can lead to depression and anxiety but working from home can add elements of isolation and burnout due to a lack of social interaction and a lack of distinction between an employee’s work and personal life.
To mitigate this, workers should try to work in an area separate to where they sleep or relax and should log off completely at a nominated time of day. Taking scheduled lunch breaks can also break up the monotony, as can leaving the home to grab a coffee or some fresh air, even if only for 15 minutes.
Planned catch-ups with colleagues can be a great way to stay in touch and feel less lonely. If possible, arrange for a standing video call each week with your team or a friend from work to talk about something other than your jobs or what you are currently working on.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) are often sustained in the workplace and can be particularly pertinent to working from home situations if the employee’s workspace is not set up correctly. It can take time for the symptoms of RSI to emerge, but the effects can be long, painful and deeply impact a person’s ability to work effectively.
If you are working from home it is crucial that your home set-up is compliant with WHS regulations and it may be necessary to have an in-home assessment to ensure your workspace will not lead to an injury of the hands, neck, back or shoulders.
Broken bones, cuts and contusions
Home working environments may seem cosier and more familiar than an office or other workplace, and it can be easy to assume you won’t be injured in your own environment, but with fewer people watching out for hazards and no dedicated WHS officer on duty the risk of trips and falls is higher than you may realise.
When working from home you must ensure your own workspace is hazard free. This extends beyond temporary physical obstacles that can be easily moved (such as delivery boxes) and include faults that you may be used to like loose floorboards, uneven steps or rugs that have curled back at the edges.
Extra equipment in the home means more cords, so you should be sure to tuck any chargers or extension cords away from the walkway around your workspace so you do not trip over them.
Am I entitled to compensation if I am injured whilst working from home?
If you are injured because of your work or otherwise during the course of your employment you may be entitled to compensation, even if you are working from home. This includes injuries sustained while taking a break or cooking your lunch, so long as you were not engaged in a particularly risky activity at the time of the injury.
If you have been injured because of, or during the course of, your employment while working from home and you need advice on claiming compensation our personal injury lawyers can assist.