Safety challenges in your new home office

Category: Health & Safety
Published on:


Safety challenges in your new home office

COVID-19 has resulted in more than a few changes. Some of these will fade quickly, others will stick
around for good.

In many households, the family is now together, and work-life integration is more prevalent than

Has your laptop grown a long pair of wooden legs and been positioned in front of a TV, close to the
kitchen, in a space now known as ‘the office’. With a huge percentage of workers now continuing to
work from home, there are a few things to check.

Before you left the office, did you forget your charger, office mug, and a handful of incident forms,
just in case?

What’s changed?

The shift to work from home was fast and unexpected, leaving most businesses scrambling to action.
Now that changes have been in place for a little while, it’s important to know that employees remain
safe, healthy, and happy in their new place of work.

As a business owner or an employee settling into the ‘new norm’, can you safely say you are ticking
all the boxes?

It’s never been more on-trend to say, “Safety first”.

Regardless of how you manage your health and safety systems – paper-based, a combination of
systems, or a fully integrated, seamless safety management system – you may find technology gaps.
As policies, procedures, locations, and other aspects change within your workplace, you need to ask
yourself how quickly can you make the corresponding change within your current safety
management process.

Are you working safely within your new workplace?

This includes mental and physical well-being. Who checks in, what systems are in place, who do you
report to?

Is your office space ergonomically sound? Do you find yourself with a bad back or neck at the end of
each day? Has your desk (kitchen table, coffee table), chair (bar stool, couch, milk crate), or monitor
been checked from an ergonomics perspective? Do you know how to check this yourself?

Lots of questions to consider, and to answer.

Do you currently manage your health and safety on paper-based forms?

If you answered, yes. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s no right or wrong way to manage health
and safety, but there are smarter ways to reduce high volume admin and repetitive tasks and to save
time. And we could all do with some time back, right?

Plenty of companies still use paper-based systems to oversee their workplace health and safety
compliance management. For some, it can be an out-of-control mess, a productivity killer that
requires lots of storage.

Others will argue that it works perfectly fine and ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’ But how do you do this
with employees in different locations, and social distancing and self-isolation now being the new

Is it time to consider technology to fill those gaps and changes?

Technology can assist in many ways, especially now that face-to-face and office-based working has
been flipped on its head during COVID-19. Businesses need to innovate and recreate solutions when
it comes to making a to-do list and checking off-line items.

In order to move forward, can you identify employee needs and address concerns, define a
workplace hazard, and ensure 100% of employees are working safely?

A simple, fast, and risk-reduced approach would be to consolidate processes into the one system,
allowing for increased reporting, seamless and easy access for employees and managers, and a
reduction in the pressures of managing a business.

Workplace hazards or incidents in the home, how to manage this?

Health and safety are still as important as ever now your employees are working from home. An
example of how to reduce risks, report hazards and incidents, complete ergonomics assessments,
and follow up outstanding records/actions, is to include technology and automate what you can.

A Donesafe customer case study with Mountford Plumbing outlines how the business shifted to an
innovative and technology-driven approach for all health and safety requirements.

What if I have an incident whilst working from home?

Well firstly, incidents still need to be recorded and actions still need to be managed off the back of the incident including follow-ups, resolutions, and notifying upper management. 

“At one stage, all we were doing was paperwork … It was just so cumbersome.”

Mountford Pluming Services

A Real-Life Scenario

Today: A worker notices that their back and neck become sore after working from home. With no
paperwork or assessment to complete, an email is sent. It receives no response, and no follow-up
actions are put in place.

With technology, set up for tomorrow: A worker notices a slight strain in their neck and back. They
pull out their phone, snap a photo, type a note, and click Send. Boom! They get back to work within a
minute. Their notification then pops up on the WHS manager or business owner’s phone. They then
tap a few buttons, and the appropriate ergonomics assessment is sent to resolve this. At every link
along the workflow, records are automatically taken and related, without anyone having to spend
more than a minute of their day dealing with it and correcting actions.

Mountford Plumbing switched from Paper to Donesafe

Donesafe’s Work From Home App

The Donesafe COVID-19 app enables organizations to manage employees from their new location,
home, or wherever they may be.

Functionalities and capabilities:

– Information to be stored and streamlined throughout the organization
– Approval processes for recorded information
– Requests managed remotely with review and approval stages 
– Monitoring a safe environment, from equipment to potential hazards 
– Logging of incidents
– Communications/notifications to keep employees up-to-date at all times

Work from home app on Donesafe
Donesafe’s Work From Home App

Work From Home Register

Simple and Easy to know who is working from home and who isn’t at a glance. Enable employees to request permission to work from home and employers to review and approve.

Home Office Ergonomic Assessment

Mitigate the risk of injury at home by deploying an ergonomic assessment to your workforce. Standardize and manage a multi-step inspection process no matter where you are.

Log Incidents from the Home Office

Make it easy for your workers to log incidents so you gain a better idea about what is actually happening organization-wide. Use the collected data to analyze causes, trigger investigations, predict hazards, or help prevent incidents in the future.

How to migrate quickly to a new Work From Home solution?

It’s time to move forward.

Donesafe, a cloud-based, fast, and easy to build, use, and migrate your health and safety system. Why’s that?

As an agile and creative team, we put our heads together and worked out how we can provide solutions for those working in isolation, home management, the who, what, where, and why about how this works and a few other elements that need to be factored into this period.

Other companies who shifted from paper-based forms and haven’t looked back

Fast-food giant McDonald’s shifted from a restaurant paper-based book and increased employee engagement to safety by 500%

Looking to make the switch? Organize a demo today.