You want to work from home? - An 11 point checklist to comply with OHS requirements.

03 Jul 14:00 by Catherine Lanigan


You’ve decided to ask your employer if you can work from home a day or two a week.  Your employer has a duty of care to everyone who works for them, no matter where that work is undertaken.

If you work from home on a regular basis, or want to work from home, your employer has an obligation to make sure your home office environment is safe.  They’ll need to carry out an audit / full health and safety check and risk assessment of any home office before approving a work from arrangement. The first step is completing an OHS checklist.

Before requesting a work from home arrangement check that your home complies. This checklist is to check off specific things to ensure that their home office complies with OHS requirements. For example:

  1. Is there a working smoke detector?
  2. Is there an ergonomic chair and adequately sized work surfaces?
  3. Is a fire extinguisher readily available?
  4. Is a basic first aid kit easily accessible?
  5. Are exits from the work area clear and unobstructed?
  6. Are all electrical cords and appliances safely secured?
  7. Are there any tripping hazards?
  8. Are all floor coverings safe and non-slip?
  9. Are there appropriate handrails on any stairs?
  10. Is the lighting appropriate for the work being undertaken?
  11. Is there proper ventilation and adequate heating/cooling?


Source - Charles Power Editor-in-Chief, Employment Law Practical Handbook