37.4 Workers Working from Home

Chapter 37.4 Workers Working from Home


Working from home, in some form, has always been a feature of work. The recent Covid-19
pandemic and the government recommendation for workers to work from home where
possible has cast new light on working from home, and in particular the health and safety
implications. With working from home likely to be a significant feature in ongoing working
arrangements it is vital that we learn from the recent experience to optimise the outcomes of
working from home for the worker and for the organisation. Building on the limited literature,
this chapter draws on the outcomes of a survey and interviews with OHS professionals to
develop principles for OHS practice to inform the design of work for working from home.

Keywords:Safety, health, wellbeing, OHS, working from home, WFH

First year of publication: 2020

Current Version: 2020

Chapter 37.4: Workers Working from Home

Table of content

2 Historical perspective
3 Legal context
3.1 Australian Fair Work legislation
3.2 Work health and safety legislation
3.3 Case law
4 OHS professionals’ view – Initial implementation of working from home in a ‘Covid’ environment
4.1 Survey
4.2 Targeted interviews
4.3 ‘Lessons learned’
5 A broader view to inform design of work for working from home
5.1 The individual
5.2 The work system
6 Implications for OHS practice
6.1 A holistic approach to work for working from home
6.2 Role of the OHS professional
7 Summary
Appendix: Working from home documents – A comparision

Pam Pryor AO, BSc, BEd, GDipOHM, MAppSci, ChOHSP, FAIHS
Manager OHS Body of Knowledge Development, Australian Institute of Health and Safety
Email: manager@ohsbok.org.au

With a background in OHS consulting and OHS education Pam now specialises in activities around
OHS capability and related aspects of OHS professionality. She was chair of the Technical Panel that
developed the OHS Body of Knowledge and inaugural Registrar of the Australian OHS Education
Accreditation Board. Her current role as Manager OHS Body of Knowledge Development focuses on
the ongoing maintenance and development of the OHS Body of Knowledge and associated
resources. Pam was a key player in the development of the INSHPO Global OHS Capability
Framework and received the 2017-18 President’s Award from the American Society of Safety
Professionals (ASSP) for this work. Pam received an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018 for her
contribution to OHS through leadership and advisory roles, particularly in developing standards for
education frameworks.

David Provan BBehSci, MHlthSci, MBA, PhD, ChOHSP
Managing Director, Forge Works, Researcher, Griffith University

David is a safety professional with more than 20 years of experience as a director of health and safety
within high-hazard industries, including oil and gas, construction and rail. He is the founder and
managing director of Forge Works safety consultancy and a part-time research fellow at the Safety
Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University. David completed his doctorate on the identity, practice
and future of the OHS profession.

Learning Outcomes: Systems

The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks.

To optimise its value for education and professional development learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter in the Body of Knowledge.

The learning outcomes as described give an indication of what should be the capabilities of an OHS professional; it is up to those developing OHS education programs, OHS professionals planning their CPD or recruiters or employers selecting or developing people for the OHS function to consider the required breadth vs. depth .

Please read the section on using the learning outcomes before delving into the leaning outcomes of the individual chapters.

The numbers against each learning outcome refer to the chapter number of the BOK download page. No learning outcomes have been developed for the chapters considered introductory or underpinning knowledge (that is chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, .13, 14, 15.)