Working Alone, in Isolation or from Home

The Working at Home-OHS Guidance document summarises the key considerations for employees when working from home. There is also practical advice on looking after your mental and physical wellbeing in the guide to Working from Home Safely and Productively

The workstation risk assessment can help employees set up a safe workstation at home. When working from home, there is the Working from Home-Ergonomic Guide to learn how you can make adjustments to reduce the risk of injury.

Employees are welcome to contact the Department's OHS Advisory Service for free advice and support by phone on 1300 074 715 or by email: safety@edumail.vic.gov.au

Working from home, alone or in isolation from others presents a new set of hazards that employees should be made aware of. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Access to emergency assistance

  • Exposure to occupational violence and aggression, or family violence

  • Fatigue

  • Manual handling

  • Mental health and wellbeing

  • Safe workspace set-up, including ergonomics of a workstation

  • Slips/trips/falls.

Relevant sections of the OHSMS

PolicyProceduresFormsGuides

 Working Alone, in Isolation or from Home Procedure

Register of Employees Permitted to Work Alone or in Isolation

Working at Home-OHS Guidance

Working from Home-Ergonomic Guide

Working from Home Safely and Productively

OHS Risk Management

 

 

Where/when would these issues be relevant?

Working alone or in isolation may include:

  • working from home

  • working in limited access areas i.e. working in a downstairs filing room with limited contact with others

  • working over holiday breaks.

A person is deemed to be working alone or in isolation when they cannot be seen or heard by another person and have limited means of communication for an extended period of time.

What do you need to do?

 Employees are responsible for:

Workplace Managers are responsible for:

  • negotiating a mutual Flexible Work Agreement with an employee to work alone or in isolation including working from home. This document is to be signed, dated and a copy provided to the employee, as well as placed in the employee's personnel file to be retained in the workplace
  • establishing a three month trial period for the Flexible Work Agreement to assess the effectiveness of the arrangement and to provide an opportunity for fine tuning
  • providing a written response to the Work-Life Balance Proposal within twenty one days of submission
  • ensuring the remote workplace does not pose any risks to the employee's health, safety or wellbeing, as far as is reasonably practicable
  • ensuring the Department's Workstation Risk Assessment template has been completed by the employee prior to signing the Flexible Work Agreement
  • ensuring the 'Register of Employees Permitted to Work Alone or in Isolation' has been completed.

Legislation, guidance and Codes of Practice

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Contact us

OHS Advisory Service on ph. 1300 074 715 or email safety@edumail.vic.gov.au

Incident Support Operations Centre on 1800 126 126 (24 hour service)

Further information

Department Flexible Work Agreement

Department Flexible Work webpage

Department Working Remotely Guidelines

WorkSafe Victoria Officewise – A guide to health and safety in the office

WorkSafe Victoria – Working Alone Information Sheet

WorkSafe Victoria – Office Work: Safety Basics