Due to the current pandemic and the global outbreak of Covid-19, a lot of us are having to adapt to our new work surroundings while working from home. But what if we have an accident while working from home? What are our legal rights? Our accidents at work specialists are here to provide helpful advice on the current situation and what legal rights you have.
Does my employer still have a duty of care?
A lot of people are wondering if their employers still have a duty of care to look after their health and safety while working from home, and the answer is yes. Your employer must look after you and take reasonable care while you are working whether this is at work or at home. Although the Workplace Regulations 1992 don’t usually apply to domestic premises, your employer is still expected to take reasonable care for your safety while you are working at home. However, the extent of your employer’s duty will be limited because of the lack of control they have available over you while you are at home.
Does an employer’s duty of care depend on what work I am carrying out at home?
The extent of your employer’s duty of care depends on the nature of the work you are carrying out while working from home. Your employer is usually expected to carry out a risk assessment of the work you are completing and consider how suitable the work is for carrying out in a home work environment.
If the work you are expected to complete is generally suitable to be completed from home, your employer must consider your specific home surroundings and whether the work is suitable for your specific home. For example, if you are making certain products at home, your employer will need to consider the space that you have available and whether you have sufficient storage and space around you while completing the task so you do not trip or injure yourself.
Is it necessary for my employer to visit my home and carry out inspections?
It is extremely unlikely that an employer would visit your home for inspection because of the current guidelines that are in place for Covid-19, but in some circumstances, it may be necessary. It is a lot more likely that your employer would discuss safety measures with you in a remote meeting.
If I did suffer an accident while working at home, would my employer be liable?
When working at home, you would have control over your work environment, so there would be significant duty upon yourself to ensure your safety, but your employer is expected to give you the tools and equipment to carry out the work.
This means if you were to suffer an accident while working from home, your employer would be responsible, but only if it was due to their negligence. This means that if they have failed to take reasonable care for you and your safety, then the accident would fall under their negligence. For example, if they have provided you with equipment to work from home which is faulty or unsafe and causes injury, they could be liable to pay compensation.
In the current exceptional circumstances, if you were involved in an accident while working at home and attempted to make a claim, the court would likely be sympathetic towards the employer because of the difficulties that they will be facing throughout the pandemic, so it is advised you instruct a specialist accident at work solicitor to help with your claim.
How can HNK Solicitors help you?
If you have been injured while working from home through no fault of your own, and are looking to make an accident at work claim, HNK Solicitors can help you pursue your claim. We offer all our clients a free no-obligation consultation where we will be able to discuss the details of your case and advise you if you have grounds to claim compensation. To find out more about pursuing an accident at work claim, visit our page. Alternatively, contact HNK Solicitors on 0151 203 1104 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.