Remote working

Remote working and lone working: what you must know

The number of remote workers has increased these past years, but what about their safety? Are they considered as lone workers? Find the answers here.


Remote working has become widespread these past years, and more particularly since the recent pandemic which has changed the working habits of many companies. However, this new practice leads to questions concerning the safety of the employee who works from home. In this article, you will find the answers to the questions you may have on this subject.

Is remote working considered as a lone working situation?

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), "remote work can be described as situations where the work is fully or partly carried out on an alternative worksite other than the default place of work", it can be work at home which is the "work that takes place fully or partly within the worker's own residence."

A lone worker, on the other hand, is by defintion an employee that works by himself without close or direct supervision and cannot be rescued quickly in case of a danger. Therefore, a  remote worker who cannot be seen or heard by others (family members, colleagues, friends, etc.) is considered a lone worker

 

What are the risks for a remote worker? 

Even if it does not seem obvious at first sight, telecommuting presents physical risks for the employee. First of all, there are risks of musculoskeletal disorders, if the employee's workstation is not adapted, and if he/she has a bad posture, he/she can feel pain in some muscles or joints. According to the French Health Insurance, muscuoskeletal disorders represent nearly 90% of occupational diseases.

As for any other worker, the employee who works at home can also fall or feel sick. If they are alone, there is no one to help them. 

This situation can also have negative effects on the mental health of the worker: isolation, stress, malaise, imbalance between private and professional life, these are risks that the remote worker can face. 

 

Does a remote work accident have the same value as a regular work accident?

A remote worker, even if he/she works from home, has the same rights as an employee in the office. That is why an accident that occurs at home during working hours is fully considered a work-related accident. In case of a sick leave due to this accident, the employee is compensated in the same way as for a classic work accident that would have taken place in a factory or office.

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How to protect a remote worker?  

According to the International Labor Organization "Employers have a duty of care for all their workers and need to [...] provide a working environment that is safe and without risks to physical and mental health. This includes assessing, controlling and mitigating risks in locations other than the normal workplace, such as the worker’s home."

To do this, he must first measure the risks that his employees may face, which may be physical or psychological, as we have already explained. 

He must then take measures to prevent these risks.  To fight against the psychological risks caused by isolation, the employer must ensure that he communicates regularly with his employees, by telephone or videoconference, and maintain a close relationship with them.

Regarding physical risks, he can decide to get his employees a device dedicated to their safety: a  lone worker safety device. The Beepiz application, for example, is perfectly  adapted for a remote work use. All the remote worker has to do is carry his phone on him for automatic detections or keep his phone near him to trigger alerts manually in case of distress. To avoid annoying alerts at home, the employee can also use the desktop mode, which allows an alert inhibition during a certain period of time. 


Finally, it is clear that remote working is not without risk and that it is the employer's duty to ensure the safety of its employees even when teleworking. The ideal is to avoid working alone: choose a coworking space if you are alone at home.

 

If you wish to learn more about our Beepiz app, click here :

L'application

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