Injuries In The Home Workplace On The Rise

Many people work or conduct businesses from their own homes – but often the family home is someone else’s workplace.

Home based work has one of the highest musculoskeletal injury rates across all occupations. This is not because of an epidemic of home office workers injuring themselves, but rather an increasing number of community service workers and the many associated hazards they encounter in providing care to clients in their own homes.

This is a high risk industry and the rate of injury is unfortunately increasing each year.

Increasingly, services are being provided for people in their homes. With over 26 000 community workers in Queensland, it is one of the fastest growing occupations (with a 49 per cent growth of aged/personal carers between 2001 and 2006). This figure includes people providing personal care, domestic assistance and social support to clients who are aged or have a disability.

Community workers experience a range of unique work challenges, including: working in isolation, having limited (if any) supervision, and working in a changing environment – the client’s home. Added to this is the nature of the relationship workers may have with their clients and the potential for change in the circumstances of their clients.

It is vital that carers and workers review their OHS systems and review common hazards and outline strategies to deal with manual tasks, workplace aggression and psychosocial issues, as well as slips, trips and falls.

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About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

Comments (1)

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  1. Marlien says:

    These pieces really set a standard in the industry.

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