Safety and health responsibilities when working from home

Safety and health responsibilities when working from home

​​Across Canada, employers have been asked to consider having workers work remotely (e.g., work at home) where practicable, as part of efforts to slow the progression of COVID-19 (coronavirus) through social distancing.

To support this practice, SAFE Work Manitoba would like to share the following guidance on employer and worker responsibilities for ensuring their workspace is healthy and safe.

Our offices may be closed to the public, but we are available by email at, online chat at or by phone at 204-957-SAFE (7233) in Winnipeg or 1-855-957-SAFE (7233) Outside Winnipeg.​

Developing safety and health guidelines

During this crisis, we can and should rely on some of the fundamentals that we use every day to manage the safety ​and health of workers. The employer should ensure it has basic safety and health guidelines for working from home, and that each party understands their role, duties, and responsibilities. 

At minimum, these guidelines should include that employees conduct an assessment of their workplace and report any hazards to their manager. An example of some other factors to consider in the guidelines include:
  • protocols for evacuating from the home or temporary workplace to a safe location if needed and how to contact the employer in case of emergency
  • discussion of safe workplace practices and how to report any work-related incidents or injuries
  • discussion of ergonomic considerations. Check out this checklist​ to evaluate your home workstation.

Key safety and health requirements when working from home

Many safety and health roles, righ​ts, and responsibilities are just as applicable for at-home workers as they are for more traditional workplaces, including:
  • Reporting workplace injuries
  • Requirements for education and training
  • Worker's duty to follow safe work procedures
  • Furthermore, check-in and other procedures are required if the worker is working alone or in isolation. For more information, here are some resources that can be used when working alone. 
  • Ergonomic assessments may be useful in preventing worker injuries
    • Try using Bulletin 264​ to direct employees on how to set up workstations while working at home! 
  • If questions arise, consider connecting with SAFE Work Manitoba at 204-957-SAFE (7233)​. ​One of our team members may be able to help!
  • Employers should also give consideration to the follow-up and investigation of reported incidents.

For more information

For other information about COVID-19 and the workplace, please see our COVID-19 ​​page​ and the following links:
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