Home-At-Work and Occupational Risk Intervention During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Authors: Liliana Vargas Puentes, Camilo José Peña Lapeira
Abstract: The pandemic caused by COVID-19 significantly affected small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and their workers in Colombia, who, in order to give continuity to their organizations and comply with legal requirements during the health emergency, turned their homes into workspaces, giving rise to the modality of "home-at-work”, which differs from the usual teleworking model.This new context required that organizations implemented strategies for managing occupational risks which arose in households whose workers adopted the home-working mode and had to share family, personal, and/or school spaces at the same time.The research aimed to identify the management of occupational risks for 400 workers linked to Mypymes companies in Bogotá city that adopted the modality of homeworking during 2021, because of the pandemic conditions. The current work was framed in mixed descriptive approach research (Hernández et. al, 2010) through the application of a virtual survey to the sample, interviews with employers, and RAEs.The results of the survey applied show that 41.6% of the workers did not receive a visit to inspect and adapt the workspace at home, and 25% received some virtual guidance. On the other hand, 67% mentioned that the chair and work surfaces did not fulfill ergonomic conditions and they were not improved by the employer. Only 50% received training on occupational hazards of working at home and 36.1% received guidance on active breaks. Finally, 50% stated that the workload increased significantly, generating anxiety and stress, and 46.4% were never informed how to report an accident at work while working at home.Thus, the intervention of occupational risks in the work-at-home modality was low, especially in the adaptation of workstations. However, the employers affirmed that, although there was not strong intervention in that aspect, they gave self-care guidelines to workers, and efforts were focused on preserving productive activities to keep companies afloat.
Keywords: Health and safety, occupational hazards, home-at-work, ergonomic conditions.
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