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Working Remotely – Health and Safety

In response to COVID-19 measures, many workers, including Academic Staff Members, are performing job duties from their own residences. The MUNFA (virtual) office has been contacted by Academic Staff Members with questions about safely working at home.

A common issue reported to us is the lack of access to ergonomically designed and adjusted workstations. MUNFA has been in contact with Memorial’s Environmental Health and Safety office to pass along these enquiries.

We are informed that any questions about ergonomics can be directed to MUN’s Ergonomics Program at ergonomics@mun.ca [1]. We have also learned that some academic units have authorized the removal of office and workstation equipment to home offices, and that Campus Enforcement and Patrol are aware of this. ASMs who seek to remove workstation or office equipment are advised to contact their Unit Heads prior to doing so.

Occupational health and safety is a shared responsibility. Memorial University, as an employer, is required by statute and Article 27 [2] of the MUN/MUNFA Collective Agreement to ensure the health and safety of its workers in the places where they engage in their occupation. ASMs also have an obligation to take reasonable care to protect their own health and safety while working. In this vein, MUNFA encourages its members to consult the Telework and Home Office Health and Safety Guide [3] for advice on working from home in a manner that is comfortable and can prevent injury.

Issues about workplace health and safety may still arise while working from remote locations. ASMs are advised to contact their Unit Heads and Occupational Health and Safety Committees [4] to communicate concerns, and that normal reporting requirements [5] for near miss and injury incidents while working are still in effect.