Lack of workplace risk assessment as a predictor of adverse health effects for teleworkers - results from the survey on Life with COVID-19 in Latvia

Linda Matisāne (Coresponding Author), Linda Paegle, Ivars Vanadziņš, Asnate Anna Linde

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Workplace risk assessment is one of the key tools for improving occupational safety and health conditions. However, providing risk assessment for teleworkplaces in the COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions has been a challenge for employers. The objective of this study was to identify the frequency of implementation of workplace risk assessment for teleworkplaces and the association between it and self-reported health complaints among teleworkers during the 1st emergency state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latvia. Teleworkers were recruited using a non-probability sampling (snowball sampling) method and social media advertisements. To obtain data that is representative of the demographic profile of the working population in Latvia, the sample was weighed based on gender and age. Out of 447 teleworking respondents included in our analysis, only 20.3% have mentioned that their employer had assessed the teleworking conditions (additional 8.1% reported partial assessment). Workers who have reported lack of risk assessment more often have health related complaints – e.g., pain longer than three days (26.9% with risk assessment versus 73.1% with no risk assessment), sore eyes (24.4% versus 75.6%) and anxiety (21.8% versus 78.2%) (p < 0.001 in all cases, except for pain). Increased incidence of occupational musculoskeletal diseases and burnout can be predicted in coming years in Latvia. Good practise examples should be gathered and promoted; guidelines for labour inspection should be developed in order to cover supervision of teleworking workplaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number01006
Number of pages10
JournalSHS Web of Conferences
Volume131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8
https://rw2021.rsu.lv/conferences/society-health-welfare

Keywords*

  • workplace risk assessment
  • telework
  • distance work
  • home office
  • health effects

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.2. Articles or chapters in other proceedings other than those included in 3.1., with an ISBN or ISSN code

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