Businesses continue to change their work routines to accommodate the COVID-19 risk, with many now considering moving over to homeworking as a permanent measure.
If you are considering permanent homeworking, as an employer it is important to remember that you still have a duty of care to those employees working from home and as such should take appropriate measures to ensure their health, safety and welfare is considered in the same way it would be from their workplace.
A number of organisations have produced some handy flyers and info graphics for effective, healthy and safe working from home practices click here to view the Health Working from Home info graphic or here to download the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics Human Factors Home working and staying healthy info graphic. Both documents give some great information on setting up a suitable workstation from home.
The Home-worker’s Duties
Employees working at home must take all reasonable steps for the safety of themselves and others who may be affected by their work activities e.g. visitors and family members. They must:
- take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of anyone else who might be affected by their acts or omissions
- work according to any instructions and training received from their employer
- report any hazards not addressed by their procedures or risk assessment
- not deliberately or recklessly interfere with, or misuse, anything provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare.
Risk Assessment and Home-working
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to carry out a risk assessment of work activities for employees working at home. This can be done as a visit to the employee’s home or as a self assessment by the employee.
A risk assessment should:
- identify the hazards relating to the home-worker’s work activities
- decide who may be harmed and how, including children or visitors
- assess risks and taking steps to remove or reduce them as far as is reasonably practicable
- record the findings of the assessment. This is a legal requirement if more than five persons are employed, but is good practice
- regularly review the risk assessment
C&C’s VISION Health & Safety Management Software contains a simple and effective Display Screen Equipment (DSE) module, which can be used to manage all work place DSE requirements including home working. Visit www.visionmp.co.uk for more information.