Work From Home Week was launched back in 2003 with the aim of getting employers and employees to think about the option of working from home and all the benefits it can bring, from avoiding the rush-hour crush to creating a better work/life balance.
However, as well as all the benefits, there is still a requirement to make sure the home environment is suitable and fit for purpose. Whether employees work from home occasionally or on an adhoc basis, or use their home as their office or place of work for the for majority of the time, health and safety considerations still need to be given.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations requires that employers carry out a risk assessment of the home working environment to check whether ventilation, temperature, lighting, space, chair, desk and computer, or any kind of workstation, and floor are suitable for the tasks to be completed at home. Additionally, under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations, employers are required to conduct workstation assessments and include those working at home. The assessment should ensure that workstations meet the minimum requirements, work routines incorporate changes of activity/breaks, with the aim of minimising musculoskeletal problems caused by poor posture. Provision of eye tests and health and safety training are also stipulated in the Regulations.
It is a good idea to establish a homeworking policy which sets out the requirements for working at home and the provision of equipment. This should include a process for ensuring all homeworkers are assessed in some way, whether it’s a self-assessment process for those working from home occasionally or home visits by the employer to review the working environment. Additionally, by issuing homeworkers with information and guidelines to follow will help ensure employers meet the necessary legal requirements.
Discover if your business is legally compliant, contact CG Safety for a Free Safety Clarity Call.