As an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers.
When someone is working from home, permanently or temporarily, as an employer you should consider:
- How will you keep in touch with them?
- What work activity will they be doing (and for how long)?
- Can it be done safely?
- Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them?
Keep in touch, ensure regular contact is made to make sure they are healthy and safe. If contact is poor, workers may feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can affect stress levels and mental health.
Organisations that were not prepared for remote working, may find that workers may not have access to a desk or the appropriate workspace that they would be usually accustomed to at work. Workers that are not fully equipped for home working should be sent necessary equipment if safe to do so or provided with advice on how to modify their workstation temporarily. The important thing is that organisations collaborate with workers on how to work safely to reduce the risks by ensuring workers know how to spot the risks and are making sure any safety, health and wellbeing controls are practical and are being carried out.
Should you not have access to sufficient equipment, you could try modifying your workstation using household equipment by:
- Using items such as books or boxes to raise a laptop to eye level
- Using items such as a box as a leg/foot support
- Using a kitchen worktop to create a standing workstation
- Using a flat surface such as a dinner tray to sit a laptop, if there is no access to a table
- Clearing a workspace to ensure there is enough space around you to enable you to work effectively
For a FREE Corona Virus risk assessment format, a Home Working Risk assessment and a HSE PDF on Home working which you can use visit: http://ow.ly/Fsdg50ziTkU If you have any questions, on how to carry out the risk assessment please don’t hesitate to contact me.