It is almost a year since the government first advised the nation to work from home where possible. As an employer, are you confident that you have sufficiently considered the safety and wellbeing of your employees throughout this period?
For most businesses, the concerns attached to home working would have initially been viewed as temporary, and therefore acceptable or not important. However, as time has progressed, it has become increasingly clear that the remote office will be a permanent option for many people in the future.
With this in mind, there are two crucial actions that employers should consider taking.
Home Working Risk Assessment
An individual’s home environment is not considered high risk, but employers should be paying close attention to the potential implications of somebody working from home.
This means that they should question whether any electrical equipment has been tested, and whether an employee has taken home any potentially hazardous work processes. In these situations, it is important to note that the risks of these processes could be passed on to anyone else living in the house, rather than just the employed individual.
The overriding consideration should always be whether the home working environment is suitable for the employee. Health and safety responsibilities do not disappear when individuals are working from home, with Home Working Risk Assessments recommended to maintain a dedicated approach.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
Inevitably, all home workers will be using a display screen of some form, whether it be a tablet, laptop, or desktop monitor. Although the HSE advised last year that a formal assessment is not required for this equipment, the increasing shift towards long-term home working means an assessment is now worthwhile.
The introduction of DSE self-assessments can be key in protecting the wellbeing of employees, whilst also providing peace of mind from an employer’s perspective. The assessment considers all elements present in a home workstation, ensuring that individuals can continue to do their job comfortably and effectively. This also presents a useful opportunity to identify any additional equipment that may be required.
AHR Consultants can provide bespoke guidance for home working arrangements and assist you in delivering long-term protection for your people. This includes the implementation of Home Working Risk Assessments and DSE self-assessments, as well as any other remote working concerns that you may have.