During the Covid-19 pandemic, the HSE advised that for those working temporarily from home, workstation assessments were not needed. However, remote working can be a productive solution for both the employee and the employer, and you may have seen the benefits of such in recent months. If you are considering making home working a more permanent solution for some or all your employees, then this will require some additional planning and management.
A crucial area of responsibility for employers is the health and safety of workers. Even though remote staff don’t share the same workspace as you, HSE regulations still hold employers like yourself responsible for maintaining employees’ health and safety while they work from home.
With this in mind, you should consider the following steps:
- Conduct a risk assessment for your remote working programme. This involves identifying the hazards relating to the homeworkers’ work activities and deciding whether enough steps have been taken to prevent harm to them or to anyone else who may be affected by their work. Consider your employees’ specific home workstation restrictions and capabilities.
- Provide remote staff with adequate equipment. Educate employees on safe use, storage and handling of this equipment. Further, make sure employees have access to IT support in the event that they experience technology or software failings.
- Be sure that employees’ home workstations follow safe Display Screen Equipment (DSE) usage guidelines and promote proper workplace ergonomics.
- Schedule regular check-ins with remote employees via phone or video chat to discuss stress levels and mental well-being.
Public Liability Insurance and Home Workers
Check your employer’s liability insurance covers employees working from home. Make sure your actions (or lack of any action) don’t invalidate the insurance. If you have any questions regarding your employer’s liability insurance, your CCRS Account Director can help. Please get in touch and we can advise.