With another full lockdown underway in the UK the rise in COVID-19 cases and the potential for the NHS to become overwhelmed, many have moved back out of the office and are working from home again. This has some health and safety considerations that are worth revisiting to help give your employees the best chance of working safely, in addition, to productively in 2021.
What do I need to do as an employer?
As an employer, you have a duty of care for your workers. This extends beyond the scope of the office when you are asking workers to operate remotely. You must provide a safe environment, ‘as far as reasonably practicable’. This applies both in the office and at home.
- Here we thought we would reshare the health and safety considerations you need to make as an employer when you are asking employees to operate from home:
- Employers should make employees aware of the occupational health and safety policy when working from home
- Employers should provide the correct equiptment that will help employees carry out their jobs safely and effectively. This can include equipment provisions to deal with the increased risk of musculoskeletal issues
- Employers should revisit their mental health policy and adapt the procedures for working from home
- When working from home for extended periods of time, a DSEW workstation assessment may be needed. This is to ensure you comply with the Display Screen Equiptment regulations
- Companies with more than 5 employees must assess the risks for homeworkers in their environment and take the necessary measures to reduce the dangers and record any significant findings.
- Risk assessments should be conducted at the start of the employment and reviewed where there has been a significant change through working from home
- All risk assessments need to consider all hazards and how they can be managed, including risks related to new or expectant mothers and the dangers for the child
- Lastly, employers should provide, guidance, documentation and information on how to work from home safely and include workers in the decision-making process
Make sure you are well versed in the best practice on home working
These are just some of the areas that you need to consider as an employer, with the situation constantly developing it is crucial that you keep up to date with the current best practices in the area. Our article from StaySafe looks at how you can protect lone workers when they are operating from home.