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Hybrid working is here to stay

When Covid hit and Boris first announced we should all work from home where possible, a lot of businesses were unsure how this would affect them and their staff. Fast forward almost two years, a lot of businesses have continued with a hybrid work arrangement where staff split their time between home and the office. It certainly has its benefits for both your employees and your business, but as an employer, what do you need to do to ensure your staff are working safely when at home?

The answer is simple really, employers have the same health and safety responsibilities for people working at home as for any other employee. Most of the time, risks to home workers will be low and the actions you should take to protect them will be straightforward.

Risk Assessment

Where employees are working from home, a risk assessment should be carried out detailing how the risks will be controlled.

Managing the risks of stress from working at home

  • Keep employees updated on what is happening so they feel involved and reassured
  • Have regular keep-in-touch meetings or calls so they can share any concerns
  • Speak regularly about workloads, demands and training needs
  • Encourage home workers to take regular breaks and use their annual leave


Managing the risks of using Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

Ask employees to complete a self-assessment specifically designed for home working to ensure they can achieve a comfortable, sustainable posture while working with DSE and that equipment being used is safe and suitable.

They may not necessarily need office-type furniture or equipment at home to achieve a good posture. Equally, their own furniture or equipment may not be suitable or sufficient. Use your DSE assessments to help you decide what is needed for your employees’ situations and circumstances.

In addition to the usual areas of risk covered by an office DSE assessment ensure the following areas are covered:

  • Electrical equipmentAsk employees to visually check for any damage to sockets, plugs or leads used in connection with their work. Give them advice on the hazards of overloaded extension cables.
  • Slips and trips Provide advice on how to minimise the risks of slips and trips by keeping their work area clear of obstructions, spillages, and trailing wires.
  • Emergencies & lone working Ensure employees know what to do in an emergency and who to contact.
  • Reporting accidents for home workersYou have the same responsibilities for home workers under RIDDOR as you do for anybody else, so it is important all accidents are reported to you.

If you would like any further advice or help with managing this area of risk in your business, please contact our team on 01302 341 344.

By Rachel Cuff CMIOSHRisk Consultant

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