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As an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities towards your employees irrespective of whether they’re working from home, the office or in the field. 

In this post, we’re going to explore further the responsibilities and considerations employers face when it comes to supporting home working safely. 

Talk and establish whether home working is best for each employee

You should talk to your workers about their arrangements, as working from home may not be suitable for everyone. For example, some people may not have an appropriate place to work or may prefer to come into the workplace for wellbeing, mental health or other reasons. You are legally committed to keeping your home workers safe; equally you need to make the best decisions operationally for your business.

Homeworking has become a way of life for British workers due to Covid19. Managers have new responsibilities and challenges in monitoring and supporting home workers.

Employers have a responsibility to:

– Put control measures in place to protect employees

As with all aspects of work that is undertaken by a staff member the risks must be assessed to ensure any hazards are mitigated. We are not suggesting that you turn the employee’s home into a workplace, but you must work with the employee to ensure that they can complete their working day safely.

– Ensure work can be done safely

This may be as simple as ensuring that they have a suitable work area but often it may involve working with the employee and undertaking a display screen assessment (DSE) to ensure that their chosen work area is suitable.

– Communicate regularly

Whilst it is simple to call your employees to check on them on a regular basis this should be documented. Ideally have a set of simple questions to ask in order that you can monitor the response and spot changes which could indicate a developing issue.

– Supervise, monitor and train

Much as with communicating regularly we have seen that managers and supervisors have had to change their approach in how they manage staff and a review of training as well as working practises may be required.

To discuss anything health and safety or home-working-related, contact the team at Safety & Health today. 

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