Homeworking allows employees and the self-employed to work remotely from their main place of work on a full- or part-time basis and to set up a dedicated full-time workspace at their home.
However, homeworking requires management and coordination to ensure employees are not put at risk from longer-term health and safety hazards or other issues that can emerge.
Duties of employers
Responsibility for health and safety at work rests with the employer whether or not that work is being done at the employee’s home.
Employers need to consult with their employees to assure themselves that:
- the employee is aware of any specific risks regarding working from home;
- the work activity and the workspace are suitable;
- they provide suitable equipment to enable the work to be done;
- there is a pre-arranged means of contact.
This assessment will look at the equipment, software, ventilation, lighting levels, access & egress, ergonomics, good housekeeping, space requirements, noise, eye tests, electrical cables/electricity, manual handling, stress due to VDU work and furniture. There are minimum requirements and standards required which cover all these areas.
This assessment will also evaluate the employee’s routine, positioning and seating in relation to their VDU and training levels provide to staff.
At the end of this assessment, participants will be able to:
- Understand the principles of ergonomics and how to apply them in the home.
- Identify potential ergonomic health hazards in their home and know how to minimise them.
- Describe the steps involved in the correct set-up and use of their home workstation.
Key duties that apply to the work activity and workspace include:
- managing and conducting all work activities to ensure, as far as reasonably; practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees;
- providing safe systems of work that are planned, organised, and maintained;
- assessing risks and implementing appropriate control measures;
- providing safe equipment including personal protective equipment, where necessary;
- providing information, instruction, training and supervision regarding safety and health to employees;
- having plans in place for emergencies such as, a fire or an accident at work.
Benefits of VDU Workstation Assessments:
- Allow the employer to meet their legal requirements
- Provide the management with an understanding of the design problems or underlying engineering/ventilation problem of the individual workstations or office
- Reduce the level of RSI or Work Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULDs) injuries and eye sight problems
- Provides staff with a safer and more beneficial working environment
- Reduces stressing and fatigue factors related to the work environment
- Allows the employer to identify and put in place any extra training and information that may be required for employees.