Undertaking Risk Assessments for Home Working during Covid-19
Employers owe a duty of care to their team no matter where they are working and properly carrying out a risk assessment will help employers to fulfil their legal duties in this respect.
A Risk Assessment should cover the hazards that are likely to be found in a normal home where home working is not normal practice and should include attention to the following:
Where will the employee set up their desk/workstation so as not to cause excessive interference with family life?
Does the employee have a spare bedroom/study or will they work in the lounge or dining room?
Is the location of the employee’s IT equipment suitable?
Can they set up their computer at the right height? Do they have a suitable chair?
Are laptops or tablets suitable for long-term use or concentrating on work documents?
During the Covid-19 emergency many more employees are working from home for the first time and it may not be possible for employers to complete all the normal risk assessment tasks to set up a suitable home working environment for their employees. However, it is possible to implement a Risk Assessment specifically for use during the period of required constraints as set down by the Government. Once the necessary Coronavirus restrictions are lifted, and should an employee continue to work from home, then a full Working from Home Risk Assessment should be undertaken in the usual way.
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