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Employer health and safety responsibilities for staff working from home

Employers' health and safety obligations apply to home workers in the same way as they do to staff who work on the employer's premises. Read on to find out more about responsibilities towards staff working from home.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

Employers must take steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all its staff, including those who work remotely.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Employers must carry out a risk assessment to identify any hazards relating to the work done by home workers and to take steps to remove them or, where this is not 'reasonably practicable' (i.e. disproportionate to the hazard identified), to minimise them. Checks should include whether the ventilation, temperature, lighting, floor, space, chair, desk or workstation and computer are suitable for the tasks being performed. A record must also be kept of the findings of the risk assessment and the risks kept under review. 

Staff are responsible for maintaining a safe environment and must inform their employer if any measures taken turn out to be ineffective.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

Employers must undertake a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) workstation assessment for 'users' (i.e. those who use DSE as part of their daily work, continuously for an hour or more), reduce risks, including making sure staff take breaks from DSE work and do something different, and provide training and information.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 

The Regulations put duties on employers to report certain workplace accidents.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981/917

The First-Aid Regulations obligate employers to make provision for first-aid and inform staff of the arrangements made in connection with first-aid.

Staff also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of their own health and safety. They should keep in regular contact with their employer and tell their manager about any health and safety risks, as well as any home working arrangements that need to change.

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