Working from Home. Your new work place

Using Risk Assessments to Keep Remote Workers Safe under Lockdown 

A lot has changed since lockdown began, especially in terms of adjustments to the working day. Now that many of us are working remotely, the shift of responsibility has moved too. If you’re working from home, it’s your employer’s responsibility to ensure that your “new” working environment has everything that you need. Your employer must protect the health and safety of all their employees. One way to achieve this is to create a risk assessment to protect employees as “home workers”. 

Risk Assessment Structure 

Risk assessments should follow five simple steps. Employers can tweak these steps to tailor the risk assessment for home workers. 

STEP 1: Identify the hazards 

STEP 2: Identify who might be harmed 

STEP 3: Evaluate the risks from the identified hazards 

STEP 4: Record the significant findings STEP 

5: Review and revise 

Steps That Employees Can Take to Keep Safe 

There are also steps that employees can take to protect themselves while working at home. You and your employer need to consider the following in your home worker risk assessment. 

Display screen equipment (DSE) 

Do you have the correct display screen equipment? Are your chair and desk suitable? Do you need any additional equipment, such as a footrest, monitor, mouse or keyboard? It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you have these items – and any other essential work equipment – for you to work safely at your home workstation. 

Fire Safety 

Though the risk of fire is usually relatively low in homes, you should check for sources of fuel or heat. If you are a smoker, ensure that your ash trays are in a safe place. You might also decide only to smoke outside. If you live in a flat, consider how close the kitchen is to your workstation. Keep any paper documents away from gas/electric cookers. 

First Aid 

Again, you’re relatively unlikely to injure yourself while working remotely. However, if your home qualifies as “high-risk”, your employer must record any danger to you/anyone else and steps to overcome this risk in the risk assessment. 

ETD’s Free Risk Assessment Forms 

ETD offers free, unlimited online risk assessment forms for each user created on our training portal. For each complete risk assessment (which can be viewed by the company manager), we send reminders to “review and revise” any potential changes every six months. 

Sign up or log in to the ETD training portal to access the free risk assessment forms.