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Health and safety in the home office

All guides to home working and teleworking stress the importance of making proper provision to comply with health and safety legislation. But how does one know what this is?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have now produced a booklet aimed at answering such questions. Entitled Homeworking: guidance for employers and employees on health and safety, it covers the legislation applicable to homeworking, and advises how to take steps to comply with it.

Did you know...?

As a taster here are some snippets for you to get the flavour of what is required - and possibly to see if your organisation is up to speed on health and safety.

  • Most of the Regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) apply to homeworkers as well as employees working at an employer's workplace.

  • Employers are required to carry out a "Risk Assessment" connected with working from home. Employers who have 5 or more employees (including homeworkers) are required to record the findings of the assessment and what step they have taken to deal with them.

  • Employers must ensure that proper training has been provided for use of equipment and handling of materials at home

  • Employers must ensure that the regulations covering working with VDUs are complied with, including those regarding comfortable working positions at the workstation and the taking of regular breaks

  • Employers also need to ensure that they supply adequate first aid provisions for homeworkers (what this is will vary with the job)

  • Employees have a duty to report and keep a record of work-related accidents, injuries and incidents.

This is a helpful little booklet, well referenced to allow employers and employees to follow up particular lines of enquiry.

The HSE booklet Homeworking is available online in pdf format: HSE Health and Safety for Homeworking 

or from your local HSE office (you are advised to check the local telephone directory), or from:

HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS
Tel: +44 (0)17187 313995

For other enquiries contact the HSE infoline on 0541 545500 or visit their website.

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