- Ensure that all homeworking employees complete and update the Home Working Safety Checklist annually.
- Require homeworking employees to check that their home insurance policies cover company equipment such as IT equipment.
- Make sure that all company supplied equipment is regularly PAT tested… employees tend to work better whilst not being electrocuted!
- Provide all necessary PPE (and regularly review what is required) if the homeworking includes activities with increased risk, for example using adhesives or soldering.
- Remember to get employees to complete a DSE (display screen equipment) Questionnaire.
- Forget to include homeworkers in meetings, communications etc as inclusion (i.e. feeling included) is critical to employee wellbeing and managed stress levels.
- Forget to carry out a risk assessment of the working space and equipment. Get staff to keep their workspace tidy and free of trip hazards. Risk assessment templates and guidance can be found here.
- Forget to remind employees who are on their own at home or who regularly travel directly from home for meetings, that you have a Lone Working Policy requiring staff to regularly check in, to adhere to your Driving Policy (especially regarding rest breaks) and to ensure their own safety by locking doors etc.
- Neglect fire safety, you should ask your employees to regularly check fire alarms and potentially have suitable fire extinguishers, depending on the type of work. For example, an electrical fire extinguisher if there is a significant amount of IT equipment.
- Hesitate to remind staff who home work to look after their eyes… that means they need good lighting, ideally some natural light too and they should not work in dim conditions as that can cause eye strain as well as increase accidents!
10.5 Statistics on injuries in the home show that more injuries and deaths occur in the home than on the roads or in the workplace. Using ladders, reaching high cupboards, dealing with faulty sockets and plugs are all a major hazard. And we haven’t even mentioned trying to pour a cup of tea whilst juggling your mobile phone under your ear. Educate your staff about homeworking injuries and how they can often be avoided.