Employers have a responsibility in the home-working setting under the Safety, Health & Welfare Act to ensure their employees are safe while they work. Today with the Covid 19 pandemic, as so many people are now working from home is it important to know that when work is being done in the home that employers are obliged to:
● Provide safe set of organised, planned and maintained working procedures
● Provide safe working equipment including PPE where necessary
● Provide Health & Safety instruction and training to all employees
● Assess risk and then implement necessary control measures
● Ensure that all work carried out is, as far as is reasonably practical, conducted in a way that does not threaten the health and safety of employees
● Have plans in place in case an emergency occurs
Typical examples of home working risk assessment that should be part of a ‘working from home’ checklist could include;
Computer workstations can be assessed as being legally compliant to ensure that working conditions at home are up to standard. This could relate to suitable posture-supporting seating, footrests, document holders and even supplemental lighting.
This equipment, be it computer-related, shredders or indeed lighting, needs to be regularly maintained and PAT tested to ensure employee safety. Other electrical devices like extension cables also need to be provided to protect the employees home electrical sockets from becoming overloaded.
Training & Instruction
Another employee responsibility is the provision of training and instruction for any equipment or
software being used as part of the employee’s work. In the current conditions this instruction will likely
be provided remotely via telephone or video chat, but it needs to be legally given, again with a view to
ensuring that employee safety is maintained.
The specifics of each case will depend largely on the work being carried out and the home in question, but these general rules need to be adhered to by all employees.
If you find yourself in this position as either an employee with your employees now working from home and you need to know more about safety and your responsibilities when to come to staff working from home you can speak to us directly, just give us a call on (01) 6905907
OHSS was established in 2001 as an Occupational Health and Safety consultancy. Founder Paul Foran has extensive experience in the field, both as a consultant and as a former Inspector with the Health & Safety Authority (www.hsa.ie), where he formulated policy and legislation.
Our mission is to be the leading Occupational Hygiene and Safety consultancy in Ireland, and provide reputable tra
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