Risk Assessment for Working From Home
If you work from home, whether it’s from an office room, a desk in the corner or a spot at the dining room table, then it’s likely that you’re a lone worker. This means that you carry out your work activities in isolation from other people and without direct supervision.
According to the most recent statistics, a whopping 13.9% of people work in the UK actually work from home. That’s 4.2 million people who work remotely and without other colleagues nearby.
Due to the situation with COVID-19, people across the world are having to adjust to remote working. For some, this is an occasional part of their routine when they need flexibility around their usual schedule. However, many are having to make this adjustment without prior planning.
This article is designed to help you assess the risks of working from home, so you can identify the support and equipment you might need.
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Working from Home Health & Safety
On the surface, working from home doesn’t seem to present many risks to health and safety. You’re familiar with the environment, you know how the equipment works and you know your way around the premises. But that doesn’t mean you’re free from risk. In fact, more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else.
But why is that the case? Perhaps it’s because home is where we forgo traditional health and safety measures as we’re convinced that we’re ‘safe in our own houses’ and so get complacent with daily hazards. That plug that sparks each time you plug it in? You’ll fix it later. That smoke detector battery that’s run out of juice? You’ll replace it at the weekend. That desk chair which gives you backache? You’ll buy a new one on payday.
However, just because you’re working in a familiar environment it doesn’t mean that the health and safety risks shouldn’t be addressed.
To help you out, we’ve created a simple risk assessment template for you to download and help you assess your home workspace.
The actual risk assessment starts on the second page of the PDF. You can either fill the fields on your device or print it out and write in the boxes.
As the UK, along with many other countries, face a lockdown, it is likely working from home will be a ‘new normal’ for a while. It is worth spending some time to make sure you are safe and comfortable. Without an ergonomic setup, you could be at risk of developing issues from minor strains to more serious repetitive strain injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
We would also recommend the following resources:
- An infographic showing how to set your workstation up ergonomically.
- How to improve health, safety and wellbeing whilst sat at your computer.
- Guidance for employers on the health and safety of their homeworkers.
- Establishing an Effective Lone Working Buddy System if required for your role.
- Risk Assessment Training to understand each of the key steps of a risk assessment.
- Online Display Screen Equipment Training Course providing the learner with an awareness of the health risks associated with DSE.