January 13, 2021

How do Health & Safety & Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations apply to employees working from home?

The last 12 months have caused no end of change and uncertainty to our lives.  Because of this huge change to the way we are working, the dangers relating to health and safety and working from home are becoming more apparent and are a matter of high importance.

As a huge proportion of the global workforce was forced to work from home, organisations have been faced with the daunting challenge of keeping their employees safe and well. Until recently, many organisations were unaware of the responsibility they have to their employees’ workspace at home. In fact as outlined by HSE and DFE regulations, these are similar to the responsibility they have for employees working in the office.

At the beginning of the pandemic, home working was viewed as a safe option to reduce the spread of Covid-19. However, we now find ourselves in the position where working from home is the new normal and many businesses are already making this way of working a permanent practice for the future.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of your employees, working from home, all organisations should complete a Home-Worker Risk Assessment and a DSE Risk Assessment for every individual who works from home

But what’s the difference between the two?

Home-Worker Risk Assessment
• This is a review of individuals working from home, whether or not they are utilising a computer.
• It should be applied on any individual who is working from home, whether implied or contractual.
• The evaluation covers things like, working considerations, insurance, electrical safety environment, crisis evacuation plan, the pressure factor of working from home, and the environment of the home itself.

DSE Risk Assessment
• An evaluation of a computer user at their workstation and the prompt environmental factors of their surroundings
• Should be done for any individual whose work includes utilising a computer. This applies to both working from home and their workplace
• Regularly covers things like the chair, desk, lighting (natural and artificial), the temperature, air quality, mouse and keyboards, displays and console etc.

It isn’t possible for employers to carry out physical assessments at every employee’s home so these assessments can be done digitally. Communication software such as Zoom is frequently being used.

So whether you are an employee or a business owner, this is the ideal opportunity to think about how your workspace may be presenting a danger to you or your employees and how you can overcome this problem.

Limelight Workspace can help you to define your home working plan and help you define what your teams need in order to adopt a safe approach to working from home.
For more information on how we can help, please call +44 20 8447 4690 to talk to one of workspace specialists or email our team at hello@limelightworkspace.co.uk