Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Don’t be at risk when working from home

Photo shows a man working from a home officeWorking from home is becoming more common these days and the attractions are there for all to see. The lack of a commute, working in a relaxed environment, and simply being able to call the shots for a while, are all part of the enjoyment that this scenario offers homeworkers. But the fact is, that working from home is not without risks, and these are not always that easy to spot and avoid.

Are You Suitable?

In most UK workplaces, working from home is a voluntary decision and this should be agreed between both employer and employee. However, although it may seem like a no-brainer, working from home is not as easy as one might imagine. Not all of us are equipped with the required level of self-motivation to work effectively away from our more familiar office based environment. Time management skills, flexibility, and being able to balance home and work life effectively, are all part of what makes this decision far from straightforward.

Home Working Requirements

You may think that all is required for a stable homeworking office setup is a laptop, a decent internet connection and a smartphone, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. All of your equipment needs to be effectively safeguarded and maintained to the highest standards. For those who work in a more ‘hands on’ industry sector, there are all sorts of issues that may arise with regards to health & safety regulations.

Equipment and Regulations

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you are working from your laptop, and do not require any specific safety or protective clothing to hand. But you will still need to look into the following requirements:

  • Are you insured to work from home?
  • Can you be trusted to maintain office confidentiality whilst working at home?
  • Will your taxation rates need to be altered?

The Element of Risk

Even if you are simply using your computer at home, you must still be aware that a risk assessment for homeworking will need to be carried out. Perhaps your working from home may be affecting other householder’s in a negative way. And maybe your computer screen safety needs to be assessed in an effective manner?

Stay in Control

We’ve only touched on a few requirements here, and if you are unsure about the health & safety risks of working at home, please read the Health and Safety Executive's report, RR262 (Health and safety of homeworkers). This will equip you with the knowledge required to assess your own unique working at home situation effectively.

Author Bio

Nick Cook has healthy respect for home working and also promotes health and safety in his spare time. You can learn more about him and his views here

Go Back