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Blog  »  July 2022  »  How to Conduct a Risk Assessment for Remote Workers - Blog
Jul 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

How to Conduct a Risk Assessment for Remote Workers

Given the increase of remote and hybrid workers in the workforce, it is important to make sure you know how to conduct a risk assessment for remote workers. The usual health and safety duties extend to those working remotely and include identifying risks, ensuring workstation assessments are carried out and providing appropriate training.

Most people working from home are office workers which means it is a lower risk from a health and safety perspective, however, issues such as stress, fatigue, and poor posture can pose real dangers to homeworkers.

Risk assessments for remote workers

It is your duty as an employer to conduct risk assessments for remote and hybrid workers. The process of carrying out your risk assessment will be different. For example, you may not be able to visit the employees’ homes to carry it out, however, you may ask them to do a risk assessment themselves or send you a picture of their workspace.

Once your employees’ home workplace is passed as safe, it is their responsibility to ensure that it has been kept that way. However, the risk assessment must be reviewed periodically or whenever you have reason to believe that the risks may have changed.

Hazards to look for when conducting a risk assessment for staff who work from home

There are some risks that you should consider for most staff working remotely. Common risks include:

  1. Mental health risks such as stress and anxiety
  2. Risks associated with workstations e.g., the use of display screen equipment
  3. Electrical equipment
  4. Environmental issues such as noise levels, temperature, and ventilation

These are just some common risks homeworkers may experience, additionally you must keep an open mind to any risks specific to the work your employees are doing remotely.

Protecting the mental health of homeworkers

The following steps can help you reduce stress and mental health issues for staff who work remotely:

  1. Ensure that remote workers come into the workplace regularly so they can stay up to date with the business and stay connected with their colleagues
  2. Remember to include them in work socials to tackle feelings of isolation
  3. Have proper communication systems set up to stay connected with off-premises staff during the day. E.g., phone, email, instant messaging, videoconferencing, etc
  4. Provide helplines for IT support or equipment breakdown.

Health and Safety training for homeworkers

You must give enough health and safety training to all your staff to enable them to be safe at work, including those who work from home.

Regardless of where employees are working, all employers still have a responsibility for their health, safety, and wellbeing. Managers should be encouraged to regularly discuss this with team members, as employees should still take the first step in reporting any issues to their employer.


Related Articles: 

Remote Working: What are the risks? How to Manage them.



Posted in Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Health & Safety, Hybrid Working


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