Health and Safety Executive (HSE) update guidance to include temporary and long-term at-home workers in their regulations. These are laws in place to help protect employees when working from home. While these rules are UK focused, they serve as good practices all over the world regarding health and safety for home workers.
Due to the Covid pandemic, there has been a shift from office working to home working. We are in the middle of a second government restricted lockdown in the UK and it is unknown how many more there may be but it looks like the new normal. So buckle up buttercup and see how you can protect your staff with the DSE updated guidelines. We set out to answer “what is an employer responsible for?” in the context of the current changing climate.
What are your responsibilities as an employer?
According to New HSE Working from Home Guidance, Employers must:
- Carry out a desk / DSE assessment
- Conduct a workplace risk assessment
- Reduce risks by ensuring workers take breaks from their desk
- Provide an eye test if an employee asks for one
- Provide training and information for workers
Employers, you are now being held accountable for more than just your employee’s computer – you are responsible for their remote working health and safety in order to be HSE compliant.
Workers must have their work set up assessed including their furniture, equipment, and work conditions. Assessments should be carried out annually but must also be done if an employee develops pain or discomfort at work, there is a new starter, or if there is a change in the way a workstation is used.
Ensure your employee’s breaks are well planned, VIDA helps you personalise these activity breaks with tailored exercises and look after your staff’s wellbeing.
Taking regular breaks is recommended for lots of reasons like avoiding eye strain and muscle soreness as well as improving productivity. Changes in activity should allow workers to move around, get the blood pumping, and change postures.
There are no set timings but shorter breaks more often, 5 to 10 minutes every hour, is recommended.
Why not get your team to adopt the Pomodoro technique :
You must ensure workers have information on the risks associated with desk working and give them information about:
- good posture
- adjusting chairs and other furniture
- arranging desk space
- adjusting screens and lighting to avoid reflections and glare
- breaks and changes in activity
- risk assessments
- how to report problems
DSE regulations have always existed but now government regulators such as HSE in the UK have included temporary and long-term home workers in their guidelines to help employers maintain HSE regulation compliance.
For those temporarily working from home, they should be empowered to complete a self-assessment with some simple hints and tips on managing home working and provided this great information sheet on how to set yourself up.
There is advice on ergonomic workstation that workers may need to work effectively from home and suggested adjustments you can make to bigger items like a cushion on your chair for low back support. The VIDA assessment can personalise this to each worker with easy at-home suggestions to improve workstation ergonomics and reduce risk.
Long term home workers must have a full workstation assessment and employers are responsible for providing them with advice and all equipment required.
How VIDA can help you meet HSE & DSE regulations for hybrid and remote work
Since the launch of VIDA we have been overwhelmed by the support and engagement of employees using it to assess their work from home setup.
”At Elvie, we care about our employees well-being . While we have all been on prolonged remote working for the last few months, thinking about our remote setups and ergonomics became a priority, so instead of going with standard health & safety desk assessment check-list, we decided to go a step ahead and work with Vitrue Health and use their amazing technology help improve our lives. It only takes few minutes, is easy and fun to use, and more importantly, provide great individual recommendations and tips for work setup.” Head of People at Elvie
The VIDA assessment ensures compliance with the DSE risk assessment updated requirements ensuring temporary and permanent at-home workers have a desk assessment with personalised recommendations and ensure you are looking after your workers during these changing times.
There is even a new wellbeing feature designed to encourage workers to plan movement breaks tailored to their individual needs.
VIDA is an easy to use tool that ticks all the boxes:
- Desk assessment
- DSE assessment
- Workstation risk assessment
- Wellbeing assessment
- Personalised recommendations
- Educational and training content
- Additional wellbeing and break planning tools
- Engages your staff
- CPD certificate
Now you no longer need to ask “what is my responsibility as an employer?” because you have the answer. What are you waiting for? Get your team signed up and drive health and safety for home workers with Vitrue VIDA which makes organisations compliant regarding HSE home working guidance!