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Home Working Inspections To Help Employers Maintain Their Duty of Care

Home Working Inspections To Help Employers Maintain Their Duty of Care
25 August 2020
 

In response to the increase in home working in the UK, inspections of home offices are being carried out to help companies follow through on their duty of care.

Companies such as Office Checkers inspect the home working environments of employees, focusing on safety, wellness and productivity. Trained inspectors carry out a 45-minute check according to a process built around the ACAS homeworking guidelines.

Inspections are based around issues such as ventilation, lighting, desk dimensions, chair height, back support, trip hazards, clutter, size of screens, positioning of the equipment, internet speed and connection, availability of first aid kit and fire extinguisher and lifting hazards, as well as things like the correct insurance being in place.

“Bigger companies have historically tended to send out checklists or surveys to their staff, either focused on remote working or general but with remote working included,” said Office Checkers Founder Xavier Wiggins.

“That might have been acceptable in the past but we do believe that the time is right for far closer attention to be paid to remote working and protecting both sides.”

 

“There is also the added consideration that employees might fear redundancy more than previously and might not want to ‘rock the boat.’ There are already legal cases around home working. Is there more litigation on the way? People seem to think so." 

–Xavier Wiggins

Founder, Office Checkers

 

Encouraging A Proactive Attitude to Health and Safety at Home 

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is unequivocal in their view that employers have the same responsibility towards home workers as they do to other staff, including the duty not to charge for things done or provided in accordance with their specific requirements.

Wiggins feels that their independent audits support facilities managers and take away the logistical challenge of delivering the onsite checks. He also suggests that taking a proactive approach to managing safety for home workers will help alleviate any reticence that the employee might have in reporting problems: 

“There is also the added consideration that employees might fear redundancy more than previously and might not want to ‘rock the boat.’ There are already legal cases around home working. Is there more litigation on the way? People seem to think so. Clearly, independent checking of home offices can help to shape strategies and create environments that reduce the risk of problems later.”

Picture: A photograph of a laptop, a pad of graph paper and a coffee on a wooden desk

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 25 August 2020

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