The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a permanent shift towards hybrid working for many employers. However, as we navigate our working week between the office and home, it is important to remember that employers still have the same duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees, both in the workplace and at home.
Following an accident whilst ‘working from home’, a German court has recently ruled that a man who slipped and broke his back while walking from his bed to his home office was technically commuting. The decision by the court ruled ‘The plaintiff suffered an accident at work when he fell on the way to his home office in the morning.’
Whilst this was a German court ruling, employers in the UK continue to have a duty of care to staff when they are working from home, so it is advisable to complete homeworking risk assessments and DSE assessments and evaluate your employees home workstation set-ups.
Some employees might have the luxury of a home office, but for others their workstation could be in a kitchen, on a dining table, or even a coffee table. The designated work area should still have adequate space and sufficient light and ventilation and employees should be reminded to make sure electrical equipment is safe to use, with no trailing wires, overloaded sockets or extension leads.
EML has produced a Homeworking Toolkit which includes a self-complete workstation assessment and detailed guidance for employers and employees. For further details please call 01942 727200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.