Homeworker Health and Safety Compliance Solutions
The business context of homeworking
Working from home has become a common arrangement for many employers with the advent of the internet and good broadband speeds in recent decades. The pandemic of 2020 consequently led to the government making it a legal imperative to do just that, where it was possible to so. Subsequently, more employers have now observed the potential for homeworking as a potential option in which they can operate more effectively.
Homeworking is not for every business, but for many it means reduced overhead and access to staff who they may not ordinarily have access to.
The government decree of ‘work from home (WFH) if you can’ was intended as a temporary arrangement and therefore, a risk assessment of this scenario was not required.
However, for numerous reasons many firms now find that the temporary arrangement has become a permanent one. This in turn triggers the need to consider the legal aspects of managing the risks of home workers.
Scenarios we have observed are as follows:
- We want all our staff back in the office
- We are happy to have some WFH during the week
- We are moving to WFH for all staff and closing our office
The difference in opinions between staff and their employers about the best approach has caused many companies a lot of anguish. Some staff are very keen to work from the office whilst others are keen to continue working for home. A lot of management time is now being taken up with trying to balance these opposing views.
McCormack Benson Health & Safety can help you manage these hurdles, get in touch to find out how.
Health and safety compliance support for home working
Once senior management have made clear their direction regarding WFH, we can assist the HR process to assess individual home working risks and consult with your HR manager the best way forward.
From this starting point the procedure involves three stages. Stages 2 and 3 may not be required on occasions.
We provide the tools to assess the individual risk and both the training and information to be provided to the staff as per the regulations’ requirements. We also provide a streamlined way to collate the responses for analysis by us.
The usual scenario is that a minority of staff will have raised issues that will need further assessment. Utilising the principle of, ‘in so far as reasonably practicable’, we will attempt to keep the need for detailed assessments to a reasonable level. We will conduct the additional assessments to clarify the individual situations.
Once the individual assessments have been completed, we will consult with the HR manager on preferred responses to each scenario encountered. There isn’t a pre-defined way to respond to these situations as each person is different and each employer has different attitudes towards how best to deal with staff issues.
Why choose MBHS to carry out Working from Home Risk Assessments?
If you are happy to run with the procedures by yourself with some templates, learning tools, etc. for a low cost then we can discuss that. However, MBHS was created to provide a more comprehensive approach based upon mutual professional trust between you and us.
For our long-term clients we will provide you a single well qualified advisor to assist with the whole process. This matters, as you need to be consistent with your approach. In the long-term the consistent approach makes for a streamlined process that is easier to manage. Although we will need some of your management time, we do attempt to keep this to a minimum.
We are very flexible in our approach and don’t apply a one size fits all. We offer single year contracts as we believe in long-term relationships based upon trust and good communication. Good health and safety management should be reviewed annually in line with your organisation’s aims and current financial reality.
We don’t stop your business doing what it needs to do. Our approach at its basic level is to put you in a defendable position should a civil or criminal claim be made against you. However, we do also enjoy working with those organisations who like to aim for ‘best practice’ in health and safety.