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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
March 31, 2020

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Home working

Home working: Employee factsheet

If you work from home, your employer must make sure there is a risk assessment of your work activities. With the current government guidelines in place, HSE says it is not necessary for someone to visit you, but you should complete a questionnaire and provide appropriate evidence e.g. photographs. This will help decide if sufficient steps have been taken to prevent harm to you or anyone else who may be affected by your work.

What are your responsibilities?

home workIf you use electrical equipment provided by your employer as part of your work, your employer is responsible for its maintenance. They are not responsible for electrical sockets and other parts of your domestic electrical system, these are  your responsibility. It is also recommended that you carry out the following basic checks on a regular basis:

  • Electrical equipment is turned off before it is checked;
  • Plugs are not damaged;
  • The outer cover of the equipment is not damaged, for example look for loose parts or screws;
  • Leads, wires or cables do not have damage to the outer covering;
  • There are no burn marks or staining that suggests overheating;
  • There are no trailing wires.

If electrical equipment is damaged, faulty or dangerous, you should notify your employer so that repairs or replacements can be made.

If your employer provides any control measures you must use them properly. For example, you may be provided with a stand for your laptop computer, personal protective equipment, or even a procedure to be followed. You have a legal duty to use these controls as you have been instructed.

If you habitually used display screen equipment (DSE) as part of your work, you will be entitled to an eye test and you should also have a workstation assessment which may be undertaken by questionnaire. Your employer must provide you with information on how to obtain this.

If you have any concerns about the safety of your home working arrangements, you should speak to your employer or manager.

Home workers should notify their employer of any accidents or incidents that occur whilst they are working. In some case, the employer will provide the employee with a first aid kit, dependent on the work activities.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 4.3 m employees consider home as their work base and 34% of employees work at home as part of their work.
  • Just over half of homeworkers in 2017 are women (54%).


Working from home may affect your domestic insurance cover. Home workers are responsible for making enquiries

Other controls

You should receive training, a briefing, or some form of guidance on the arrangements. There may be Safety Representatives that represent you: these can be important for you when working at home. Find out who they are and how to work with them.

“If your employer provides any control measures you must use them properly”

To help home workers, SHP, Barbour EHS and The Healthy Work Company have put together a home working hub page to provide research, case studies, videos and resources to enable you to lead this transition in a way which safeguards the wellbeing of your teams and maximises the opportunity to embrace new ways of working for the future.

Click here for more information on home working.

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