Introduction to this document

Working from home (office-based staff)

Carrying out office-based duties from home is becoming increasingly popular, but you still have a duty to ensure their safety.

The home office

The hazards are similar to those faced in an on-site office including manual handling and DSE issues (see our Risk Assessment - Office).

You should complete a risk assessment for office work carried out at home, which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with office work carried out by homeworkers and appropriate ways of controlling the risks, use our example Risk Assessment - Homeworking (Office-based Staff). It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found in their workplace.