The Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the globe and changed the way we all work, potentially for longer than we first thought and maybe even permanently. More and more businesses are discovering that they may be able to work from home or offer more flexible working as a standard, so it is a great time to really evaluate what this might look like. Since the lockdown in the UK is definitely longer-term than anyone first thought, businesses are moving on from simply making do to actually rounding out their processes. How can you manage health and safety of a team when remote working?
Health and safety in an office is complex but when everyone’s office is their own home it gets even more complicated. Businesses can, however, take the time to redefine emergencies and go over the basics again with their employees remotely: check your smoke alarm and emergency exits, practice good safety with electrics and, for example, in the kitchen. What will you do when an emergency arises?
What a Business is Responsible For
Of course, many things are out of your hands when it comes to environment but there are certain things that you are responsible for when it comes to the health and safety of your team still such as:
- Ensuring the safety of all of the working appliances you’ve provided
- Advice on ergonomic working and safe working environments
- Budget and advice for individuals to get office supplies such as ergonomic chairs etc
- Risk assessments
Because remote management seems like it will be for a reasonably long time good health and safety practice would be to carry out a risk assessment, considering all employees and all possible risks, which may mean an analysis of issues such as:
- Work environment
- Work equipment
- Mental wellbeing
- Working alone
- Fire and other emergencies
It would be helpful to consider checklists, regular check ins with the team, a remote way to check a workplace is adequate and ensuring employees know their home insurance provider.
Remote management of health and safety will be a learning curve for lots of businesses but it’s important we get it right. For more information, advice or online training courses in health and safety, see our website or call us on 01924 261 789.