Guidance on homeworking
The following guidance applies to those working from home on a non-contractual agreement undertaking low-risk work (i.e. workstation based).
Working safely remotely in the home
The current situation requires that many staff will continue to work from home, and the University will take all reasonable steps to support staff in this. Vulnerable or extremely vulnerable (shielded) staff may have to follow that advice for a more prolonged period. Specific advice has been developed for managers and staff on this subject (https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19/staff).
Homeworking risk assessments
To support staff working from home, a new remote working training package was introduced in May 2020. All staff working remotely are now required to refresh their display screen workstation training before completing a self-assessment to evaluate the arrangements they have in place. The training package can be accessed at https://www.ed.ac.uk/health-safety/training/e-learning/cardinus/covid19-training
We hope that this training and self-assessment process will enable the staff member to improve their home workstation set up and tailor it to their personal requirements. There may be staff for which further support or equipment is required, and there will be information available through the system on how to achieve this.
The Cardinus online assessment system is administered by around 100 staff who cover all areas of the University. These administrators can review your assessment to identify particular issues and produce reports from the system to ensure that actions are managed in consultation with line managers and school safety advisers. A contact list of administrators for each area can be found here.
The Covid-19 FAQ website provides more details on home working expenses.
We would encourage all staff to try and work as safely as possible and, most importantly, take regular breaks throughout the working day.
Equipment and technology
The University is responsible for ensuring any equipment supplied to employees is safe to use when handed over and all applicable user checks must be undertaken when using at home. If any equipment requires PAT or any other formal checks, the staff member working at home would be expected to bring that equipment back in for those checks as required.
The University generally does not supply workstations or other furniture for work at home and staff would be expected to provide their own.
If a laptop is supplied by the University, then a suitable docking station or riser should also be supplied, as well as external keyboard and mouse, to ensure staff can set up their workstations correctly at home.
The staff member should complete the Cardinus training (if not already undertaken at work) and then undertake a risk assessment within the Cardinus system for their home workstation. Information on Cardinus training can be found at: https://www.ed.ac.uk/health-safety/training/e-learning/cardinus
We would not encourage University staff to visit staff at home to undertake a workstation assessment. However, if a decision is made locally to attend a staff member’s home, the lone working policy should be followed: https://www.ed.ac.uk/health-safety/guidance/workplaces-general/looh
Fire Safety in the Home
The Fire Safety Unit have produced a guidance document for staff and students with fire safety advice and practical measures to keep the risk from uncontrolled fire at home as low as possible: http://www.docs.csg.ed.ac.uk/Safety/fire/guidance/Fire_Safety_in_the_Home.pdf