Health & Safety Department

Homeworking

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 (guidance still to be released).

Homeworking risk assessments

The majority of staff have had to transition quickly to homeworking and we are now aware that this will be the case for the foreseeable future.  It is therefore appropriate that a review of these arrangements takes place in the form of a risk assessment.  A new remote working package is being introduced to support staff; this will require staff to refresh their display screen workstation training before completing a self-assessment to evaluate the arrangements they have in place for homeworking.  This training package will be readily accessible 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.

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. 

Useful resources 

Ergo spot check guide 

Posturite Working From Home Helpful Hints

Posturite - Laptop Helpful Hints

Working from home - eat well, feel well 

Working from home - fire safety 

Working from home - it's good to talk 

Working from home - medical emergencies

Working from home - stretching and exercising

Working from home - your comfort

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.

Posturite have produced a useful infographic to assist with using computing equipment in a better way either at home or when on the go - Ergonomics on the go - infographic

Training

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  

Related links

Personal Computing

Flexible Working Policy