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Temporary versus Long Term Homeworking DSE Assessment

Temporary versus Long Term Homeworking DSE Assessment

When it comes to ensuring the welfare and safety of employees, employers are liable to conduct homeworking assessments both when they are working from home and when they are in the office. Companies must conduct DSE assessments in both situations and take measures to mitigate the risks. Employees can either be working from home temporarily or have a long-term arrangement. The DSE-related risks vary in both situations, and companies should handle both these situations differently.

  • Temporary homeworking does not pose a large risk from a DSE perspective, and companies do not necessarily need to conduct a full-fledged DSE assessment. However, from a safety standpoint, employers can ask the employees to have their homeworker self-assessment. Employers can provide their staff with a workstation checklist (related to the computer screen, keyboard, mouse use, posture, alignment of furniture, and work environment) which will help them work comfortably.
  • In the case of employees working from home for the long-term, the DSE-related risks are more likely to crop up. To curb these risks, the company should conduct a thorough homeworker risk assessment to ascertain if the home environment is suitable for working on a long-term basis. Accordingly, the company can provide productivity expenses or directly provide the display screen equipment needed for work. For instance, companies should allow employees to bring computers (desktops/laptops), keyboards, the mouse from office to home. In the case of furniture such as height-adjusted desks, ergonomic chairs, the company can reimburse the expenses employees accrue on purchasing these items.
  • In both cases, temporary and long-term, companies should advise their employees about DSE-related symptoms and the appropriate control measures. All employees should be aware of the steps that can reduce any risk from display screen equipment and long hours of work. Some of these steps are:
  • Taking short breaks of 5-10 minutes between every 1-2 hours of work. Sitting continuously in one place and one posture is detrimental for the body. Thus, employees should take a break between long spells of work and move around.
  • While working, people should change their positions regularly and avoid any awkward or static posture.
  • It is always advisable to stretch a little in between breaks. It helps in blood circulation in the body and reduces body pain
  • Looking at the screen continuously can cause eye strain and headaches. Thus, people should blink from time to time and change their focus
  • Companies should frequently conduct well-being sessions to check on their employees. In these sessions, all employees should be encouraged to mention any concerns related to the DSE arrangements. All these concerns should be duly noted and workaround measures suggested for the same.
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  • work from home assessment
  • DSE self-assessment
  • DSE Workstation Assessments
  • DSE Assessment Tool
  • temporary home worker
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