Health & Safety tips for remote working
During these unprecedented times, staff may need to work from home. As a temporary measure, here are some practical and helpful reminders for working at home.
Workstation set up
Setting up your working zone at home is similar to the office. Your working zone should include:
- A table / desk
- Surface / laptop or PC
- Peripherals e.g. mouse, keyboard
Find an area with adequate space to set up a suitable working zone. Ensure there is sufficient light, ventilation and no trailing cords.
Check your electrical equipment is still safe to use. Do not overload sockets or daisy chain extension leads. Become familiar with all escape routes in case of a fire. Are they clear?
Keep regular contact with your line manager and team to keep them informed you are safe and well. Use Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, mobile and Instant Messaging to keep in touch.
Contact your line manager, Computer Health Assessor or local Health & Safety team if you have any specific ergonomic issues.
Incidents, near misses and ill health should still be reported in the usual way using the Salus reporting system.
It is important to take regular breaks and maintain positive wellbeing when working.
- Take a micro-break (2-3 minutes) every 20 minutes
- Take a break (5 minutes) every hour e.g. make a hot drink or walk around the room.
- Do simple workstation exercises
- Keep hydrated and drink water
- Enjoy healthy snacks and avoid sugary or fatty foods
- Stay connected and maintain social connections with your team, family, friends and community. Plan lunch or coffee breaks on Teams or Skype.
It is quite normal to feel anxious or stressed during these situations. Contact your line manager or Employee Assistance Program for free and confidential help.
Training and other resources
- Workplace webinar from Posturite
- Occupational Health computer health webpages
- ICT resources for working remotely
- Playlist with courses about remote working wellbeing on LinkedIn Learning
- Remote working guidance – health and safety aspects
Using workstation accessories such as a laptop stand, separate mouse and keyboard can optimise your workspace and reduce ergonomic risks associated with home working. If you already use specialist ergonomic equipment such as a vertical mouse and compact keyboard it will be important to try to maintain this setup while working at home to avoid aggravating an existing injury.
Below are a list of recommended ergonomic equipment to protect homeworkers:
Posturite Ltd is the College preferred supplier for specialist ergonomic equipment and offers discount, however they may not be the cheapest. You can request a quote by email. Occupational Health does not authorise the purchase of ergonomic equipment. Please refer to the Purchasing guidance to enable you to buy your item through the College and the Expenses guidance for reimbursement of the costs of items you purchase independently.