Yes, Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations provides that employers are required to carry out risk assessments for their workers. This applies to risks where the worker is working from home, even if that is not their only place of work or, for example, they only work from home one day a week. It requires employers to "make a suitable and sufficient assessment of (a) the risks to the health and safety of [their] employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and (b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking".
However, whilst a risk assessment may be carried out by a trained health and safety person visiting the individual’s home, this is not mandatory, particularly where the work is low risk, office based work, where the individual is not working with hazardous machinery or materials. It will still be “suitable and sufficient” if the individual carries out the risk assessment themselves where they have had some training or guidance on this. The individual should then follow a risk assessment process, for example set out in a form provided by the employer where hazards and risks are identified, and later discussed with the employer.
The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identifies five steps required for carrying out a workplace health and safety risk assessment. These are:
- Identify the hazards;
- Decide who might be harmed and how;
- Assess the risks from the hazards and decide on appropriate precautions;
- Record any significant findings; and
- Regularly review the risk assessment and revise as necessary.
The individual should be advised that risk assessment is an ongoing duty, so steps should be taken by the employer to facilitate the reporting of any changes.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) also places a duty on employers to ensure the work equipment they own, operate, and have control over is safe to use at all times.