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Health & Safety guidance for temporary working from home | Covid-19 Working from home | Birmingham City Council

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Health & Safety guidance for temporary working from home

With many of us now working from home on a temporary basis, it is important that we try to maintain our health and comfort as best we can and proportionate to the work we are doing.  

It is acknowledged that for those staff working from home for the first time, there may not have been the provision of a full and traditional office workstation.  

However, the key aspects of the Display Screen Equipment training and assessments that you will have done are still relevant.

The goal being to achieve the most neutral posture possible and to take regular breaks. This is readily accomplished in a home setting with limited equipment.  

Further comprehensive council guidance on agile working and health and safety working at home can be found on the Intranet.

Image demonstrating good posture. An explanation in text appears below.

  • Try and keep your elbows and legs roughly at right angles – neutral posture
  • Support your lower back with a rolled-up towel for further support
  • Raise laptop on books to bring to eyelevel / request a riser
  • Raise the screen to prevent arching the back
  • If you have not got a detachable keyboard and mouse, speak to your manager
  • Rest your feet on a box if they do not reach the floor
  • Try to use a desk which gives you sufficient leg space underneath, as opposed to a coffee table or similar

Health and Safety Executive video about temporary working is available now. 

Looking After Your Physical Wellbeing 

Identify a dedicated space within your home, if possible, so you can keep it set up as a separate workstation. 

Use any equipment that it has been possible to provide and follow the advice and guidance for working safely from home. 

Adapt what you already have at home if you do not have access to standard office furniture and equipment.

Refer to BCC Agile Working Guidance and i-Learn Display Screen Equipment Course. 

Report any resulting ill health concerns, or issues regarding existing conditions, to your manager as soon as possible. 

If any work equipment becomes damaged or faulty, cease use immediately and let your manager know as soon as possible.

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

Make the Switch - Keep to your usual daily routine as far as possible with a clear distinction between work and home mode. 

Keep in Touch - Make regular contact with your manager and colleagues by phone, email, Skype etc. to avoid feeling isolated. 

It’s good to talk – share your feelings if you need to and notify your manager if you require any additional support or advice.

Stay Active – Take regular, short breaks, eat proper meals, get plenty of fresh air and natural light and do some gentle exercise. 

Know Your Stuff - Keeping yourself updated using official sources for information will help to keep anxiety to a minimum;

Follow the plan – Use BCC intranet and other corporate systems to find out the latest information and instruction.