Do safety regulations apply when I work at home?

Yes. The risks of developing a work-related injury to hands, wrists, arms, neck and back through using ill-adjusted equipment at home are high. Your employer has a duty to apply the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 1992. Even if you work for yourself, you should still comply with them.

If you are using a laptop at home regularly, you should be aware that a UNISON survey found that over two-thirds of regular laptop users reported eyestrain, and more than half complained of headaches, and back or neck pain.

Despite fierce lobbying from unions, the Deregulation Bill became law on 1st October 2015. As a result, there is no longer a general duty on all self-employed worker to protect themselves and others from risk to their health and safety. Now only self-employed people who work in certain occupations or sectors (or who have employees) will have a duty under Health and Safety Laws to protect themselves and others from risk to health and safety.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.