To ensure the safety of hybrid working, the employer must provide a safe place of work and system of work.  Employees also have a personal responsibility to manage their own health and safety while working remotely.  A key requirement is that employees must complete an assessment of their remote workstation which occurs in two parts:

  1. Self-assessment by the employee using this online FORM. A Word Doc of the same questions is available here DSE Assessment Form Word Version or DSE Assessment Leagan Gaeilge. Using the Self-Assessment Form employees can first directly deal with any issues they can sort themselves. 
  2. Assessment by the DSE/Computer Workstation Assessors.

What is the role of the Head of Unit in the Hybrid Workstation Assessments?  

The Head of Unit’s role is to oversee that the assessments are carried out and that any appropriate improvements identified are actually implemented.  They do this in conjunction with the employee’s relevant Line Manager/Principal Investigator.

  1. Address any appropriate workstation issues that the Unit needs to facilitate.
  2. Ensure additional DSE Assessors are trained where required (and attendance at refresher training).

If it is not possible to address the recommendations of the DSE Assessment, then the Head of Unit/Line Manager may need to deem that the employee’s hybrid arrangement is unsuitable.

Who has access to an Employee's self-assessment or the DSE Assessor's assessment?  

Staff completing the self-assessment should understand that this assessment is held on a central system so that Unit Safety Coordinators and Unit DSE Assessors can access this relevant assessment information.  The form is designed to gather standard information and employees should not complete any sensitive information on the self-assessment form.  If there is a need to report anything sensitive, it should be separately communicated to their Unit Safety Coordinator. 

What is the role of the Employee in the Hybrid Workstation Assessments?  

  1. Complete the online Hybrid DSE Workstation self-assessment form.
  2. The employee ticks the option to receive a copy of the self-assessment on completion.
  3. Deal with any workstation issues they can themselves.
  4. The employee takes responsibility for providing a suitable desk and chair at the hybrid location in accordance with the Hybrid Working Policy.  In addition they must ensure that all other necessary safety arrangements are made/taken for their safety while hybrid working e.g. fire precautions, keeping cables off access routes, etc.
  5. Co-operate in having their Hybrid Workstation assessed remotely by the Unit DSE Assessor.  This will be done over their phone or by providing 2 photos of their workstation to the Assessor straight after the assessment as required “visual clues”.  These photos will be deleted directly afterwards by the assessor.
  6. Following the workstation assessment, the employee will discuss and act to implement the recommendations of the DSE Assessor applicable to them.

What is the role of the Unit Safety Coordinator in the Hybrid workstation Assessments? 

The Safety Coordinator acts a support to the Head of Unit and the DSE Assessors in addressing the safe set up and assessment of employee’s Hybrid Workstations by Assessors.

Other relevant line managers, PIs, etc. are to be involved.
These are the three main actions for the Safety Coordinator to carry out:

  1. Take note of the completion of this risk assessment as part of the Unit safety statement/risk assessments record.
  2. Organise completion of remaining Unit staff DSE assessments in conjunction with the Unit DSE Assessors.
  3. Review all assessments have been fully closed off.

Specific Office 365 Guidance has been issued to Unit Safety Coordinators.

What is the role of the Unit DSE/Computer Workstation Assessor in the Hybrid Workstation Assessments?

Having completed the additional Hybrid Workstation refresher training, the Unit DSE/Computer Workstation Assessor on behalf of the Head of Unit carries out the assessment of employee’s Hybrid workstations.  This is carried out on a Unit basis and the workload implications for the DSE Assessor needs to be agreed with their line manager before the assessments start.
There are five main steps involved:-

  1. Review the employee’s self-assessment record in SharePoint when notified by Safety Coordinator.

  2. Organise the DSE assessment with the employee.  This is carried out online.

  3. Record this assessment in SharePoint including the deletion of any photographs.

  4. Carry out remaining employee assessments (as notified by Safety Coordinator).

  5. Keep the Head of Unit updated on progress.

Specific Office 365 Guidance has been issued to Unit DSE/Computer Assessors.

Why do I need to do the Hybrid working Assessment over my phone or provide two photographs to the assessor?

The assessor is carrying out the assessment on behalf of the Head of Unit/School.  Good practice requires that in completing the assessment online that the assessor is provided with “sufficient visual clues” to provide an accurate assessment.  The option is either that the employee can do the assessment over the phone so that the assessor can see your set up that way or to send on two photos giving a representative view of the set-up of your workstation.  Any photos provided are deleted by the assessors in accordance with GDPR requirements, as soon as they are viewed by the assessor and verified that all is in order.  No photographs are retained as they are not necessary.

What other Information Resources are there for Hybrid Workstation Assessments?