How we work has changed a great deal over the last decade, or even the last 5 years. Mobile device developments have left many businesses uncertain about the best way to manage the risks that they bring with them.
The main types of question raised are:
- What are the risks in using mobile devices?
- What can and should we, the employer, do about the risks?
- What are employers’ legal duties?
- What should employees be doing about the risks?
Who is this guide for?
This guidance is aimed at employers and employees who want to answer those questions and to proactively and effectively manage the ergonomic health risks associated with mobile working. Mobile working is the use of mobile devices (smartphones, phablets, tablets, laptops and notebooks etc.) for work purposes, in whatever type of location that occurs. The key ergonomic health risks, which this guidance addresses, are musculoskeletal injury and digital eye strain. There are three key areas to consider when managing the ergonomic health risks of mobile working: Equipment, Expectations and Education. If an employer provides equipment (mobile devices) for mobile working, and expects employees to use them during their work, they have legal duties to educate their employees on any associated health risks, to assess those risks, and to provide additional equipment to help control the risks. Employees also have a legal duty to follow instructions and training, and to use equipment provided to them for the purpose of managing and reducing risks.
This guidance has been written to help you with the following:
- Health and Safety law; how it applies to mobile working and what you should be doing to manage the health risks.
- How to assess the risks and identify risk factors in employees’ mobile work.
- Identifying reasonably practicable ways to control and reduce the ergonomic risks.