Guide

Use your home as a workplace

Health and safety risk assessment for home businesses

If you use your home as your business workplace, you must carry out a health and safety risk assessment to identify any possible hazards to yourself, workers, visitors and other members of your household.

Identify and evaluate the risks

Possible hazards include:

  • using work equipment at home, including electrical appliances
  • your workstation set-up
  • handling loads
  • hazardous substances and materials
  • psychological hazards, such as stress or loneliness
  • fire
  • slips, trips and falls
  • excessive noise or vibration

You need to evaluate whether a hazard is significant and, if it is, whether you have taken enough precautions to make the risk as low as you reasonably can. Things to consider include the people who live in your home, the kind of work you do and the equipment you use.

You don't have to write down the results of your health and safety risk assessment unless you employ five or more people.

For more information on carrying out a risk assessment, seeĀ managing the risks in your business.

Using hazardous substances and materials

If you have to use hazardous substances or materials in your home-based business, you should check the safety data sheets or product labelling provided with the materials or substances to find out what specific threats they pose. You will need to make sure that hazardous substances are safely stored and correctly disposed of. For more information see manage harmful substances safely.

Protective clothing such as gloves and masks should be worn and windows opened during use to control exposure to the substance.

Even some common substances used in office work, such as glue, can be hazardous in the wrong hands.