In light of the COVID-19 pandemic The European Commission has said it will review and update EU rules on workplace safety.  The Commission has said it will look at a range of requirements from emergency exits to ventilation and the use of workstations and screens.

It will also produce recommendations regarding mental health at work before the end of 2022.  Stress being the reason for half of all lost working days, 84 million people were affected by mental health issues before the pandemic.  However, over the last 18 months almost 40% of workers began working remotely, leading to reduced social contact, online meetings and the increased use of IT equipment.

Although the Commissions updates won’t apply to the UK it is inevitable that employers and health & safety professionals will look to see how other countries are managing the challenges set by home working.  Organisations will need to update their risk assessments to identify the new risks created by increased home working and to establish and implement appropriate control measures.