Out of sight, out of mind? OSH for teleworkers

An IOSH study shows how managers can promote the safety and health of teleworkers.

SW – 07/2017

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has conducted a study into the occupational safety and health of ‘distributed workers’ (teleworkers or others who work away from the main office or location). Managing the health and safety of this category of workers is particularly challenging. 


The aim of the study was to better understand what is appropriate leadership behaviour for OSH officers and line managers of distributed workers. Knowledge and skills should be pooled to optimise leadership in terms of workplace safety and health. A toolkit was also developed for OSH practitioners and line managers that helps them to encourage good OSH practices. 


The study included a literature review on leadership styles and models, management and communication, and it also involved interviews with OSH practitioners. The study concluded that simply ‘cascading’ information down to workers was not effective. Far more effective is a strong personal relationship between a worker and a line manager who is well informed about OSH.  


The complete report including results, case studies and toolkit can be viewed here