Businesses are now starting to think about going back to work, it is important that thought is given to what that might look like in reality and any risk assessment needed?
Staff, visitors and clients will still need protecting from Covid-19. Formalising your thoughts into a risk assessment see Risk Assessment tab on this page is paramount and expected if you employ more than 5 members of staff at your business.
If you employ less than 5 members of staff you still need to have made a risk assessment but you are not required currently to write it down.
That said, why would you not as it shows you are being diligent and taking this seriously.
Think about the following areas within your business:
Building and site control
- How will you manage access, exit points and car parks?
- What will visitor management look like?
- Will you use hand sanitiser and how will this be managed?
- The cleaning of surfaces and door handles will need to be managed throughout the day?
- The cleaning frequency of the building may need to be adjusted, who will do this?
- Hand contact points will need to be cleaned more regularly on door furniture, handrails, IT equipment, phones etc
- Cleaners will need instruction on safe usage of materials as it is likely that they will be using them more often?
- Think about removing rugs, mats and floor coverings so that disinfection of floor surfaces is easier
- Consider the use of steam cleaners in washrooms
- Have staff been given training on how to wash their hands, including duration?
- Has Social Distancing been discussed with staff and have working areas been taped off to remind staff where these boundaries are?
- Daily Government Department alerts being passed onto staff? (NHS, Gov.UK, WHO)
- Staff should be reminded not to shake hands
- Has advisory signage on handwashing and social distancing been displayed throughout the building?
- Are signs checked, reviewed and replaced as and when required?
- A Risk Assessment will need to be completed for at risk groups and a more general assessment for the running of the business?
- Home working will be promoted and allowed where possible?
- Business related travel will be reduced as much as reasonably practicable?
- Have staff including remote workers been issued with PPE and sanitising materials for their workstations?
Why is this so important?
Nobody wants anyone to contract Covid-19 and the HSE have been clear that RIDDOR reporting (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) will be required when:
- an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
- a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.