Tags – Risk Assessments Post-Covid 19
The idea of returning to the office sounds great.
Whilst many organisations are preparing to return back to the office, it’s important to consider workplace risk assessments to protect all employees.
However, as an employer, you must ask yourself if you’re satisfied that the correct safety measures are put in place – both in the office and at home for those employees working remotely.
Here are 5 types of risk assessments to consider to prepare your team returning to work post COVID-19.
1. Workplace Risk Assessment
As an employer, it’s your duty to protect people from harm.
This includes taking appropriate measures to protect your employees and others from COVID-19.
At the same time, all employees need to know what COVID safety measures have been put in place.
With this in mind, it’s vital your workplace risk assessment identifies what activities can cause the transmission, the likelihood of exposure, and what to do in the event of an outbreak.
Furthermore, workplace risk assessments should be updated to reflect changes in accordance with national restrictions.
2. Individual Staff Risk Assessment
It was found, in The Public Health England report, that some groups of people may be more at risk of being infected.
Therefore, it’s important to identify which staff are most at risk and consider specific circumstances before deciding how they will work.
Factors to consider within an individual risk assessment include:
- Medical conditions; refer to government guidance on clinical vulnerability
- Age; risk increases with age
- Ethnicity; identify those who are at increased risk due to their ethnic backgrounds
3. Workstation Assessments
Whether in the office or at home, workstations are all the areas where employees regularly work.
- Desks in the office
- Production lines or areas by machinery
- Work from home spaces
If working from the business’s location, you must meet social distancing rules.
Therefore, it’s necessary to review layouts; use floor tape to mark out areas.
Moreover, you must manage occupancy levels – avoid too many people returning at once and limit the number of people to a workstation.
If remote working, regularly make contact with employees to make sure they are safe.
For example, encourage rest breaks, regularly changing posture, moving around and stretching.
Lastly, ask yourself if you’re confident that your employees have the correct equipment, such as keyboards and office chairs, and provide where possible.
4. Mental Well-being
Does your organisation have a stress or mental well-being risk assessment in place?
If not, it’s important to implement one of these to address what work factors are causing additional stress and anxieties.
While there may be some employees you’re aware of who suffer from mental health issues, COVID-19 could be a trigger for new issues to arise.
With that said, employers are encouraged to create an open environment for employees to discuss mental health concerns.
Furthermore, make sure all employees are aware of where to find the correct support information.
5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The equipment you get will depend on what your business does, with who and where.
In relation to COVID-19, PPE should only be issued if the risk assessment shows it’s necessary.
Let’s say, you have specific PPE requirements, these should be highlighted in your initial workplace risk assessment.
So, consider your industry and make sure all employees know how they can access it.
Of course there are a wide range of factors to consider to minimise the risk of spreading the virus – especially for those returning back to work.
Once risk assessments have been conducted, keep a register and update frequently.
Ultimately, as an employer, it’s your responsibility.
So, communicate clearly with employees and assure them that duty of care is your utmost priority during this time.