Safe Return to Work and COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic sees much of us on lockdown, now is the time to start planning safe return to work. It would appear that even when restrictions are lifted, COVID-19 will still remain a hazard to us all. For workplaces to open risk mitigation measures against COVID-19 will be imperative.
When you think of your workplace, how do you envisage being able to work and still maintain government guidelines on social distancing? Some things to consider include:
- How will you ensure your workers are fit for work?
- How will your workers get to work? Reliance on public transport increases the risk of coming into contact with someone who may have the virus.
- Have you got adequate PPE including Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), and have those needing to wear RPE been face fit tested?
- Can you alter work patterns to reduce the number of people working at any one time within your workspace? Can some staff work from home? Are you office bound, site bound or public facing? How will you manage all of these scenarios?
- How will you manage rest breaks and still maintain social distancing?
- How will you clean and sanitize workspaces to adequately prevent transference of COVID-19?
- How will you ensure social distancing of the public who you may come into contact with during your working activities?
Failure to plan is planning to fail. The key to all of this is planning, now. You must ensure you have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment covering the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and ensuring that this has been fully briefed to all employees and that all materials required for safe working are available prior to the workplace reopening.
The HSE has already been making spot checks to ensure correct mitigation measures are in place. Failure to ensure you have correct mitigation measures in place could land your company with a prosecution, damaging your business reputation and cause financial implications. It could also lead to loss of key personnel from your organisation.
We will all need to return to work at some point. It will be possible for many businesses to operate within government guidelines with the correct planning and preparation. Ensure your risk management strategies are in place now, so you can ensure the safety and prosperity of your business and employees.
Should you require any information or risk assessments in relation to managing the risks of COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07720 245664.