As an employer what should I consider in employee risk assessments now?
With the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down the world, the words ‘employee risk assessment’ mean something completely different from even 7-8 weeks ago. The world has changed in unfathomable ways and along with it previous guidelines, policies and protocols must adapt to this grave situation.
With regards to employee risk assessments, whilst, previous policies and guidelines must continue to be adhered to, there are a host of additional elements that now must be included. As always, the health and well-being of your employees must be a top priority.
As an employer, you must now have a separate plan in place to deal with the Covid -19 pandemic. According to the TUC, some key elements to include are:
- Make sure communication about changes to health and safety regulations and legislation within the workplace is up to date and regular through signage and regular emails.
- Provide easily accessible hand sanitisers across workplace.
- Ensure that workers have access to washing facilities (as already required by law), introduce strict cleaning regimes and provide appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Provide changing facilities to allow workers the option to change clothes before going home.
- Staff must be provided with adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves and gowns where necessary.
- Ensure workers have access to free parking on-site or nearby, so as many as possible can avoid public transport Enforce a stricter regime of cleaning and sanitation of the workspace area.
- Cancel any requests for workers to travel to locations the government has warned against visiting.
- Support employees to work from home as far as possible.
- Strictly adhere to government guidelines with regards to social distancing and communicating that will all employees. Stagger working times or implement a shift system if there wasn’t one before.
- Shield vulnerable members of staff by asking them to work from home or furloughing them during this time.
- Insist that any employee displaying symptoms of covid-19, must follow government guidelines and self-isolate for 7 days or if a member of their household presents with symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days.
- Keep track of employees who are self-isolating.
- Employees who may have come in contact with other employees who have displayed symptoms must also be asked to self-isolate to limit the spread of the disease.
- Employees who have tested positive for covid-19 must return to work only after getting the all-clear from their GP or medical practitioner.
- Workspace areas that may be contaminated by an employee that has tested positive must be deep-cleaned and re-sanitised.
For any business or organisation, big or small, this is a huge undertaking. After all, the health and safety of your employees, whilst they are in your workspace, is your responsibility. If you are a small organisation or business, managing this may be a little easier, however, if you have a large workforce, managing and implementing these new guidelines may be challenging, costly and time-consuming. You will need an efficient system that is able to keep track of employees needing to isolate at different times, employees testing positive for the virus and helping you manage your workspace effectively.
Our unique isolation checker does just that. Find out how it can help your organisation or business manage workflow and track and monitor the health and availability of employees. To understand if the Isolation Checker is for you, why not book a demo?