Coronavirus / COVID-19 – Returning to Work Risk Assessment
We will all have a role to play in preventing the further spread of COVID-19 when the time comes for workplaces to reopen. With the role out of the vaccine and no effective treatment, well-organised risk management is key to creating ‘COVID-safe’ work environments.
This will involve measures such as redesigning workspaces for easier social distancing, equipping staff to work safely and productively from home, and developing other policies and protocols that limit physical contact with minimal disruption to work. We cannot just return to work as normal because the threat from the virus is still prevalent and we need to support the NHS and Public Health England.
At GBS Health and Safety Services Ltd, we have been gathering information and being trained in the expected arrangements when developing and implementing policies, risk assessments and physical arrangements for the workplace / employees in the preparation for returning to work and for the ongoing risk management once returned.
How the ‘return to workplace’ looks for you will be determined by the nature of your business. Some businesses can operate entirely remotely without a glitch. Others, such as those in hospitality, manufacturing, construction or retail, will require a physical presence.
GBS Health and Safety Services Ltd are able to assist you with the process of documenting your company policy on these arrangements as well as assisting you in developing a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to analyse the workforce demographic, select suitable control measures and identifying any actions / monitoring which needs to be undertaken.
Every business will have different needs and challenges when returning to their premises and working, but just as with any other hazard, a structured risk assessment and current evidence-based control plan needs to be formulated.
There will need to be a balance between the business needs, employee risks and circumstances, and the site environment. Controls should follow the normal risk control hierarchy to create an effective, suitable plan and this will need to be clearly communicated to employees and other who will be affected by it. Information and guidance will change as our knowledge improves so it is important to keep up to date and respond to updated guidance and review and update the risk assessments, policy and plans regularly.
If you would like to discuss how we can assist you with this process, please do not hesitate to get in touch.