Written by: Marie Sandler, HR Director, GradIOSH, NEBOSH
Risk Assessment Steps
1. Who is at Risk
The people at risk are…
- Employees, other workers, contractors, visitors, customers, members of the public.
- Including those whose health makes them especially vulnerable.
This second group should not be at work anyway but we also consider where workers have such a person in their family/ household.
2. Reducing Overall Risk
We will minimise numbers at risk by…
- Considering who is essential to be on site. (Those who can should still work from home.)
- Plan the minimum number of people needed on the premises to operate safely and effectively.
- Provide people with equipment to work from home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.
- Give clear guidance on when people should not come to work.
- Include in assessment those who are ‘clinically vulnerable’ (e.g. expectant mothers) or ‘extremely vulnerable’ (those asked to ‘shield’ because of existing long-term medical conditions, or as a result of treatment received).
3. Control Measures
Our staff will work at home where possible. We will support them by…
- We will make ‘every reasonable effort’ to enable working from home as a first option.
- Consider the mental health and well-being of those who do, especially when (1) their colleagues are working normally and (2) they return after a period of homeworking.
We will maintain social distancing at work by…
- Where working from home is not possible, we will make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible).
- This will Include areas where people normally congregate (e.g. canteens, restaurants and similar facilities).
- Operate extra entrances/exits and one-way systems.
- Place signage and floor markings to remind people what the 2m gaps looks like in practice.
- Minimise meetings: where not possible, maintain social distancing and provide sanitiser in meeting rooms.
- Minimise visitors: where not possible, advise of other procedures such as handwashing and social distance.
We will put in place extra cleaning/ sanitising, including staff facilities. Specifically, we will…
- In every workplace, increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.
- Provision of personal sanister, and wipes for each desk.
- Cleaning Company focusing on high traffic areas including door handles / canteen areas.
We will organise work so as to minimise the risk. In particular…
- Keep the activity time involved as short as possible.
- Use back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.
- Reduce the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).
- Put increased space between workstations.
- Avoid shared facilities such as hot desks.
We will use screens and barriers where the 2m rule cannot be met. For example, …
- Use screens or barriers to separate people from each other.
- Consider the implementation of ‘sneeze guards’
- Encourage the use of visors when moving around the office or when directly facing a colleague in conversation
We will use these other measures…
- Provision of PPE for all employees; disposable face masks, gloves, visors, aprons etc.
We will communicate…
- Ensure everyone knows our procedures.
- Cover staff (including agency staff), customers, visitors, contractors.
- Where we have joint occupancy/shared facilities, collaborate with the other firms involved (Milton Keynes)
Where the above won’t work, we will…
- If people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, we will decide whether the activity can safely go ahead – taking into consideration current legislation.
To monitor the effective implementation of our measures, we….
- Have checked that the precautions set out in our assessment are in line with government and HSE guidance.
- Review the steps being taken regularly, and if these are not working, action is needed.
We will review this assessment to make sure it stays up to date. …
- Reviewed regularly at the SLT Meetings and by the HSE Coordinator and HR Director.
5. Sharing our Assessment
We will share our findings by…
- Consulting our workers as part of the process.
- Updating Managers and business stream leads on a regular basis.
- As we employee more than 50 people we will also make our assessment public, e.g via our website.