New tool helps businesses protect staff and customers
A Covid-19 risk assessment tool has been produced by the Health and Safety Executive to help businesses manage risk and protect people.
The online tool works by highlighting issues which need to be included in a risk assessment of the workplace – such as identifying certain hazards, looking at who might be harmed and how, recommending what action can be taken to help limit risk, helping employers to identify who needs to carry out specific actions, and confirming when this needs to be done.
It provides the framework for employers to focus on:
· Identifying what work activity or situations might cause the transmission of coronavirus.
· Establishing who could be at risk.
· Working out how likely it is that someone could be exposed.
· Acting to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, controlling the risk.
It also includes practical measures businesses can take, such as:
· Staggering shifts to limit the number of people in rooms so that social distancing rules can be maintained.
· Putting one-way systems in place within corridors to manage the flow of people moving around the workplace.
· Increasing the use of online meeting facilities, even for people working in the same building, to reduce the number of people moving around.
· Providing lockers for people to keep personal belongings in so they aren’t left in the open.
· Providing additional handwashing facilities.
· Keeping surfaces clear to make it easier to clean and reduce the likelihood of contaminating objects
· Involving workers in completing risk assessments so they can help identify potential problems and solutions.
· Keeping workers updated on what is happening so they feel involved and reassured
Councillor Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “This new risk assessment tool will help employers ennre they have covered what they need to in order to keep their staff and customers safe at this time.
“As well as providing guidance on how to limit the risk of getting or spreading coronavirus in areas where people will congregate such as canteens, corridors and toilet facilities, it includes what needs to be covered when considering cleaning and hygiene controls, how to ensure social distancing rules are followed, and how to take care of the mental health and well-being of employees who may be affected through isolation or because of anxiety over coronavirus.
“Once employers have completed the risk assessment, it will need to be monitored to ensure that what has been put in place is working as expected.”
For more details, visit the Health and Safety Executive webpage on working safely during the Covid-19 outbreak. Further important Covid-19 information and advice for employers and employees is available at the Healthy Working Wales website.