HSE Guidance: Is Your Workplace Covid Secure?

If you haven’t already, you may be considering opening your workplaces post-pandemic and welcoming back your employees. You may be considering blended working options, such as some office-based and some home working.

What you will be thinking about, is how to make your workplace Covid-secure to help stop the spread and protect your employees.

The Health and Safety Executive website has a vast amount of information that can help. A summary and links can be found below along with some links to some useful CCRS resources too.

 

HSE Workplace Guidance

 

 

Risk Assessment
As an employer, you are required to take reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from harm, and this includes Coronavirus.
You should conduct a Covid-19 risk assessment that should cover the following:
  • Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • Think about who could be at risk
  • Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • Act to remove the activity or situation. If this isn’t possible, control the risk
You can find more useful information on Covid-19 Risk assessments on the HSE website here
You can also download CCRS’s Covid-19 Risk Assessment Template

 

Social Distancing

Social distancing is required to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Where possible, you should keep people 2 meters apart. If this is not possible, keeping 1 meter apart with risk mitigation is acceptable.

Read more helpful tips on the HSE website here
Download CCRS’s Social Distancing Workplace poster

 

Cleaning, Hygiene and Handwashing
Coronavirus can be transmitted from people to surfaces back to people. Keeping your workplace clean and frequent hand washing is key to keeping your workplace ‘Covid-secure’.
Some things to consider:Handwashing and Hand Sanitiser – Use posters and signs to remind workers to practice good hand washing techniques. Ensure you provide handwashing facilities with running water, soap and paper towels or hand dryers, hand sanitiser in key locations. Consider if you need to provide additional handwashing facilities.Cleaning the workplace – you may have to increase how often and how thoroughly you normally clean your workplace. Identify surfaces that are frequently touched. Keep surfaces clear to make cleaning more efficient and clean frequently. Reduce the need for cleaning by limiting movement as far as possible or reducing people’s need to touch surfaces and objects.

Bathrooms, Toilets and Wash Basins – some things to consider when using existing facilities are: make sure you provide running water and soap, empty bins frequently, use signs and posters to increase awareness and decide how and when to clean these facilities.

More detailed advice can be found from HSE here

 

Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Good ventilation (including air conditioning) can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. The HSE website details some simple steps you can take to improve ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature in your workplace.

You can find more information here

 

Talk to Workers and Provide Information
Consult and involve people in the steps you’re taking to manage the risk of coronavirus in your workplace so you can:
  • explain the changes you’re planning to work safely
  • make sure changes will work and hear their ideas
  • continue to operate your business safely
Find more information on this subject here

 

Working from Home

If your people are working from home you should:

  • provide the equipment they need, for example, a computer, phone, and videoconferencing facilities
  • keep in regular contact with them, making sure you discuss their wellbeing

Further help and advice on how to protect home workers can be found here:

You can also download CCRS’s Employee Working from Home Guide which may be useful to your employees.

 

Vulnerable Workers

As an employer, you have a legal duty to protect workers from harm. You should make sure you consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) and put controls in place to reduce that risk.

Advice on how you can support workers in higher-risk groups, clinically extremely vulnerable workers and pregnant workers can be found here

 

More Guidance and Advice
The HSE provides much more advice and guidance on other subjects such as PPE, air conditioning, and managing work-related stress. This can all be found on their Coronavirus pages:
HSE Coronavirus Guidance

 

You can also find other useful links and resources on CCRS’s Coronavirus Information Page:

 

CCRS Coronavirus Information