COVID-19 HSE spot checks continue
On the 19thJuly 2021 most coronavirus restrictions were removed in England, and the UK government social distancing guidance no longer applies, however, the HSE is continuing to carry out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses to support employers and ensure they are working safely to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
This is due to the fact that businesses still have a statutory duty of care towards their employees and others effected by their activities, and as such the risk of contracting or transmission of coronavirus within the workplace remains.
Businesses must still control the risks and review and update their risk assessment accordingly, and ensure adequate control measures are in place.
The following workplace controls remain unchanged:
- adequate ventilation
- sufficient cleaning
- good hand hygiene
A generic risk assessment is unlikely to be specific or detailed enough, as it may not identify adequate ventilation requirements or sufficient cleaning controls for particular areas of the business and different circumstances.
As part of your risk assessment, you must:
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- think about who could be at risk – this could include workers, visitors or contractors, and potentially delivery drivers
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- identify the controls needed to reduce the risk
- You should ensure you consider the risk to groups of workers who are particularly vulnerable and put appropriate controls in place to reduce that risk.
If you have fewer than five employees your risk assessment does not have to be recorded, however, it may assist you later if it were recorded, such as if your business has a spot check.
Once completed, your risk assessment must be communicated to your employees, and an effective means of monitoring and supervision put in place to ensure the controls you have are working as expected.
Author: Mark Worsnop, Health & Safety Advisor
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