Returning to Work and Risk Assessments

Almost every risk assessment in your workplace may need to be reviewed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many organisations will also need to carry out a specific COVID-19 risk assessment.

Careful review of risk assessments will need to decide whether any of the changes put in place as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak will alter the risk rating in your existing risk assessments and if so what else do you need to do?

Identification of those at greater risk from the virus and those employees who may be shielding more vulnerable persons at home is paramount in order to decide whether you need to take further precautions for these employees.

Being able to distance employees through moving their desks 2m apart and staggering breaks, start time, shift patterns etc may be the assessments that are more straight forward to undertake. Assessing the risk of ‘buddy’ work systems and the impact of reduced staff within a manufacturing setting may prove more challenging.

A review of safe systems of work is necessary to determine whether distancing guidance can be observed either when traveling to a job or whilst carrying out a task safely. Other considerations may include whether appropriate control measures and PPE are present, if operators are working abnormal shifts or increased hours leading to fatigue or unfamiliarity with the operation.

When re-deploying staff to unfamiliar tasks has an appropriate training regime been undertaken and how can it be assessed and audited?

If you would like to discuss your individual workplace, or get general advice, then please get in touch via the contact page. We are always happy to help.