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Risk Assessment - Guidance Note

A risk assessment should be undertaken prior to returning employees to any work environment. This guidance note resource can be used by businesses in formulating their own risk assessments alongside internal policies. While the below points are recommended courses of action in general, they are not mandatory and businesses should use this guidance note to aid them in understanding their specific needs and assessing the requirements.

Identified Hazards Persons considered at risk Control measures
Travel to/from work Employees

All employees to travel independently where possible, unless travelling with another member of the same household.

Additional parking or facilities such as bike-racks to help people walk, run, or cycle to work provided where possible.
Access to property Employees

Employees to arrive/leave at staggered times to reduce congestion and contact, designated waiting area with 1m (stage 2)/2m (stage 3 and 4) markers for employees waiting to access the building/office (if safe to do so – consider using entrances that do not lead directly on to high traffic pedestrian areas if possible), hand sanitiser available upon entry, cleaning schedule in place for doors/switches/high contact areas. Clear scheduling in place so that employees know when they are allowed access to the workplace.

Access to property Visitors Minimise the number of people visiting the premises. Consider what qualifies as essential visits and restrict all others. Consider that essential visitors may also be deemed a high-risk of cross contamination (e.g. technical engineers /  contractors)  and  ensure that procedures are in place to mitigate risks. Designated area in reception to receive essential visitors with social distancing in place  and hand sanitiser available for use on  entry  and  exit.  Visitors  to have access to as limited area as possible and monitored.
Deliveries and post Employees, Delivery Drivers, Postman

Policy in place to receive deliveries and post including a dedicated entry and waiting place for goods to be received.

Receiving policy in place to reduce risk of cross contamination either by decontaminating or storing of goods in an area with no contact for 72 hours. Employees to wash hands or use sanitiser following contact with any goods received.

Awareness of COVID-19 Employees Employees to be fully briefed on procedure prior to returning to work and reminded through internal communications and visual reminders around the building.
Awareness of COVID-19 Visitors Visitors to be fully briefed at entrance point and contact to be limited to as little of the building as possible to avoid cross contamination.
Cross Contamination - Multi-Tenanted Buildings, Communal Areas Employees Policy in place with building manager to understand their procedures to manage risk in communal areas as well as understanding where responsibility lies, communicate procedures to staff to ensure compliance.
Circulation Areas – Stairs and Corridors Employees, Visitors

Policy in place to ensure limited contact and congestion such as one-way systems, passing procedures or limiting use of lifts.

Regular (as determined by factors such as number of employees in the building and traffic levels) cleaning schedules in place for hand rails, buttons and switches. Social distancing to be observed while using stairways and corridors.

Cross Contamination - Shower and Changing Facilities Employees Clear use and cleaning guidance set for showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible. Toilet and shower guidance is available here.
Cross Contamination - Workstations Employees

Workstations adjusted to ensure that employees remain 1m (stage 2)/2m (stage 3 and 4) apart and avoiding workstations being face to face. If not possible, consider the use of Perspex screens.

Cleaning materials available on each desk and policy in place to wipe down contact areas before beginning work and before leaving. Use of PPE – if determined necessary by the employer.

Cross Contamination – Toilets Employees, Visitors

Limit numbers allowed in toilet facilities at any one time. Employees to wash hands using hot water and soap following use. Area to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular (as determined by factors such as number of employees in the building and traffic levels) basis.

Toilet and shower guidance is available here.

Cross Contamination – Kitchen Employees, Visitors

Limit numbers allowed in kitchens at any one time. Employees responsible for removing their own waste and cleaning areas used such as counter tops etc. Food to be stored tidily in the fridge to remove unnecessary cross contamination risks.

Sanitiser/wipes/spray available to facilitate. Area to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular (as determined by factors such as number of employees in the building and traffic levels) basis.

Cross Contamination – Break Areas Employees, Visitors

Limit numbers allowed in break areas at any one time, remove/rearrange seating to maintain social distancing. Employees responsible for removing their own waste and cleaning tables etc. where they were seated.

Sanitiser/wipes/spray available to facilitate. Area to be cleaned thoroughly on a regular (as determined by factors such as number of employees in the building and traffic levels) basis

Cross Contamination – Meeting Spaces Employees, Visitors Continue to promote the use of remote meeting facilities wherever possible. All face to face meetings and gatherings to be restricted other than essential meetings. Limit numbers allowed in meeting rooms, remove/rearrange chairs to maintain social distancing, restrict sharing of supplies such as pens/paper to avoid cross contamination. Thorough cleaning of area following an essential meeting.
Cross Contamination – Office Supplies Employees Wherever possible, employees will not share office supplies to avoid cross contamination. For larger items such as printers, wipes/sanitiser to be made available.
Cross Contamination – Smoking Areas Employees Designated smoking areas will be restricted and 1m (stage 2)/ 2m (stage 3 and 4) rule will apply.
Employees with Underlying Health Issues (or with high-risk family members in the same household) Employees, Family Household Members Employees with underlying health issues (or high risk family members) to be allowed to continue to work from home. If this is not possible (either due to the mental wellbeing of an employee or the need to carry out essential business activity that cannot be carried out remotely), then measures to be put in place to minimise contact with the vulnerable person. Joint decision making process in place (between employee and manager with support from Occupational Health if available, or GP if needed).
Exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms on the premises Employees If an employee becomes ill on the premises with COVID-19 symptoms then employee will leave immediately, or if waiting for transport, be moved to a designated waiting area (outside if possible or in a well-ventilated room if weather is poor) until transport arrives. Workstation to be cordoned off and cleaned thoroughly as well as communal areas where the employee has visited.
Mental Wellbeing Employees Employers will consider the mental wellbeing of employees alongside their appetite to work from their usual workplace and facilitate the correct solution to ease anxiety levels. Induction questionnaire completed by employees to assist in identifying issues or concerns of employees.
Personal Hygiene Employees, Visitors Washing hands will be promoted on a regular basis – recommendation is every 2 hours.
Non-compliance with social distancing and company policy Employees, Visitors Additional supervision will be used to ensure compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. Employees will be briefed on their individual responsibilities and accountability and understand the consequences of non-compliance. Breach of COVID-19 restrictions will result in disciplinary procedure.
Government information and guidelines Employees, Visitors

Current guidelines posted by the Government will be regularly reviewed and the risk assessments amended to accommodate new requirements.

This information will be relayed to all persons at risk.