In fact, your response to this virus could map the standard process of risk assessment, as advised by the HSE:
|Identify the hazard||Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)|
|Who might be harmed...||
Cat 1 risks: those returning from
Cat 2 risks: those returning from:
Cat 3 risks: All adults with underlying relevant health conditions, including:
Cat 4 risks: those age 70 and over, with no underlying relevant health conditions
Cat 5 risks: Pregnant women (cautionary)
This is a respiratory illness: symptoms are:
|Assess the risks and take action||
Returning from Abroad
Employees / others returning from Cat 1 places: use the NHS 111 online service for COVID-19. Unless advised otherwise, they should self-isolate, even if asymptomatic and report to their line manager on a daily basis.
Employees / others returning from Cat2 places: Travellers to / from these locations do not need to undertake any special measures, but if they develop symptoms they should self-isolate and use the online NHS 111 service for COVID-19 or their local medical practitioner / health service).
(The guidance for Italy, Iran, Daegu or Cheongdo (Republic of Korea), Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam applies to individuals who returned from these specific areas on or after 19 February 2020).
Advice is in place for what to do if you have returned in the last 14 days from specified countries or areas which is being updated on an ongoing basis.
The Government has issued new guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.
Regular briefings for employees and others about latest advice from Public Health England about what action to take should a person become ill.
Any upcoming mass gatherings/trips should be cancelled / postponed.
The latest guidance is to facilitate as many employees as possible to work from home, where practicable
Ensure a good provision of soap and hot water and refrain from using communal ordinary towels for drying hands - a temporary supply of paper towels might be required if hand dryers are not available
Workplaces should be regularly cleaned - consider disinfecting door handles, handrails etc more regularly and provide cleaning materials for hot desks and phones
Consider updating your policy for visitors / colleagues from other offices: could such interaction be accomplished by other means.
All business should have contingency plans for the following:
|Make a record of the findings||
All employers with five or more employees need to record risk assessments.
|Review the risk assessment||
As this is an ever-changing risk, treat this as a dynamic risk assessment and review whenever the following happens:
Change of guidance from