HSE recently announced that it is restarting 'proactive' inspections, as work resumes, and the lockdown is eased with government providing additional funding to support this activity.
The safety regulator stopped carrying out on the spot inspections after the lockdown announcement in March.
Inspectors will now visit workplaces to follow up on any reports or concerns about safety in the workplace, including COVID, and ensuring compliance.
It is therefore additionally important that businesses implement the new guidance on working safely during corona virus.
So, what does the new guidance say businesses have to do?
Businesses should risk assess their operations with respect to social distancing, hygiene regimes and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), to ensure that a safe system of working is in operation which does not put staff at risk of infection.
What should be in my risk assessment?
Your risk assessment should include a range of topics and the procedures you intend to adopt to minimise the risk of COVID-19 in your workplace. In some instances these may have an impact on how you operate such as the use of machinery and work equipment so don’t forget to review your existing assessments to make sue that they are still valid with the new measures being put in place.
Just because social distancing must be implemented where possible, this should not result in lone working being advocated especially for high risk operations such as work at height.
Issues that need to be addressed include persons working in offices, factory units, warehouses and schools which are subject to change as directed by the Government. At present issues such as social distancing measures, common user areas, kitchens and kitchenettes, welfare, use of furniture and seats, lifts etc. need to be assessed and suitable precautions introduced.
All staff need to be advised of the new procedures for minimising the risk and these procedures should be followed in all circumstances such as wearing appropriate PPE and what to do if a person becomes ill.
Can we assist?
As experts in this field, Safetyboss can ease your worries by reviewing your current precautions, checking, or writing risk assessments and providing practical, cost effective advice that can ensure that you have effectively implemented the new guidance on working safely during corona virus.
Click here for a no obligation discussion.