Covid-19 Back to Work Guidance
Covid-19 Back to Work Guidance
Our 10 step guide to helping staff return to the workplace:
Do I have to produce a Covid-19 Risk Assessment?
Yes – It is a legal requirement of all organisations to carry out Risk Assessments to show how you are managing your most significant Health & Safety risks which will cover Covid-19 transmission.
Does the Risk Assessment need to be long and complex?
It does not have to be long and complex for the sake of it! The length and complexity will dependon the size of your business and your operations. We would suggest following a similar format to how you undertake other risk assessments in your business. It is important to make the risk assessment understandable to the workforce so choose your language and format accordingly.
Can I write the Risk Assessment myself?
Yes – but you need to also discuss it with your workforce so that they agree that it is appropriate and manageable. 2SB can help and will need to talk to you and some of your workforce, this can be done remotely.
Is there any guidance as to what the Risk Assessment needs to cover?
Yes – the Government has published guidance covering different areas of work which covers a wide range of actions you should consider taking to reduce the risk of transmission. 2SB can help ensure that you have appropriately responded to this guidance.
Once I have written the Risk Assessment is that it?
No – you need to make sure that all your workforce understands it and work to what you have agreed in it. Ideally, members of your workforce should sign it to show that they agree, however at the very least it should be displayed where everyone can see it.
You and your workforce will need to review the Risk Assessment at least monthly until the threat of Covid-19 transmission has gone away in order to make any changes based on your experience and best practice to manage the risk that the virus poses. 2SB can facilitate Covid 19 meetings remotely if required.
If you employ over 50 workers, the government have stated that you should display the results of your risk assessment on your website. By results, this means the actions that you are taking to manage the risk. It is also good practice for smaller businesses and 2SB can prepare this document for you.
What if some of my workers don’t agree with the Risk Assessment or our controls?
You need to consult with them and find out what aspect of the Risk Assessment or controls which they don’t agree with and see if you can make any reasonable adjustments, possibly for a temporary basis, to reduce the risk of transmission from their perception.
Whilst some workers will be quite happy to return to work, there will be others who for a wide range of reasons will be very nervous. You may well need to show greater flexibility than you have done in the past to reach a compromise for a period of time which is why you need to review the Risk Assessment on a regular basis.
It is really important to try and build trust, even if you are feeling under considerable pressure from both a business and staff perspective.
You need to be documenting all the actions you are taking since if failure to agree becomes a disciplinary issue you are not relying just on your memory during what will be a fraught time.
There is a link to the HSE website where you can put your concerns, however the response may take some time and may not give a clear answer.
If you feel that you are not making progress you could consider seeking consultation from a trusted member of staff or another trusted person.
If you are finding getting some members of staff back to work 2SB can provide telephone support and talk through the actions that you should be taking.
What happens if my staff are not following the agreed risk assessment?
You should initially find out why and attempt to address the issues.
If a member of staff is still not observing the agreed routines and putting other staff or clients at risk then it could become a disciplinary offence, however, make sure you are following your company procedure.
2SB can provide a “back to work” presentation which can be given to staff which will help ensure that staff are fully aware of the actions you are taking and allow them to give you their feedback.
Covid support packages provided by 2SB:
Template documents to be tailored by you
- generic factory / office risk assessment
- template Covid-19 Policy
- template ‘back to work’ training presentation
- ‘anonymous concern report form’
Above template documents with a 1.5-hour training call
Above template documents with a 1.5-hour virtual site tour of your business and question session to understand customers specific risks – tailoring of documents – 1-hour training session to run through documents & requirements