A COVID-19 risk assessment will need to be completed before employees can return to work safely. That’s the guidance being given to businesses by the UK Government as part of their easing of lockdown restrictions and plans to get the country back to work from today.
The 5-stage plan includes:
- Work from home, if you can
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with works or trade unions
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
- Where people can’t be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
- Reinforcing cleaning processes
As we emerge from our homes and the bubble we’ve been isolating in for weeks – the questions is – what does this mean in practical terms for businesses?
We all knew that post lockdown, a return to normal wouldn’t be a return to any kind of normality that we knew just a few months ago. Those of us who can, will continue to work from home and although the guidelines on returning currently only apply to England, it would be wise for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to get ahead of the curve before restrictions are eased there to allow businesses to prepare for the level of social distancing measures they will need to have in place and the risk assessment measures they will need to carry out and provide evidence of.
Anyone who is in a position to try and get their staff back to work, will need to carry out a risk assessment, put in place the measures needed and then assess again to ensure they are effective. I don’t think a COVID-19 risk assessment will be a one-off exercise. We will be living with this virus for a long time to come and need to make sure our health and safety risk assessments for this follow the same principles as any other workplace health and safety risk assessment. That also means they should be ongoing to ensure all procedures are still in place and remain effective.
As we move through the progress of living with this pandemic, guidelines will undoubtedly change. Therefore, the COVID-19 risk assessment should become a living document that is continually checked and updated.
That’s where we come in – we’ve taken the guidelines and created a COVID-19 risk assessment template within our Velappity risk assessment software and mobile app that will make the whole process easier to initiate and maintain. The template is built around the guidelines set-out by the Government so you can be assured that carrying out the risk assessment using Velappity will ensure you can demonstrate compliance to the guidelines being set and we will update with any changes made as we move forward through the continued uncertain future we all face.
Let us show you how this could help you get back to normal (or whatever passes for normal today). Start a free trial of Velappity today to see the change it could make to your risk assessments.