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Coronavirus Risk Assessment

assess the risks

limit the spread, safeguard everyone

Free Coronavirus Risk Assessment Templates

COVID-19 Risk Assessment – Operational and General

COVID-19 Risk Assessment – Return to Work

COVID-19 Risk Assesssment – Retail

Updated 24th May 2020

We’ve moved on from ‘how do we keep working, when everyone is closed’ at the end of March 2020 to ‘let’s start planning to get back to work’. To do this safely everyone will require a return to work coronavirus risk assessment. We will be adding industry-specific downloads as we develop them, with related consultancy packs to help direct you in completing your assessments.

The free templates we have produced so far are:

Free COVID-19 Risk Assessment Download – Return to Work

Free COVID-19 Risk Assessment Download – Operational

Free COVID-19 Risk Assessment Download – Retail

Links are just below this dashed box.

Why? These are challenging times and the quicker we get back to work, the sooner the economy will start moving.

You may need help to tailor these templates to your business and work out what are acceptable and practical solutions to put in place to keep everyone safe. If that is the case, please do not hesitate to get in contact via email or phone 01793 852951. Alternatively, purchase a COVID-19 Risk Assessment Consultancy Help Pack below.

Download Free COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template

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Download Free Coronavirus Return to Work Risk Assessment Template

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Download Free COVID-19 Retail Risk Assessment Template

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What is a Coronavirus Risk Assessment

During the current unknown times of the Coronavirus pandemic, there is a need to understand how to work safely and protect employees and 3rd parties from contracting or spreading coronavirus. As we start mobilising to return to workplaces this has never been more important.

There is still a duty for employers to manage risks, and normal health and safety legislation still applies. Your coronavirus risk assessment and return to work coronavirus risk assessment is really about control of infection and it is a little different to a typical risk assessment you are probably used to.

Simplistically for your coronavirus risk assessment you need to understand:

 

  • where your employees could be exposed to persons with coronavirus symptoms which result in a potential airborne risk (inhalable)
  • where your employees could be exposed to surfaces that might be contaminated with coronavirus (hand contact)
  • activities your employees do that might result in them touching their eyes, nose or mouth during the course of their work
  • activities of employees and people in your workplace, opportunities where staff contact might be in the range of person to person infection and the surfaces they may contact (a touch map is a good tool here)
  • how the actions of your employees or your business might result in airborne or surface contamination, that could spread coronavirus to 3rd parties not in your employment (typically your customers or public in the near vicinity of your work)

A very useful central resource is the Government’s main Coronavirus Page which covers business, domestic and other guidance for everyone to follow.

We recommend an Operational and Return to Work Coronavirus Risk Assessment

For operational activities and offsite work, you could amend existing risk assessments or consolidate all variations to current working practices in one ‘coronavirus’ risk assessment; both would be acceptable but for ease of managing, we would suggest the latter and to have a dedicated coronavirus risk assessment. We also recommend completing a specific return to work coronavirus risk assessment to logically and methodically think about all relevant impacts of having people back in your workplace.

Download Our Coronavirus Risk Assessment Template

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Download Our Coronavirus Return to Work Risk Assessment Template

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Understanding the Risk of Coronavirus Spread

Based on information in the public domain, we understand there are 2 main ways Coronavirus spreads: inhaling airborne droplets or aerosols created from others coughing and sneezing, and touching contaminated surfaces then transferring that to your eye, nose or mouth or to another surface.

How do I do a Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

You now have two angles to take on your coronavirus risk assessment – returning to work and operational activities.

Approach your coronavirus risk assessment by understanding how the virus can spread, then map that over each of the work activities of your staff, where they go and who they may contact both in the workplace and at 3rd party locations. Each of these sections will help you along the way.

Need Help with your Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

Call us on 01793 852951 or use one of the contact forms to get in touch

When - do I need to do my Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

If you are currently trading and offering services to customers, then you need your coronavirus COVID-19 risk assessment in place now to document how you are working safely and managing any additional infection spread that could be presented by your trade activities.

If you are currently not trading and operations are suspended, then you have a bit more time. We would suggest using your downtime to complete your coronavirus COVID-19 risk assessment and get it and any associated kit and training mobilised ready for the Government reviewing lockdown restrictions.

If you are planning to return to work, you should be preparing your return-to-work COVID-19 risk assessment to logically and methodically approach where spread can occur, and how you will manage that in line with current and changing government guidance.

How often - will I need to review my Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

For the next few months, reviewing your coronavirus risk assessment could be a very frequent task for some activities. The types of triggers for a review will include:

 

  • Each time the Government guidance on Coronavirus and working practices change
  • If you have an outbreak of coronavirus
  • If a significant portion of your staff are off, disrupting normal operational standards i.e. lone working resulting from reduced staff
  • Specific customer demands placed upon you
  • Your customers have an outbreak of coronavirus
  • When you start trading again (return to work coronavirus risk assessment)
  • When you open the doors on a previously closed part of the business
  • If you identified a new opportunity and introduce a completely new service or product line

Who - do I need to consider in my Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

You will need to consider your staff, customers and members of the public primarily and anyone else who might be affected by your work activity movements. This will include things like –

Staff

Are they showing symptoms or should they be self-isolating; what do they do that might create potential surface contamination or transfer surface contamination around in the areas they will be working. Be mindful to minimise or not contribute any new contamination when arriving and avoid taking any away with you. When you return to work can you manage social distancing and other measures recommended by the government to enable the country to maintain working control of the spread of coronavirus?

Customers

Customers are an unknown; think about their place when you are visiting and decide where at their location there might be an additional risk of surface or airborne contamination to avoid. This will vary depending on commercial and private homes. In your return to work coronavirus risk assessment, you will need to consider whether they can or should visit your workplace. If it is essential then this will need careful consideration and clear communications to them before they arrive and thorough signage.

Members of the Public

Whilst you go about your work to minimise picking up contamination and leaving any behind, you will need to consider your work in relation to members of the public. Could they be adversely affected by your presence and could they bring any surface or airborne risks into your working area that you may not have considered? Maintain a watching brief on the government’s guidance regarding shops and places of entertainment and how they might reopen.

What - do I need to consider in my Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

Think logically about your work activities: these considerations might help you dial into and surface the specifics you need for your coronavirus risk assessment.

 

Who is fit for work

  • A critical question is – who in your teams can carry on?
  • Are they self-isolating or at risk?
  • Do you have the right skill set, do you need retraining?
  • Ensure the skill level meets the safety standard of your normal operational risks

Is work continuing in an office or workplace setting?

  • Can you social distance: current guidelines for social distancing in the workplace, include sector-specific guidance. The HSE have also supplemented with their own Social Distancing Guidelines
  • How are you managing known symptomatic people?
  • What if someone shows new symptoms at work?
  • Do you all need to be there? Can people work from home?
  • What enhanced cleaning is needed?
  • Do you need additional PPE and supplies?
  • Is it just office or is other work continuing?
  • Do you need to document safe systems or work for staff?
  • Will you have visitors, deliveries, and/or post to manage?
  • Are you still manufacturing or making goods? If so, you will want to review the processes that are active
  • Has your work changed in response to the pandemic and do you need new process risk assessments?
  • Keep asking – how are the normal activities affected?

Does your work involve visiting customer sites? commercial or domestic?

  • How frequently are they visiting? Is it essential?
  • Are they visiting at-risk groups? How do you manage that?
  • Are they in company vehicles? Can virus contamination be brought home on their clothes or their vehicle?
  • How will you gain access? Do you need to speak to someone or break social distancing? How will you get around that?
  • What is the sequence of off site work? Arrive at site, book in, unload, do work, check-in with host, pack up/tidy up, remove work items, travel back to bases/home/depot, etc. Be logical with questions and follow the path of movement and activity
  • Do you need variations of safe systems of work for offsite work?
  • Will you need a cleaning routine for equipment, tools, vehicles?
  • Could clothing be contaminated?
  • Is there waste to dispose of? PPE, wipes, etc.

The Government guidance for Employers is very useful for your Coronavirus Risk Assessment.

 

What - considerations for my Return to Work Coronavirus Risk Assessment?

For your return to work coronavirus risk assessment, you again need to think logically about your workplace and work activities. These headings/considerations might help you dial into and surface the specifics you need for your return to work coronavirus risk assessment –

 

  • Can people still work from home, do you need staggered working?
  • Reducing contact with payments and paperwork transactions
  • Social distancing and room dimensions, space & workstations
  • Avoiding face to face working & where social distancing is not possible
  • Reducing job and location rotation – can teams and gangs stay together?
  • Cleaning/washing /changing facilities
  • Management and control of contractors and visitors
  • Workplace ventilation/temperature, lighting – is air-con going to over circulate airborne contamination
  • Cross-contamination/control of infection, including toilets and washrooms
  • Waste materials and removal processes
  • Handling materials/deliveries
  • First aid arrangements: how are they affected?
  • Fire safety – evacuation, regular fire safety checks, etc
  • Use of kitchen, canteen and rest areas
  • Mental health and wellbeing of staff, clarity of communications and frequency
  • Personal protective equipment – is it needed? What training, storage? Very clear explanation of hazards the PPE is protecting from and how.

The Government guidance for Employers is very useful for your Coronavirus Risk Assessment.

Masks - do I need to provide them?

A close-fitting face mask is needed to protect against airborne contamination, which can be produced by coughing, sneezing and specific aerosol-generating medical procedures.

In Public Health England and HSE guidance for the NHS, they recommend masks are worn only for specific aerosol-generating medical procedures – which are not relevant unless you are in a medical setting.

For normal working practices during this pandemic of coronavirus, it is unlikely that a close-fitting facemask is required; but you need to make this assessment for yourself, or if Government guidelines state otherwise. It may be recommended that surgical style face shields are worn in certain close proximity environments or to prevent 2nd hand spread such as undergrounds, for people caring for symptomatic relatives. Keep a close eye on the evolving Government Guidance.

There are a number of reasons and logic to support not having a widespread use of masks. Firstly with social distancing and self-isolation rules being followed, the airborne risk from being in close proximity of someone coughing or sneezing is very low.

Next is the logic of what a mask does – assuming there is an airborne risk, then the outside of the mask will filter the virus and become super contaminated, or if you are wearing it because you are contaminated (and out when you shouldn’t be) then the inside is super contaminated. At the point of removal, unless a very clear understanding of safe mask removal is followed, then cross-contamination of surfaces is highly likely, thus falling short of containing the spread by surface contact.

Having said that, should a close-fitting face mask be required, and this should be supported clearly in a risk assessment, the following should be considered –

  • Is there a need for a close-fitting mask?
  • If so be sure there are airborne risks that can’t be prevented or avoided any other way
  • Anyone wearing a close fitting face mask legally must be face fit tested
  • They must be trained to wear, store, remove and clean masks safely
  • If disposable, how to safely dispose of masks
  • For virus protection FFP3 is the standard required

Download Our Coronavirus Risk Assessment Template

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Download Our Coronavirus Return to Work Risk Assessment Template

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I can now do a Coronavirus COVID-19 Risk Assessment!

The risk assessments are really about infection and contamination control and it is not regular health and safety. This is not a problem for our expert team. If you still need help then please do not hesitate to contact the Team at Safewell to help you with this. We hope this page was a useful resource.

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Drop us a line to let us know how we can help. If you prefer to call us, for an even faster response, our number is 01793 852951.
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Wishing You all a Very Merry Christmas!

Wishing You all a Very Merry Christmas from all of us at Safewell.

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