Advice for employers
This advice is summarised from the Government document, ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’, the HSE and the Society of Occupational Medicine Health Professionals’ Guides. The aim has been to provide a simple check list for HR and management to enable safe working conditions for employees on their return to the workplace.
Covid infection should be treated just like any other hazard in the workplace using a stepwise programme of eliminate, substitute, minimise exposure and maximise good hygiene.
Minimise exposure by separating employees;
Maximise personal hygiene and temperature checks prior to entering workplace.
Personal protective equipment is not a substitute for the above and should only be considered if there is a specific need defined in the risk assessment. When used the manufacturer’s guidance should be followed.
Involve employees and their representatives in all discussions about workplace changes and encourage them to share their concerns and anxieties about the return to work process. These measures may be in force for many months.
If any employees have any underlying health conditions, fall into the shielded or increased vulnerability groups, or live with a shielded person, then a further individual clinical assessment by occupational health is recommended.
The employer has a duty of care for each employee’s mental and physical wellbeing in any workplace. If you have any concerns, then occupational health can give further guidance.
Risk assessment template: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/general-workplace-safety-risk-assessment-example_tcm18-77498.pdf