Health and Safety Guidance for Reopening your Business

On this page you will find

Risk Assessment

As with all risk assessments, you will be asked to show that you are taking all reasonable steps to protect your workforce and others, such as customers, clients and suppliers from Coronavirus, as you would for any other hazard.

This means

    • Identifying the activities or situations which may cause transmission
    • Thinking about who could be at risk
    • Deciding the likelihood of exposure
    • Acting to remove the activity, or where this isn’t possible, how you will control the risk

The Health and Safety Executive have issued guidance on managing risks and risk assessment at work – the Coronavirus update which can be found here. https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/index.htm along with a short guide to working safely during the COVID 19 pandemic https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/working-safely-guide.pdf.

The HSE also provide a template risk assessment www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/risk-assessment-template-2019.docx. Alternatively you may want to use your own documentation.

ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) have released some simple, easy to read guidance which can be found here https://www.rospa.com/lets-talk-about/2020/May/What-is-a-COVID-19-risk-assessment

What is 'COVID-19 Secure'?

The Government has released detailed guidance for Shops and Branches https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches along with other settings which are permitted to open (see all guidance) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

There are five broad principles covering all sectors and employers

    • If you can work from home, then do so
    • Carry out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment
    • Maintain social distancing
    • Where social distancing is not possible, manage the risk (some examples of this may be reviewing the amount of people you have on site, using sneeze guards or masks or accepting card payment only
    • Reinforcing your cleaning and hygiene processes. Staff members will need sufficient hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser. Cleaning will need to be carried out more frequently, especially in high contact areas such as card machines and door handles

The COVID-19 Secure Certificate can be found here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97d30d3bf7f5d364bfbb6/staying-covid-19-secure-accessible.pdf which must be displayed in your building.

If you have over 50 employees it is expected that you will publish the findings of your assessment to your company website. 

Equipment Checks, Maintenance and Inspection

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19 Pandemic) it remains important that as business owners and duty holders, you continue to manage the significant potential hazard posed by equipment failure.

Examinations, written schemes and statutory inspections must still be undertaken if due. As a business owner your responsibility remains to ensure your equipment and machinery remains safe for use.

The HSE have released the following documentation which can be found here

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/loler-pssr-during-outbreak.pdf 

Safe Water Systems and Legionella Advice

Following a prolonged period of dormancy such as lockdown, your water supply may deteriorate; equipment and personnel used to treat water systems may have been affected causing a possible build up of unwanted bacteria such as Legionella (which causes Legionnaires’ Disease) which is a serious risk to health.

It is essential that your system is not put back to normal use without considering the risk of waterborne pathogens.

The CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) have released the following guidance https://www.cieh.org/media/4208/legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf

You may also find the following publications useful.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-organisations-on-supplying-safe-water-supplies

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/legionella-risks-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm 

Keeping Workplaces Safe 

Keeping workplaces safe as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are eased is important and the link below provides the latest information on any changes related to workplace safety during the pandemic following the easing of coronavirus restrictions. 

 https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/roadmap-further-guidance.htm