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Risk Assessment during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes doing a risk assessment to decide what reasonable steps you need to take to protect your workers and others from Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This HSE guidance is up to date following the lifting of most restrictions in England. It is under regular review.

It points out that a generic risk assessment is unlikely to be specific or detailed enough to address measures needed to protect against COVID-19. For example, it might not identify adequate ventilation requirements or sufficient cleaning controls for particular areas and circumstances.

Steps needed to manage the risk

As part of your risk assessment, employers must:

  • Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Think about who could be at risk – this could include workers, visitors, contractors and delivery drivers.

  • Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed.

  • Identify the controls needed to reduce the risk.

If you have fewer than five employees you don't have to write anything down, but it might help if you do. Find out more about managing risk and risk assessment.

You should ensure you consider the risk to groups of workers who are particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

When undertaking the risk assessment, you must talk with your workers about the measures you’re considering. They can provide valuable information on how you could reduce risks.

You should put monitoring and supervision in place to make sure the controls you have are working as expected.

The guidance goes on to give advice on:

  • Controlling the risk.

  • Other measures to help reduce workplace transmission.

It is available here.

HSE August 2021

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