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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).

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.

This HSE guidance now reflects that UK government advice is that, from 13 December, those who can work from home should do so.

If your people are working from home, employers should still carry out a risk assessment to manage their health and safety.

Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go to the workplace.

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.

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.

  • Reducing contact for workers.

It is available here. Or please contact us for support in writing or reviewing your current Risk Assessments.

HSE December 2021

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