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Workplaces ‘shouldn't simply wait for government advice’

After a government adviser said last week that working from home could help reduce a COVID outbreak this winter, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) says employers needn’t wait for national rules to change, if cases start rising sharply.

“There is a potential for COVID-19 transmission within and getting to workplaces,” says Ruth Wilkinson, head of health and safety at IOSH.

“One [mitigation] measure is through reverting back to people working from home which will support the other controls already in place.

“As with all other health and safety risks, a business’s number one priority must be the prevention, management and control of these effectively - and putting in place proportionate measures to prevent workers from coming to harm.

“So, we recommend that employers shouldn’t simply wait for any government directive or advice to implement work from home measures; they should be regularly reviewing their risk assessment and monitoring their COVID arrangements and controls.”

BBC News

September 2021

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