RISK ASSESSMENT REF COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE

 

RISK ASSESSMENT REF COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE

This risk assessment is carried out in accordance with the Government guidelines on Covid-19 safe working by Larry Wood

In preparing the Risk Assessment, line managers have had direct communications with staff members in their respective departments, and this has been communicated between them and the directors.  On return to work, the company will consult further with staff members.

AIM

  • Keep Staff, Customers and all Visitors as safe as possible on business premises
  • Keep Staff, Customers and all Visitors as safe as possible whilst conducting business transactions
  • Have concern for overall wellbeing of staff as it relates to them and their employment
  • Demonstrate preparedness to carry out business alongside Covid-19 Health and Safety initiatives
  • Demonstrate ability to lock down again should there be an upturn in Covid-19 related illness and the need arise
  • Follow Government Guidelines

There is additional advice for:

DEALING WITH A SUSPECTED CASE OF COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE

HAND WASHING BEING A PRIMARY TOOL IN FIGHTING THE VIRUS

RESPIRATORY HYGIENE

VISITORS TO SITE

ADVICE ON TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN CUSTOMERS AND STAFF

FIRST AID

HEATING, VENTILATION AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC)

 

OVERVIEW

There are twelve main areas to be overseen.  These are as follows: -

  • Reception
  • Workshop
  • Service
  • Parts
  • Parts counter/ store area
  • Sales
  • Rental
  • Administrative
  • Car Wash
  • Car Parks
  • Workshop Canteen
  • Sales Kitchen

Within these sectors, we need to ensure that social distancing and safety measures are observed at all times.  To ensure that this is possible, on re-commencement of business, we will need to ensure there is ample space around each staff member and to educate everyone in maintaining their distance when passing close to another person.  Where possible, we could consider back to back working or applying tape on to flooring to show distances needed.

Safety measures include the usual Health & Safety requirements already in place, e.g. steel toe capped boots in the workshop; staff not picking up items alone that are too heavy etc.  In addition to these, we need to continue observing the regular and frequent hand-washing and thorough drying – preferably using paper towels rather than hand-dryers - that were initiated at the start of the epidemic (consider purchasing and fitting paper towel holders in toilets which have only hand-dryers).  (Additional information for hand and respiratory hygiene is provided further down in this risk assessment).  Posters should be displayed showing the correct way to wash hands with soap and water. The company will also need to provide tissues for all members of staff and demand good respiratory hygiene in the workplace as well as gloves where required (e.g. when accessing a customer’s vehicle).

 

HOW TO ACHIEVE MEASURES

Furlough will continue for a number of staff members as determined by their line managers in consultation with their teams.  Line managers will previously have been briefed by the directors on how to achieve this within the government guidelines.

These decisions will take into consideration how to effect a functioning and profitable workplace whilst keeping all visitors to the premises safe.  The decisions have to be fair to all and will take into consideration how the team members are remunerated and the impact of any financial loss due to furloughing one over another.  It is wise to keep records of such decision-making to mitigate against any future queries or inspections.  Letters must be sent inviting these employees back to work, a minimum of three days beforehand.  These letters will also provide further details and advice should the UK government initiate a further lock down.

Managers MUST take into consideration any staff members whose household needs to self-isolate, shield, or who are in any way vulnerable.  They must also consider staff members with care responsibilities including childcare.  They will then coordinate a rota to enable those staff members who are working to have ample space around them at all times.  This will apply to all departments.

In the Service Reception area, partitions have been erected between staff sitting alongside one another.  Hand sanitisers have been placed on customer-facing desks to be readily available for customers, who are also requested to wash their hands upon arrival.  Additional hand sanitisers were already strategically placed in the working environment for use by staff and these remain in place.

All staff members will be furnished with masks if they require them, as will customers.  It is recognised that masks have some preventative benefit only in the case that the wearer may be unwell themselves.  However, it is expected that no one will come into the workplace if they are already aware that they are unwell.  Should any person require a mask, they will need to be given training on the correct way to safely handle them when they are removed and/ or disposed of to prevent cross-contamination. 

All staff members should at all times avoid making contact with their face and in particular their eyes, nose and mouth. Where necessary, they should wash their hands immediately before touching their face. 

Each staff member will have their temperature taken upon arrival at work and will be required to wash their hands first thing.  For the time being, they will not use the clocking in machines which require them to place their hands onto the machine to be ‘read’.  Consider upgrading the clocking-in system to a biometric one that possibly reads the iris.  This would eliminate the need for touch.  Staff will also be required to clean/ sanitise their own workplaces at the beginning and end of each day. 

Humming Bird must issue a ‘pre-return to work form’ at least three days before the date required.  This form will require confirmation that, to the best of their knowledge, the staff member concerned has no symptoms of Covid-19 and is not self-isolating or awaiting the outcome of a Covid-19 test.

 

IT IS INCUMBENT ON EACH MEMBER OF STAFF TO STAY AWAY FROM WORK IF THEY FEEL UNWELL, HAVE A TEMPERATURE, SORE THROAT OR PERSISTENT COUGH AND CONTACT THEIR GP OR THE 111 SERVICE. THIS ADVICE MAY CHANGE ACCORDING TO SCIENTIFIC GUIDANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT: IF PERSONNEL DISPLAY ANY OTHER UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS, THEY WILL NEED TO SPEAK TO THEIR LINE MANAGER, OR ANOTHER IN THE ABSENCE OF THEIR OWN, WHO WILL ADVISE THEM OF THE COURSE OF ACTION TO TAKE.

CUSTOMERS WITH A DROP OFF BOOKING SHOULD BE CONTACTED THE DAY BEFORE THEIR BOOKING AND ASKED TO VERIFY THAT THEY ARE NOT SUFFERING WITH ANY KNOWN COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.  WE SHOULD ALSO INFORM CUSTOMERS THAT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO FOLLOW A PLAN OF ACTION SHOULD THEY APPEAR UNWELL WHILST ON BUSINESS PREMISES; THIS MIGHT INVOLVE TAKING THEIR TEMPERATURE FROM A DISTANCE, USING A DISTANCE-READING, THERMOMETER, OR CALLING 111 OR 999.  SHOULD THIS BE NECESSARY, IT WILL BE SOLELY TO ENSURE SAFETY FOR ALL AND MUST BE DONE WITH CAUTION TO REMAIN SAFE AT ALL TIMES.

 

The Reception area has been rearranged to create three separate seating areas, each allowing a safe distance from the other areas.  At the present time, the coffee machine in the Reception area is out of bounds to prevent cross-contamination through its use.  Cookies will not be baked or offered for the foreseeable future and all magazines and other paper leaflets have been removed.

Some departments will remain closed temporarily and some staff members may be required to work from home.  Reception and Sales will continue to remain closed for now.  Upon resumption, Sales will follow the same rota/ furlough system as outlined above.

Any and all staff members working on customer cars will wear protective equipment; i.e. gloves and masks.  The first member of staff to access the vehicle will sanitise it, using a spray disinfectant, and ensure that the keys and handles are also cleaned.  This is likely to apply to Service/ Workshop/ Sales.

The technician working on the vehicle will wear gloves and a mask and place protective paper seat and floor covers inside before entering.  On completion of the work, and before returning the car, the vehicle and keys will be sanitised again and the keys put into an envelope with paperwork ready to be handed over to the customer.

The Workshop Canteen cannot be used at full capacity.  It will need to be used on a rota to be set by the workshop/ service manager.  In theory, two people can use the facility at one time if they are seated at extreme diagonal distance within the current seating area.  Consideration must be given to the positioning of the Workshop Toilets to avoid inadvertently lessening the 2-metre distance when accessing these.

The Sales Kitchen is mainly used by Sales, all Administrative staff, Parts, Reception and Service.  These staff members also access Sales Toilets via the kitchen or use the Customer Toilets off the Reception area.  It would be wise to forgo the seating area in the Sales Kitchen until further notice.  This area is too small to house more than one person at a time – whether accessing kitchen facilities, cleaning or sitting down to eat.  If possible, another area could be designated for eating.  Any staff members making use of either these Kitchen or Toilet facilities, will need to accommodate one another’s entry and exit to ensure that the 2-metre social distancing is maintained.  It may be better at this time for these staff members to only use the Customer Toilets, in order to support social distancing and hygiene measures.  Equally, care will have to be taken to maintain social distancing in the Customer Toilet area.  It would be useful to have signage asking people to stand back to maintain a 2-metre distance whilst allowing someone to pass.

In all cases, all staff should be discouraged from wandering into departments other than their own, unless it cannot be avoided.

Any customers/ visitors to the premises will be encouraged to bring no others or as few people with them as possible.  Should they bring children, they must keep the children with them and be responsible for them at all times.  The children’s play area must be kept closed off to prevent any cross-contamination. 

Once back up and running, it may be worth considering the use of the children’s play area for the Rental department, in order to create distance from the main Reception area.  All areas MUST have suitable shielding protective equipment to protect all parties and follow the aforementioned guidelines using masks, hand-sanitisers and gloves as appropriate.  Rental will also follow the route set out for those accessing customers’ vehicles.

All showroom cars should be kept locked and only unlocked upon request.  Should this happen, the vehicle and keys must be sanitised after viewing.

We will need to implement a one-way system for customers and avoid any pinch points that would minimise the 2 metre distancing.  It may be worth having one set of doors to come into the building and another to exit.

Consider timed appointments to prevent too many customers arriving at the same time and, wherever possible, avoid while-you-wait services that would require customers staying in the reception area.

Collection and delivery services are a good means of keeping customers out of the showroom and perhaps it is an area that could be increased over time.  Doing so, will still require the implementation of the sanitisation program.

At the start and end of every day, all departments must sanitise their workspaces, computer keyboards and phones and any other points that would be handled on a daily basis.  Sharing computers, pens or other devices that would be handled, is discouraged and must be avoided at all costs.

The kitchen areas must be kept clean by all parties using them.  This includes the microwave and sink, and spillages must be cleaned up straight away.  Plastic cups should not be used and crockery should be placed into the dishwasher immediately after use (if used by someone else, crockery must be handled whilst wearing gloves).

At this time, abandon or minimise the use of any equipment that requires ‘handling’ or pressing buttons and frequently wash/ sanitise any equipment that needs to be used.

Signage must be displayed in all relevant areas to make all Personnel, Customers and Visitors aware of the Safety Requirements that are in place. 

Visitors to the premises must sign in and out.

Line Managers must keep a log of all team members, their working dates and whoever else is on the same shift.

The two sets of monitoring requirements above are imperative as the details may be required, should the need arise for Track and Trace purposes.

Any deliveries to or by the business must be treated with caution. 

Parts drivers must maintain their own vehicles in a sanitary way, disinfecting as for customer cars.  When delivering to customers, they must do so using social distancing and, where appropriate, wear masks and gloves e.g. if taking packages into a building or coming into contact with others.

For packages arriving into the business, packages must be handled with caution.  If it is possible to leave items for 24 hours before unpacking, it would be wise to do so.  Alternatively, packaging could be sanitised using a spray disinfectant before handling and/ or handled using gloves.

 

BE AWARE

There is a very good possibility that large numbers of the workforce may suffer with emotional or psychological health issues alongside physical ones.

As a business we will do our utmost to support our staff in the workplace and provide everyone with the equipment needed to keep everyone safe and well.  We recognise that there could be a fall out relating to mental health.  As always, we will endeavour to monitor this and put in place wellbeing meetings where they are required.  In the first instance, this will take the form of a meeting with the line manager.  Should there be additional concerns, the line manager may then refer the staff member to the Human Resources department for further discussion.  The outcome of these meetings will be taken on a case by case basis in line with contracts and the staff handbook, but will always be handled as compassionately as possible.

NOTE:  The UK Health and Safety Executive are keenly aware of the difficulties facing our society and the potential stress that may arise for anyone at any time.  A dedicated site, ‘Working together to reduce stress at work: a guide for employees’, provides fuller details and can be found at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg424.pdf

THE ABOVE AND OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION CAN BE SHARED WITH ANY STAFF MEMBERS STRUGGLING OR SHOWING SIGNS OF DISTRESS.  CONSIDER ANY OTHER ACTIONS THAT MIGHT BE IMPLEMENTED.

Whilst the company has no plans for making redundancies, it must be recognised that, in an extreme case, redundancy could be an unexpected consequence of the impact of Covid-19.  Should such an unforeseen and unfortunate outcome occur, the business will follow the appropriate consultation period and show how it reached such a conclusion and how its decisions are made in determining which members of staff will be subject to redundancy.

DEALING WITH A SUSPECTED CASE OF COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE: In the first instance, an appropriate manager or managers must be appointed to deal with suspected cases.

If displaying Covid-19 symptoms, a worker should not attend work.  However, if a suspected case should become apparent, they will need to be immediately isolated.  An isolation room as far distanced from the rest of the premises should ideally be made available, preferably with an outside window and ventilation, if this is possible, but with the ability to fully close the door.  It is recognised that there could be more than one instance at the same time so it would be helpful to have more than one such room in which to isolate, if possible.  Within this room, should be tissues, hand sanitiser, disinfectant and/or wipes, PPE; gloves, masks, clinical waste bags. 

Once isolation requirement has been established, the worker should immediately be provided with a mask ( to be kept on until they have departed from the premises and subsequently removed safely according to government guidelines) and then safely accompanied to the isolation room via a safe and easily accessed route for both able-bodied personnel or anyone disabled.  The accompanying member of staff will be one of the designated managers and the room must be accessed whilst at all times conforming to the 2-metre social distancing rules between one another and anyone else in the workplace.  The designated manager will need to assess whether the worker can immediately go home, call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home OR decide if there is a need to remain in the isolation room and facilitate them calling their doctor or 111 from there for further advice.  They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be given advice regarding covering their mouth and nose using tissues provided when they cough or sneeze and disposing of the tissue in the waste bag provided. The designated manager must then arrange for transport home or to hospital for medical assessment; public transport of any kind must not be used.  The designated manager must arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolation and work areas involved once these areas have been vacated.  The designated manager must then carry out a written assessment of the incident, which will be part of and inform the follow-up actions and recovery.  If contacted by the HSE we must provide the necessary advice and assistance.

The best way to prevent person-to-person spread of COVID-19 is to use proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and practice physical distancing.

 

HAND HYGIENE

Regular hand washing with soap and water is most effective for the removal of COVID-19.

The business already has appropriate hygiene facilities are in place to accommodate workers adhering to hand hygiene measures.  It is recommended that advice and training is given on how to perform hand hygiene effectively.  This could be in teams informed by their line managers initially and then directed to view displayed posters showing how to wash hand. Posters must be obtained and displayed in appropriate locations so that they are visible to all.

Workers must: ensure they are familiar with and follow hand hygiene guidance and advice; wash their hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub regularly and in particular:

after coughing and sneezing; before and after eating; before and after preparing food; if in contact with someone who is displaying any COVID-19 symptoms; before and after being on public transport (if using it); before and after being in a crowd; when arriving and leaving the workplace/other sites; before having a cigarette or vaping (although smoking is strictly prohibited on the business premises); when hands are dirty; after toilet use.  Workers must avoid touching their eyes, mouth, or nose; have access to facilities to support hand hygiene (for example hand sanitiser/hand wipes/hand washing facilities); not share objects that touch their mouth, for example, bottles or cups; use own pens for any purpose and not share them with others.

 

RESPIRATORY HYGIENE

In addition to hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene and etiquette is also necessary.  Staff members must be given suitable advice and equipped with tissues.  Posters could be displayed for further education.

At Risk/Vulnerable Workers: If an at risk or vulnerable worker cannot work from home and must be in the workplace, employers must make sure that they are preferentially supported to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres. However, employers should enable vulnerable workers to work from home where possible.

Working from home: Office work should continue to be carried out at home, where practicable and non-essential work. The employer should develop and consult on any working from home policy in conjunction with workers and/or Trade Unions.   Consider telephone calls or holding virtual meetings where required, to minimise close contact and enable continuation of business.

Business Travel: Business trips and face-to-face interactions should be reduced to the absolute minimum and, as far as is reasonably practicable, technological alternatives should be made available (e.g., telephone or video conferencing).  For necessary work-related trips, the use of the same vehicles by multiple workers is not encouraged. The number of workers who share a vehicle – simultaneously or consecutively – should be kept to a minimum as far is as reasonably practicable, for example by assigning a vehicle to a fixed team. Workers should be encouraged to travel alone if using their personal cars for work or at a maximum be accompanied by one passenger who shall be seated in adherence with physical distancing guidance. Workers should be provided with hand sanitisers and cleaning equipment for their work vehicle.

Contractors/Visitors:  Workers, contractors or visitors visiting workplaces where there are restrictions arising from the risk of COVID-19 should follow the site infection prevention and control measures and take into account public health advice around preventing the spread of COVID-19. A system for recording visits to the site(s) by workers/others as well as visits by workers to other workplaces should be put in place by employers and completed by workers as required (Please see section regarding logging requirements for visitors to the site). Contractors and Visitors to the workplace must be given suitable induction training to enable them to enable them to safely conduct their business within the site.  This could be verbal information followed by directing them to relevant signage/ posters.

CLEANING: Employers must: Implement thorough and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. If disinfection of an area is required it must be performed in addition to cleaning, never as a substitute for cleaning. Ensure contact/touch surfaces such as table tops, work equipment, door handles and handrails are visibly clean at all times and are cleaned at least twice daily (Cleaners will clean overnight all main areas as directed and staff will clean their own workspaces, equipment and door handles. Line managers to make certain individuals responsible to do so and record this)Implement modified cleaning intervals for rooms and work areas. This applies especially for washroom facilities and communal spaces. Cleaning should be performed at least twice per day and whenever facilities are visibly dirty (Review who is carrying out the cleaning program at present).  Continue to provide workers with essential cleaning materials to keep their own workspace clean (for example wipes/disinfection products, paper towels and waste bins/bags).  Tie and empty waste bin liners regularly throughout and at the end of each day. If in use, modify use of hot desks to ensure that these are made available to identified staff only and have appropriate cleaning materials in place for workers to clean the area before using

Use of PPE – Personal Protective Equipment:  PPE should not take the place of other preventative measures as outlined above. Examples of PPE include gloves, goggles, respiratory protection.  In the context of COVID-19 risk, employers should check the HPSC website regularly for updates regarding use of recommended PPE.  Full hygiene compliance as set out above should be applied and maintained in all circumstances. PPE must be selected based on the hazard to the worker.  Employers must provide PPE and protective clothing to workers in accordance with identified COVID-19 exposure risks and in line with Public Health Advice.  Workers should be trained in the proper use, cleaning, storing and disposal of PPE (where these are provided, e.g. masks and gloves). Gloves are generally not required for infection prevention and control purposes. Where gloves are necessary, they must not be considered a substitute for hand hygiene and hands must be cleaned whenever gloves are removed. Gloves should not create an additional occupational hazard (such as of gloves getting caught in rotating parts). Limitations on wearing time and workers’ individual susceptibilities (allergies, etc.) must also be taken into account.  PPE needs to be consistently and properly worn when required. In addition, it must be regularly inspected, cleaned, maintained and replaced as necessary.

ADVICE ON TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN CUSTOMERS AND STAFF: As far as possible, eliminate physical interaction between workers and customers through revised working arrangements. For example through provision of online or phone orders, contactless delivery or managed entry.  Also, customers are to be encouraged to make contactless payments at all times, i.e. on the terminals in person (limits permitting) or via a bank to bank payment if no other payment arrangement is in place (e.g. service plans in the service department or monthly arrangements in the parts department).

FIRST AID:  In the event that first aid is required in the workplace it may not be possible to maintain a distance of 2 metres. Workers with a specific role in acting as first responders should be provided with updated training on infection prevention and control principles including performance of hand hygiene and appropriate use of personal protective equipment when delivering first aid.  (The upgrading of First Aid Training is to be checked as well as ensuring that sufficient numbers of First Aiders are on the premises at any given time). 

HEATING, VENTILATION AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC):  Air conditioning is not generally considered as contributing significantly to the spread of COVID-19.  Switching off air conditioning is not required to manage the risk of COVID-19.

 

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