Get ahead with health and safety management during COVID-19

Vicki Filson

Vicki Filby-Filson
Senior Consultant, Assurity Consulting
26th March 2020

At least once week I hear the complaint that staff do not have time for health and safety tasks, particularly the administrative ones. Now could be the time to catch up with some of those outstanding tasks that could be completed from the comfort of your home, or in the office without the usual day to day priorities and distractions.

Review your health and safety policy
Does your health and safety policy really describe how you manage health and safety as an organisation?  The purpose of documenting anything for health and safety is to ensure it happens because everyone understands it. If your documented arrangements don’t do that, they are just words.

Review your risk assessments
By this, not just a cursory check. You have the time to ensure they really are a worthwhile document. Get those control measures clearly documented, remove ambiguity and make them clear documents that anyone can understand. Remember the requirement is to risk assess, not do a risk assessment, therefore think about whether what you have as multiple documents can be combined and refined.

Get up to date with any online training
Setting time aside for online training is often a challenge. If you subscribe to an online training package, check what is outstanding and remind your team to complete them.

Review actions from external reports
Take time to check health and safety reports, fire risk assessments and legionella risk assessments and address anything that involves policy of documentation. For our customers, these are obviously on Assurity Plus. Feel free to contact the consultant who completed the work for any additional clarification you need in addressing their recommendations.

Tidy your record keeping
If you have access to your shared drives, get those folders in order and archive anything that is no longer required. A key issue we often find is where records cannot be found due to poor organisation of electronic files, particularly following change in personnel.  Better still, speak to your Assurity Consultant contact about how Assurity Plus 2.0 can work for you.

Continue with your health and safety committees remotely
In addition to getting previous items tabled, the current situation will result in increased importance of other safety and health concerns. Lone working, stress and wellbeing, home working. Staff still need to be able to raise such concerns with their health and safety representatives. Make sure this is communicated.

Plan ahead
We don’t know how long normal life could be disrupted, however at some point we will be back to normal. Ensure that your health and safety management plan is back on track and fit for purpose.

If you need any assistance in these areas, Assurity Consulting are able to offer support.