As COVID-19 is so new, and the need to specifically risk assess for it being a recent requirement, knowing what suitable and sufficient looks like, as well as keeping pace with changing requirements we recognise that is not easy.
Why do you need a COVID-19 risk assessment?
With organisations re-opening and staff returning to their normal workplaces, employers have a responsibility to protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus by way of a risk assessment.
- Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus;
- Think about who could be at risk;
- Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed;
- Act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk.
Ultimately you want to be able to demonstrate to your stakeholders that you are “COVID-19-Secure”. The results of your risk assessments should be shared with your workforce and there is an expectation they are published on your website (particularly for employers with over 50 workers).
In addition of general advice on managing risk, the government has published several documents relating to specific sectors. These are regularly updated as we move further away from lockdown and highlight the considerations for different types of workplace.
How can Assurity Consulting help?
We recognise that not everyone has the confidence or resource to keep up to date with the updates and produce a risk assessment that will stand up to scrutiny. Whilst others are confident they can document a risk assessment, some find they require external verification to reassure them that it is suitable and sufficient.
Our competent health and safety professionals can help you wherever you are in the process. Whilst COVID-19 is also new to all of us, we are in the position to provide independent advice on your arrangements from a health and safety perspective. We can help to keep you on track with following recognised control measures whilst keeping you well-informed of HSE, government and industry updates. We have supported a wide range of workplaces in this way since the first tentative steps out of lockdown.
The support we have been offering generally fits into one of the following areas below. The options outline general ways we can support you rather than setting out a finite list of services. If you are unsure of your exact needs, please contact us to discuss whether we can help you.
COVID-19 risk management services
Option 1 - Documenting COVID-19 risk assessments
A COVID-19 risk assessment is carried out remotely by an experienced consultant from our health and safety team. Our consultant will work through a checklist in order to ascertain the correct information to be put into the risk assessment, highlighting what measures you have taken and what more needs to be done.
We will then issue you with a first draft of the documents for you to review, once returned to us, we can then make any required final amendments.
The result will be a clearly documented risk assessment for the planned return in a format you can review and update as the situation changes over the coming months.
Option 2 – Review your COVID-19 risk assessment
We can review your COVID-19 risk assessment. Our review is from a health and safety perspective within the following criteria:
- Does the risk assessment have the expected five stages of risk assessment?
- Is it clearly identifying the hazard, the risk and who is exposed to the risk?
- Is it mirroring the ‘hierarchy of control measures’ as required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations?
- Are there any elements of the safety control measures that we believe would have an effect on other health and safety matters?
- Is it in line with Government Guidance (latest at date of review)?
After this review you will be confident that you have gone through the correct process to decide on your controls and reach your conclusion on risk.
Option 3 – COVID-19 site inspection
Operating within our own safe working methods and risk assessments, we can come to your premises either during planning or after mobilisation, to check how your control measures are working in practice.
A visual check by one of our consultants will identify any areas of the plan that are not working, plus provide documented evidence to demonstrate that you made sure your controls worked operationally, should they be challenged.
Option 4 – COVID-19 bespoke documentation support
We can support in creating bespoke COVID-19 health and safety documentation and templates to help streamline your risk assessment process, across your portfolio of buildings.
Why Assurity Consulting is best placed to support you?
- We work with you to produce your COVID-19 risk assessment so that are relevant and pertinent to your business operations - not just a series of generic hazards with generic controls.
- We already have experience in delivering COVID-19 risk assessments across a range of sectors and organisations – you have a trusted partner
- Being a totally independent consultancy, we support you in assessing risk – so we have no vested interest - other than delivering you the right solution - in promoting particular activities, equipment or ancillary services.
- We offer a range of solutions to provide the service that best suits your needs.
- With rapidly changing guidance and business needs how do you know you are up to date with the latest advice and thinking? We can help you fill this gap.
Issue 9: COVID-19 contingencies for workplace fire evacuation, first aid and Test and Trace
24th September 2020
For those already remobilised to the workplace, those about to, or indeed those planning it, alongside COVID-19 precautions, what are the other considerations to make sure are in place?Read more
COVID-19 contingency planning: Managing water systems and services
25th June 2020
As our sector slowly starts its way back to normality (or adjusting to the ‘new normal’) following COVID-19 we are faced with yet another set of challenges as buildings begin to reoccupy; and we are having to, again, amend our approach to water management.Read more
COVID-19 contingency planning: Managing air systems and services
25th June 2020
As our sector responds to the new normal, we recognise that air quality, from an operations perspective, is a key consideration in helping to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, while maintaining conditions as optimum as possible for occupants.Read more
Issue 6: Coronavirus - workplace remobilisation building systems and services information and guidance
11th June 2020
As remobilisation builds and we see more organisations opening back up for business, making sure our building systems and services are also ready and compliance is going to be important.Read more