As restrictions on work and movement are eased there will be an understandable desire to get back to work as soon as possible. However, the return to work will present new challenges, balancing the need to begin operations against the ongoing requirements to maintain social distancing and staff safety. It is a legal requirement to assess the workplace for hazards and implement controls to reduce risk to an acceptable level. It will not be possible, in most businesses, to simply return to previous arrangements and now is a good time to review these, update them and introduce new controls where necessary.
The benefits of doing this now are two-fold:
- Arrangements are designed, in advance, to allow for a swift and safe return to operations. This will minimise any delay, allowing you take opportunities from the gradual relaxation of the lockdown.
- Staff will see that you have actively considered their own health and safety, introducing arrangements to reassure them that the ongoing risk from COVID-19 has been addressed.
QCS International consultants are able to provide you with the necessary support and guidance at this time and are able to undertake a ‘return to work’ risk assessment. This assessment will provide you with guidance on, for example,
- How to maintain social distancing – and how these should be communicated, implemented, maintained and monitored
- What PPE, if any, might be recommended for staff depending on their role, function and interaction with others
- Any new administrative rules relevant to operations – such as shift changes, welfare arrangements, training requirements
- Adjustments to infrastructure, workspace layout, staff circulation etc to maintain social distancing and to ensure operational efficiency
- Staff reporting and communications – raising concerns and dealing with conflict
- Travel – any specific controls relevant to travel, visiting clients, overnight accommodation, use of public transport etc
- How other hazard management might be affected – reviews and updates to risk assessments and other safe systems of work as necessary (for example, how to accommodate the need for two-person lifts)
- Emergency arrangements – how to evacuate whilst maintaining social distancing and how to provide first aid cover
Your consultant will be able to undertake this assessment during a site visit and issue you with a full report with recommendations on what actions may be necessary. Our aim will be to provide you with the necessary support and guidance so that a return to work can begin and that it can be done so in a safe manner.
If you want to discuss having such an assessment then simply contact us on 01236 734447 – or fill in the contact us form.