COVID-19 Working Safely Assessment
Date Assessed 13 May 2020
The following are control measures for mitigating risks across different working areas together with the responsibility for each.
The notice at appendix i. will be displayed in all workplaces to evidence that Housing 21 has followed government guidance.
Everyone should work from home, unless they cannot work from home
Staff that are needed on site include those:
- In roles critical for business and operational continuity, facility management or regulatory requirements which cannot be performed remotely.
- In critical roles which might be performed remotely, but who are unable to work remotely due to home circumstances or the unavailability of safe enabling equipment.
- Only the minimum number of staff needed on site to operate safely and effectively.
- Monitor the wellbeing of staff who are working from home – helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on site.
- Keep in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements, including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.
- Provide equipment for people to work at home safely and effectively e.g. remote access to work systems.
Protecting staff at higher risk (clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable staff)
- Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals have been strongly advised not to work outside the home.
- Clinically vulnerable individuals, who are at higher risk of severe illness e.g. people with some pre-existing conditions have been asked to take extra care in observing social distancing and have been helped to work from home, either in their current role or in an alternative role.
- Where clinically vulnerable (not extremely clinically vulnerable) staff cannot work from home, they will be offered the option of the safest on-site roles, enabling them to stay 2m away from others. If they have to spend time within 2m of others the level of risk will be assessed to determine whether it is acceptable.
Staff who need to self-isolate – ensuring those who are advised to stay at home under existing government guidance do not physically come to work.
- To include staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who live in a household with someone who has symptoms.
- Staff able to work from home while self-isolating if appropriate.
- Staff to receive sick-pay due to COVID-19.
Equality in the workplace – treating everyone in the workplace equally
- When applying the guidance Housing 21 will be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals.
- Taking into account organisational responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.
- Reviewing the organisations assessment in line with the governments review into factors impacting health outcomes from COVID-19 (due late May 2020).
Mental health awareness – focusing on the importance
- The government has published guidance on mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)
SOCIAL DISTANCING : applies to all parts of the organisation, desk spaces, entrances and exits, break rooms, meeting rooms and similar settings.
TRAVELLING TO WORK – aim to maintain a two metre social distance wherever possible including arrival and departure from work
- Agreed list of staff and workforce must be forwarded to Facilities in advance.
- Staggered arrival and departure times to reduce crowding, in and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.
- Travel should be either walk, cycle or by private vehicle. Public transport should be avoided unless social distance can be maintained.
- If staff are using a private vehicle where possible a parking space will be made available. At TCH parking spaces will be allocated by the Facilities Manager.
- Vehicles or bikes are to be parked/stored with in designated spaces to allow for access between and avoid contact with others.
WORK RELATED TRAVEL - commuting to work and between sites
- Minimise non-essential travel – consider remote options first.
- Where staff are required to stay away from home, centrally logging the stay and make sure any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.
- Procedures in place to minimise person-to-person contact during visits to other sites.
IN THE OFFICE – when moving around the building maintain social distancing wherever possible
We are working collaboratively with the landlord at Tricorn House and other tenants to ensure consistency across common areas, for example reception and staircases.
- Signage in place denoting one-way system and passing points (where applicable) to enable staff to adhere to the 2m distancing rules.
- When arriving at the entrance staff are to ensure that the 2-meter distance is maintained.
- Hand sanitiser/handwashing facilities provided at entry/exit points.
- Touch-based security devices i.e. keypads to be deactivated where appropriate.
- Regulating use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing.
- Stairs should be used in preference to lifts.
- Restricted access to lifts for people with disabilities – providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts.
- Social distancing to be maintained on stairways.
- All staff must inform the Facilities Team of their presence on site.
- All individuals on-site to monitor themselves and others and pay special attention to limit social contact with others.
WORK STATIONS – ensuring social distancing is maintained
- Seating to be placed 2 meters apart to ensure social distancing.
- Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.
- Where it is not possible to move workstations further apart, use screens or barriers to separate staff from each other.
- Desks, keyboards, laptops, printers, photocopiers and all other IT equipment to be wiped down with sanitizer wipes daily by the users.
- Managing occupancy levels to enable social distancing.
- Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).
- Avoiding use of hot desks and spaces and, where not possible, workstations to be cleaned between different occupants including shared equipment.
- Where possible, doors to be kept open to reduce the need to push or touch handles.
MEETINGS – to reduce transmission due to face-to-face meetings and maintaining social distancing in meetings
- Use remote working tools to avoid in-person meetings.
- Only absolutely necessary participants should attend meetings and should maintain 2m separation throughout.
- Avoid transmission during meetings, for example, avoiding sharing pens and other objects.
- Provide hand sanitiser in meeting rooms.
- Meetings to be held outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible.
- For areas where regular meetings take place, use floor signage to help people maintain social distancing.
SHARED AREAS – to ensure social distancing is maintained
- Installing screens to protect staff in reception.
- Staggering break times to reduce pressure on kitchens and break-out areas.
- Seating to be removed/blocked off where possible to maintain spacing and reduce face-to-face interactions.
- Creating additional space by using other parts of the workplace or building that have been freed up by remote working.
- Cutlery and crockery will be removed, and disposable cups should be provided. Staff are encouraged to use their own plates, cutlery and cups/bottles.
- Microwave and kettles to be made available but these will be 2m apart and to be cleaned after each use using the cleaning products available.
- Staff are encouraged to bring their own cold food.
- Staff to be encouraged to remain on-site and not to visit local shops for food/drinks etc.
- All rubbish should be put straight in the bin, not left for someone else to clear up.
SECURITY, ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS - prioritizing safety
- In an emergency, for example, an accident or fire, people DO NOT have to stay 2m apart if it would be unsafe.
- People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands.
HANDLING GOODS – maintaining social distancing and reducing transmission through contact with objects coming into the workplace
- Revise pick-up and drop-off collection points, procedures, signage and markings.
- Reduce frequency of delivery e.g. by ordering larger quantities less often.
- Minimising unnecessary contact e.g. non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.
- Introducing greater handwashing and handwashing facilities for staff handling goods and merchandise and providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.
- Restricting non-business deliveries e.g. personal deliveries to staff.
KEEPING THE WORKPLACE CLEAN - keeping the workplace clean and preventing transmission by touching contaminated surfaces
- Frequent cleaning of work areas, kitchen and equipment between uses, using usual cleaning products.
- Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, such as door handles, push plates to doors and keyboards.
- Frequent cleaning of handrails on staircases and corridors.
- Removing waste from the work area at the end of the day.
- Limiting or restricting use of high-touch items and equipment e.g. printers, whiteboards.
- If cleaning is required in a non-healthcare setting after a known or suspected case of COVID-19 the specific guidance should be followed.
- In operational settings refer to the infection control guidance.
HYGIENE – handwashing facilities and toilets - helping staff keep good hygiene throughout the day
- All staff to maintain good hygiene – increasing frequency of hand washing, avoid touching face and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.
- Providing signs and poster to build awareness of good handwashing technique and provide regular reminders to maintain personal hygiene standards.
- Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to washrooms.
- Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible i.e.restricted to one person at any one time and cubicles/urinals may be blocked off to ensure social distancing.
- Paper towel or hand driers are provided. Where paper hand towels are used bins require regular removal.
CHANGING ROOMS AND SHOWERS – to minimise the risk of transmission
- Where shower and changing facilities are required, clear use and cleaning guidance in place to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible.
- Enhanced cleaning of all facilities regularly during the day and at the end of the day.
MANAGING CUSTOMERS, VISTORS AND CONTRACTORS – minimising unnecessary visits to the office
- Encourage visits via remote connection/working where possible.
- Where site visits are required, site guidance on social distancing and hygiene should be explained to visitors on or before arrival.
- Limiting the numbers of visitors and visitor times to a specific window and restricting access to required visitors only.
- Determine if schedules for essential services and contractors visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people, e.g. carry out services at night.
- Maintaining a record of all visitors where practical.
- Revising visitor arrangements to ensure social distancing and hygiene e.g. where visitors are required to physically sign in with the same pen in reception areas.
- Providing clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene for people on arrival, e.g. signage or visual aids and before arrival, by phone, on the website or by email.
- Establishing host responsibilities relating to COVID-19 and providing training for any people who act as hosts for visitors.
- Reviewing entry and exit routes for visitors and contractors to minimise contact with other people.
- Coordinating and working collaboratively with landlord and other tenants.
COMMUNICATIONS AND TRAINING – returning to work, ensuring all staff understand COVID-19 related safety procedures
- Provision of clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working, using direct communication, Wilma and Workplace.
- Engaging with staff through work groups to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.
- Ongoing engagement with staff through work groups to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.
- Developing communication and training materials for staff prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) AND FACE COVERINGS – non healthcare settings
When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what staff usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks normally faced in the workplace and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.
There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect the individual, but may protect others if the individual is infected but has not yet developed symptoms.
A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. It just needs to cover the mouth and nose. It is not the same as a face mask used by care workers. Face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing the risk, i.e. minimising time spent in contact, using fixed teams and increasing hand and surface washing.
Supplies of PPE, including face masks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as care workers.
SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS – to minimise the risk of transmission
- Tell your Line Manager you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Return home immediately
- Avoid touching anything
- Follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work until their period of self-isolation has been completed.