As businesses prepare to reopen the government has made it compulsory to perform risk assessments. This is vital for the safety of yourself, employees and customers when coming into contact with your business.
Each guide has specific actions for business to perform, based on specific risks to your industry. However, to many of us this process may seem daunting.
In this blog our aim is to condense these guides into a step by step risk assessment, that you can implement into your business in simple yet effective way, by following this process you will reduce risk and ensure the safety of your business and the people involved in it.
Let’s start with identifying the hierarchy of control, shown in the diagram below:
#1 – Elimination
To eliminate the risk to employees, they should work from home where possible, in a safe environment.
However, while an employee is working from home you still have a duty of care for them, so be mindful of lone working, workstation set up (DSE) and their mental health.
Similarly, to remove the risk to your customers, look at implementing a delivery service rather than inviting people into your workspace.
#2 – Substitution
Naturally we have started swapping public transport for cycling, walking or running.
By promoting this change in transport, you are reducing the exposure of the virus to you and your employees.
Offering collection services for your customers is another great way of reducing this risk, by using a click and collect services it will reduce the transmission risk of COVID 19.
#3 – Engineering Controls
Engineering controls are everywhere! We have all seen this process being implemented in the supermarkets.
You will notice the physical barriers, screens, social distancing measures, cleaning procedures and booking systems for customers.
These are all engineering controls that have been implemented to reduce risk and ensure the safety of individuals.
#4 – Administration Controls
Further down the hierarchy, administration controls should be put in place.
These should include floor markings, handwashing, social distancing and signage.
But, one of the most important administrative controls is adequate information, training and supervision.
#5 – PPE (Personal Protective Equipment
Lastly PPE, the Government has said PPE is not the way most people should keep themselves safe.
Instead, we need to follow hygiene and social distancing guidelines, as outlined above.
However, if PPE is identified as a requirement after doing a risk assessment, it will need to be carefully sourced, maintained and all employees should be trained in its use. CE marked PPE is critical to ensure its effectiveness.
Furthermore, people who work in social and health care, should use PPE to protect themselves from COVID 19.
In summary, by following the steps above you will complete your own risk assessment, ensuring you are meeting the government guidelines that have been set.
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