In light of Boris Johnson recently announcing that people should endeavour to return to work, & businesses to resume providing products & services where ever possible, Trident Security Solutions Ltd would like to take this opportunity to pass on the latest guidelines from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for reducing the risk of COVID-19 in the work place.
Objective: That all employers carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.
Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.
You must make sure that the risk assessment for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform your decisions and control measures. A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to. There are interactive tools available to support you from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Employers have a duty to consult their people on health and safety. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19. The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace and will have a view on how to work safely. Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously. You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.
At its most effective, full involvement of your workers creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem solving. As is normal practice, workers should be involved in assessing workplace risks and the development and review of workplace health and safety policies in partnership with the employer.
Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues. If concerns still cannot be resolved, see below for further steps you can take.
Where the enforcing authority, such as the HSE or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance, where possible. The actions the HSE can take include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements.
How to raise a concern
contact your employee representative
contact your trade union if you have one
use the HSE contact form
contact HSE by phone on 0300 003 1647
Objective: To reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority.
Employers have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. Employers must work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody’s health and safety is protected.
In the context of COVID-19 this means working through these steps in order:
In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.
Businesses and workplaces should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option. Where working from home is not possible, workplaces should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible).
Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.
Further mitigating actions include:
– increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning
– keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
– using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
– using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
– 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)
Finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead. No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment.
In your assessment you should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
The recommendations in the rest of this document are ones you should consider as you go through this process. You could also consider any advice that has been produced specifically for your sector, for example by trade associations or trades unions.
If you have not already done so, you should carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace as soon as possible. If you are currently operating, you are likely to have gone through a lot of this thinking already. We recommend that you use this document to identify any further improvements you should make.
You should share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing it on your website (and we would expect all businesses with over 50 employees to do so).
Trident Security Solutions Ltd, has vigorously followed & enforced many of the aforementioned guidelines, because we have maintained a steadfast & valuable service to our many clients throughout the pandemic, as you would expect. We trust you found this information both informative & intuitive. If you require any further information on the above topic or anything security related, please do not hesitate to contact the Trident team.
Donovan Snape our Operations Manager for Trident Security Solutions Ltd. Donovan is highly motivated individual with vast and extensive knowledge in the security industry which was gained whilst working in the industry over 20 years. He has proven record of leading and managing substantial teams over the years and has been a great mentor to many operatives in security industry. Donovan is fully committed to provide utmost professional service, exercising compelling leadership and maintaining high standard of work provided to our clientele.