COVID 19 Risk Assessment
Whether we like it or not, being COVID secure, and proving that we are, is now a necessity for all workplaces as a result of the pandemic. Being COVID secure means that you have all the necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of your workers, and any other visitors in the workplace. Putting these measures in place may involve adjusting the way you work in order to limit the danger of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.
In order to determine whether your existing measures are sufficient and whether further action is required, COVID-19 workplace risk assessments are a useful tool. Not only are they useful for those in charge of implementing safety measures in the workplace, but they are now a necessity. Now that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - a government body responsible for workplace health, safety and welfare - are conducting spot checks on workplaces to ensure that you are managing the threat of COVID-19, a COVID-19 risk assessment can save your business from serious consequences, such as prosecution.
SMSE Health and Safety Consultants have produced an example COVID19 risk assessment template which shows the approach enforcing authorities such as the HSE expect a business or workplace to take when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19 in the workplace.
Click on the link below to access the example COVID 19 risk assessment template:
- Example Risk Assessment for COVID-19 - Email email@example.com for an editable word copy.
You should use it as a guide to think about:
- The additional hazard that COVID 19 introduces into your business;
- the steps you need to take to control the risks.
It is best not to just copy the COVID 19 Risk Assessment and put your company name on it, as that would not satisfy the law. You should think about how it applies to your business and make appropriate changes to the risk assessment. Every business is different. You should think about the hazards and control measures your business needs to take to maintain Healthy and Safe employees. The control measures you introduce may have to be different from those in the example to meet the conditions in your particular workplace.
You should ensure that you follow the latest advice from Public Health England incorporate this information into your risk assessment.
For further advice, please contact us via our contact form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Do I Need a COVID Risk Assessment?
Firstly, you have a duty of care as an employer, and a statutory duty to ensure your workplace is safe for workers and visitors. One of the ways you can fulfil this responsibility during the pandemic is to carry out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment. Conducting an assessment will allow you to identify vulnerable staff, any activities or duties that have an increased chance of causing virus transmission, and what measures need to be taken to control the threat of the virus.
As the main COVID-related workplace risk is transmission and infection, a COVID-19 assessment will help you to assess the effectiveness of the measures that are already in place, and whether further action can be taken to protect your workers and workplace visitors. To become COVID-secure, and demonstrate this fact to the relevant authorities, it’s worth considering the following actions and factors to increase the protection of your staff and visitors. These are just a few suggested measures and should not be considered a comprehensive list:
- Holding a discussion with your staff about their concerns and worries, particularly if they are considered vulnerable.
- Providing extra training so staff are better equipped to carry out their work in a COVID-secure manner. We offer a wide range of training courses that may be of interest to you.
- Providing PPE and extra cleaning equipment.
- Creating clear practices and procedures for staff to follow if they, or someone they have been in contact with, contracts the virus.
- Enforcing social distancing measures, and arranging the workspace so that social distancing is possible.
- Working from home where possible, and staggering working times for those that have to be in the workplace to carry out their responsibilities.
As well as helping you to manage the threat of the virus in the workplace, you will need a Coronavirus Risk Assessment to demonstrate that you are Covid Secure and meet the requirements of Health and Safety legislation and Coronavirus law. In order to operate or reopen your business, a COVID19 risk assessment must be in place. Our COVID19 Risk Assessment template will help you produce your risk assessment to ensure that you are COVID secure and reopen your business.
The Dangers of Not Having a COVID19 Risk Assessment
If you fail to conduct an assessment or put measures in place, then you will be faced with severe consequences. HSE is now conducting random spot checks in all areas of the country and on all business types. These visits are to ensure that the necessary measures are in place, in line with the current national, and employee, guidance. If HSE finds that you have not implemented the necessary measures to protect your staff and visitors, then you could face further action. For example, HSE might instruct you to cease certain work activities until the necessary action has been taken. They may also decide to issue enforcement notices, and then prosecute those responsible if a business remains non-compliant. Given the difficulties that all businesses have faced due to COVID-19 already, you want to avoid any action taken against you by HSE. All you need to do to keep your business open and safe is complete an assessment, with the help of SMS Europe and put any necessary measures in place if required.
Besides the legal consequences, failing to conduct an assessment results in a failure to fulfil your statutory obligations in ensuring your workplace is safe and secure for both staff and visitors, such as customers. As a result, you’ll likely be exposing your staff to greater rates of infection and transmission in your workplace. From a business perspective, this would result in more absences and sick days, affecting the productivity of your staff. On a personal level, it could mean greater health dangers and increased stress. The workplace should be an area where your staff feel safe - they shouldn’t worry about going to work. Therefore, to ensure the safety, wellbeing and happiness of your staff, it is vital that you operate your business in a way that puts safety first. Explaining how you’re doing this and taking the necessary steps to do so will ensure your staff are satisfied.
How to Do a Risk Assessment for COVID-19
An assessment of this kind is usually designed to identify hazards, as well as control measures. In relation to COVID-19, the most obvious and serious hazard is the possibility of transmission and infection. Identifying the control measures that need to be put in place is likely to be a challenge for any workplace. A pandemic is something that most of us have never had to deal with or work through, and so considering COVID-19 related control measures may seem difficult. Luckily though, there’s plenty of guidance out there, such as the guidance on this page, that can help you to conduct a thorough risk assessment. If you do feel like you need more advice, feel free to get in touch with our team who will happily detail how our services can help you.
Firstly, the assessment should identify what work activity may result in the transmission of the virus. This can be directly related to the job role your workers carry out, or situations they may find themselves in as a result of being in the workplace. Possible situations may include working closely with others to complete the job or spreading the virus in high-traffic, communal areas such as canteens, corridors, and exits and entries. Identifying these activities and situations will help you to determine which measures are specific to your business and should, therefore, be implemented in your workplace to keep it safe.
The next step is to identify vulnerable workers at risk of contracting the virus. Talking to your colleagues about their worries or concerns is crucial at this stage. It is important to establish who has a higher risk of infection, or who would face severe health consequences if they did contract the virus. This can be due to factors - such as pre-existing medical conditions - that make them more susceptible to infection. Considerations for these individuals can then be made when deciding on the measures that need to be taken on the premises to keep everyone safe. As well as making considerations for the physical health of your workers, it’s also important to consider the effects that the pandemic will have on their mental health and wellbeing, especially if they are anxious or isolated as a result of COVID-19.
The assessment should also help you to decide how and when it is likely that someone could be exposed to the virus. For example, this might be when they come into contact with workstations, surfaces and equipment that haven’t been cleaned properly. Another example could be working in an area with poor ventilation, as good ventilation is essential in reducing the chance of virus transmission. Identifying these points will help you to make informed decisions about the measures that are essential for your business to operate in a COVID secure way.
Perhaps the most crucial stage in a risk assessment is removing the activity or situation where the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission is increased. If this isn’t possible, you must control the threat with the appropriate measures. These control measures will differ in each workplace depending on the nature of the work that is carried out in that environment, as well as other factors such as the number of staff that would be in that area at any given time. However, some general measures will be the same in each workplace. These general measures include enforcing social distancing, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) if necessary, working from home where possible and having policies in place for when a member of staff is taken ill.
How SMS Europe Can Help You
We understand that the COVID-19 risk assessment process will be new, and therefore perhaps overwhelming, to those that have a duty of care within the workplace. However, our health and safety consultants are always looking to make these processes as simple and as stress-free as possible - that’s just one of the many reasons our clients love working with us. To help you, we have developed this COVID19 risk assessment template, so you can carry out a thorough assessment in your workplace.
Is The COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template Easy To Use?
We have ensured that you can easily edit the template and can tailor its contents to your business. The template is an easy to understand, yet detailed document that allows you to add and remove any controls that are applicable to your business or organisation. If you’d rather put your own risk assessment together, this still makes a perfect COVID-19 risk assessment example to base yours on. Anyone can adapt this risk assessment template to their own needs. If your business employs less than five people, it isn’t necessary to write everything down. However, even if you are a small business it may be helpful to do so, at least then you have a clear record of the risks and measures needed.
Feedback on Our COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template
Finding the right COVID-19 assessment template for your business can be difficult, but our template makes it easy to carry out a detailed risk assessment that will help you conclude which additional measures are necessary for keeping your staff and visitors safe in the workplace. And you don’t just have to take our word for it - people that have used our templates were extremely pleased. Here’s what some previous template users had to say:
"Many thanks indeed for sending this template through. I was struggling to find a decent template but this is really good and thank you once again for your help for which we are very grateful."
"These are exceptionally detailed. Probably the best example of a contractor RAMs for Covid-19 that I’ve seen so far."
"I’ve looked at a number of these assessments online – and about 75% are incomplete, out-of-date, poorly referenced, conflicting & contradictory. Not the case with your document, credit where credit is due, I think that is a fine piece of work Thank you for sharing. " - Mark Bowen
Our Health and Safety Services
If you’d like some help with carrying out your risk assessment, our consultants would be happy to assist you and can provide various levels of support. We can carry out the full assessment for you, or we can offer guidance, training and coaching that will leave you fully informed and able to carry out risk assessments to a high standard. Using our efficient methods, we take the task out of your hands, meaning you can carry on with managing your business. Since regulations regarding risk assessments came into force in 1999, we have worked with numerous clients, helping them to comply with health and safety laws. Our experience has equipped us with formats and processes that we believe are the very best when it comes to carrying out assessments. Our risk assessors are Health and Safety Consultants and are members of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health with at least five years of experience. Their expertise means that every aspect of the subject is assessed to the highest ability using official guidance, industry standards and best practices in the process.
As somebody with a statutory duty for health, wellbeing and responsibility in the workplace, as well as a general duty of care, the other services available here at SMS Europe may also be beneficial to your business. Whilst keeping your organisations safe from the virus is vital at the moment, we mustn’t forget about the areas of safety that still need to be addressed, regardless of the pandemic. Working in a range of different sectors such as education, engineering, construction and manufacturing, we are specialists in offering occupational health services, high-quality consultancy and training. Our team are trained and equipped to manage safety in high-risk situations and develop systems specific to your industry that will help to minimise accidents and help your staff work safely. Our services are available in the North-West as well as other parts of the UK, such as Scotland, Wales and major English cities like Birmingham and London.
Get in Touch With Us
Now that you know the importance of risk assessments and particularly COVID-19 workplace risk assessments, we hope that you take the necessary steps to ensure that your workplace is COVID secure for both staff and visitors on the premises. If you’d like to book a risk assessment with one of our qualified consultants, or any of our other services that are relevant to your business or organisation, please contact SMS Europe today on 0845 224 0028 or by emailing email@example.com. Even if you’re looking for further advice for employers or would like some more guidance on conducting your own risk assessment, one of our consultants will be happy to assist you and provide more information.
COVID-19 Risk Assessment PDF Download
Download an example risk assessment for COVID-19 by filling out the form provided.
COVID 19 Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment for COVID19 Coronavirus
How do I know if I am using the correct COVID19 controls?
The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) are leading the UK government response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
If you need advice on how to implement control measures, we will be happy to provide advice to any business on the correct way forward.
Please visit our Hospitality COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template page here for a Hospitality COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template.