COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy Update August 2020

ADDENDUM TO OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK POLICY

COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy Update August 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak this addendum has been drafted as a supplement to our Health and Safety at Work Policy.

 AIM OF THIS POLICY

To put in place additional measures to:

  • Protect employees and clients from risk of infection of COVID-19  
  • Provide employees and clients with COVID-19 secure workplace and office
  • Provide employees and clients with a workplace and office where they feel comfortable and not at risk of infection

 GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES 

This policy is based on the government’s guidelines as set out in Working Safely During Coronavirus first published in May 2020 

  1. Carry out a Risk Assessment. 
  2. Develop cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures.
  3. Help people work from home.
  4. Maintain 2 m social distancing where possible. 
  5. Where people cannot be 2 m apart, manage transmission risk.

 RISK ASSESMENT

A Risk Assessment will be done to assess the risks and to put in place measures to eliminate or mitigate those risks.

 CLEANING, HANDWASHING AND HYGIENE PROCEDURES

  • Encourage people to follow the guidance on hand washing by placing signage in the cloakrooms.
  • Hand sanitiser is provided in the reception area as well as individuals are all provided with their own on each desk.  Hand sanitizer to be provided in the kitchen, near the copiers, and in the meeting rooms.
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • Enhanced cleaning in busy areas, such as kitchen, copiers
  • Provide protective equipment where necessary and appropriate

 WORKING FROM HOME

Where possible enabling employees to work from home, taking into account, the requirements of the business, safety of personal data and employee well-being.

  • Discuss home working arrangement with each employee to establish their requirements
  • Ensuring they have the right equipment
  • Making sure that there is adequate communication with all employees who are working from home
  • Considering their physical and mental well being

 MAINTAIN 2 M SOCIAL DISTANCING WHERE POSSIBLE 

  • Where possible and appropriate undertake as many tasks electronically as possible
  • Put up signage to remind people to observe the social distancing guidance
  • No sharing of work-stations
  • Placing floor tape to remind people to keep a 2 m distance
  • Not having face to face work-stations except for people of the same family or household
  • Clients will be seen only by appointments
  • Increase in use of telephone and video meetings where appropriate

 WHERE 2 M SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT POSSIBLE 

  • Consider whether or not that activity is essential
  • If it is keeping activities as short as possible, involve as few people as possible 
  • Consider the use of screens if necessary
  • Avoid face to face seating, use back to back or side by side if 2 m social distancing is not possible 
  • Having flexible arrival and departure times; arrival between 7 and 10 am and departures between 3 and 7 pm
  • Having different teams come in on different days

 EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

There may be emergency situations such as fire, evacuation or injury, where it would not be necessary to observe social distancing or where it is unsafe to do so.  Once the emergency is over, people involved should wash or sanitise their hands   

 PROCEDURES

A: Persons who are or may be ill:

(Subject to GDPR provisions)

  1. People who are ill or suspect they may be or have been in contact with someone who is ill, may not come to the office until they have fully recovered or have undertaken the necessary periods of quarantine.
  2. In respect of employees, normal absence procedures apply.  Any employee who suspects they are ill should advise management immediately they suspect they are ill.  This will enable management to advise other employees, implement quarantine if necessary, and to undertake sanitisation. 
  3. In respect of clients who appear to be ill, employees may respectfully advise the client that they are not comfortable meeting with them face to face and will continue to advise them by telephone or electronically.
  4. Any employee who has been in contact with another employee or a client who appears to be ill must advise management immediately and take all measures to ensure they do not become ill, washing their hands, not touching their face.  If necessary, stay away from the office until they are certain that they are not ill.  
  5. Where an employee becomes ill at work, they must leave the office immediately and advise management that they have done so.  Management to ensure that other employees are advised that an employee has gone home ill and that all precautions should be taken.
  6. Any area where a potentially ill client or employee has been in the office must be fully sanitised.

 B: In compliance with the governments track and trace policy, anyone who exhibits symptoms of coronavirus (a new cough, a fever or loss of smell or taste) should contact the NHS to book in a COVID-19 test. If the test is returned positive the individual must inform management who will work to identify any colleagues or clients who have come into contact with the individual who has tested positive. Anyone who has come into contact with a confirmed case will be required to self -isolate for two weeks. 

 FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS POLICY 

Clients and Employees

Where a client or an employee fails to follow this policy or the government guidelines: 

  • They should be formally asked to follow the policy or the guidelines
  • Where they continue to refuse, they ought to be asked to provide a reason as to why they are not following the policy
  • If reasonably possible, that reason should be accommodated if feasible
  • Where it is not possible, that should be explained to the employee and they should be advised that further failure to follow the policy would result in discipline and for employees, further instances of failure to follow the policy or the government guidelines may result in disciplinary action being taken
  • Where it is not possible to accommodate the client’s reason for not following the policy, the employee dealing with that client may decline to continue to assist the client in any face to face situation and may advise the client that further work will only be undertaken by telephone, or electronically.

 FURTHER ACTIONS

  1. Communicate this policy to all staff, publish on website
  2. Update related policies 
  3. Reconsider this policy every three months, next review by mid- September 2020.  Consider any updates to the Working Safely during Coronavirus as published in May 2020