COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT STATEMENT
At Involve, the health and safety of our staff, customers and any others who need to visit our premises or have contact with our staff is our highest priority.
To be able to effectively manage the risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and ensure a safe working environment for both our office based staff and remote workers, specific COVID-19 Risk Assessments have been carried out for our different locations and our engineering staff. Copies of the full, detailed risk assessments are available on request and will be reviewed regularly to ensure compliance with government guidelines and to ensure we maintain the highest level of diligence in respect of health and safety at Involve.
The following is a summary of the results of our risk assessments and current government guidance and details our adopted working practices and controls that have been implemented to ensure the safety of our premises, staff and others.
The overriding guidance at this stage is to take the following precautions in line with NHS guidance:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitiser gel or wipes if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
- Adopt social distancing: Avoid close contact with people (2m) – risk assess the situation when you are on customer (or internal) premises and politely ask people to keep their distance, if required.
- Wipe surfaces that you will be working on or touching regularly before and after each use, using anti-bacterial wipes or suitable spray… and also packages, boxes, deliveries, equipment.
- Consider the use of gloves and masks as part of specific task orientated risk assessments, but note that they are not currently recommended by Public Health England (PHE) or the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be used as standard practice.
- Do use gloves though when filling up with fuel at garages to minimise exposure to any surfaces as these surfaces will be touched by others on a frequent basis.
- Do not accept food or drink from others especially on customer premises.
- Only travel on public transport if you absolutely need to.
- Always use your own (Involve provided) touch screen pen for meeting room usage.
Hand Hygiene for all staff
Along with social distancing, hand hygiene is the primary focus at all times. Hands should be washed using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds and particularly when:
|· You get home or into work||· Before eating/smoking|
|· After coughing or sneezing||· After toilet use|
|· Handling boxes or equipment from/to others||· Hands are visibly dirty|
· Before, during and after you prepare food
· Exiting a personal vehicle
· After handling waste
· Opening doors
When soap and water is not available, hand wipes or hand sanitiser gel should be used.
- All staff who can work from home are instructed to do so until the risk from COVID-19 significantly reduces and it is deemed safe for normal working practices to resume.
- Only staff who are required for roles critical for business and operational continuity, safe facility management or regulatory requirements who cannot perform their role remotely should be at any premises of Involve.
- All necessary equipment will be provided to enable staff to work from home safely and effectively, with regular communication from line managers to monitor the wellbeing of homeworkers.
- Any vulnerable staff, particularly with health issues, the elderly or pregnant workers, who are high risk should not work outside of their home at all and sufficient arrangements will be put in place to enable them to stay safe in their own environment whilst being able to continue to work.
Involve Head Office and Warehouse
- Reduction in number of staff working in any area to comply with the government social distancing rule (currently 2 metres) and regular communication with staff reminding them of the social distancing rule.
- When manual handling is required to deal with orders or deliveries and the 2 metre rule cannot be fully complied with, additional PPE will be used.
- Staff will not work face to face, they will be positioned side by side or facing away from each other.
- Only 1 person to be in small areas at any one time eg. kitchen, toilets, stairs, lift, smoking shelter.
- Desk dividers to remain in place on desks.
- Video or audio calls to be used instead of face to face meetings.
- Hand washing facilities with soap and hot water are available and hand washing instructions available and displayed in each hand washing area with disposable paper towels provided to dry hands.
- Hand sanitiser is available in areas where hand washing is not immediately available.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting is to take place of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, particularly in areas of high use such as door handles, light switches, keyboards etc. Suitable and sufficient cleaning products are made available to staff to clean their own work areas at the end of each day.
- Regular communications sent out to staff reminding them of the importance of thoroughly cleaning areas they have used such as the kitchen at break times.
- Managers to regularly check cleanliness of communal areas and address issues as required.
Accidents, security and other incidents
- Staff advised that in an emergency such as a fire or accident, the 2 metre rule does not have to apply as it would be unsafe and anybody involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards.
- Regular updates provided by senior management regarding numbers of staff returning to work at Involve premises to ensure first aid and fire safety requirements are met.
- Meetings will be carried out remotely where possible to reduce contact at Involve premises. Where visitors must attend the office, a Visitor Declaration Form must be completed in advance.
- Site hygiene and social distancing will be explained to visitors on or before arrival and one member of staff will be assigned to meet and greet visitors and use the sign in/sign out facility.
Personal Protective Equipment
- All PPE required for Involve employees to safely carry out their duties will be provided and readily available for use.
Communication and signage –
- All necessary signage as mentioned above is provided and displayed appropriately.
- Regular ongoing communication with staff will take place regarding preparing to return to work at Involve premises, if and when required, explaining and agreeing any necessary changes to working arrangements.
- The Government poster is displayed confirming compliance with government guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.
The World Health Organisation and Public Health England does not recommend that any group outside of healthcare workers use gloves as part of standard practice as it can be counterproductive. The use of gloves can reduce the focus on hand washing which is critical in controlling Covid-19.
We recommend that gloves be worn, if required, as part of standard task orientated risk assessments, but the focus should remain on hand cleanliness. We also recognise that some customers may have local policies that require the use of gloves. For information on the correct removal of gloves, which is particularly important, please visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/skin/posters/glovesingleuse.pdf
In accordance with the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place (England) Regulations 2020 no person may, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain within a relevant place without wearing a face covering. Exceptions to this requirement that are relevant to the work carried out by Involve are that the requirement does not apply:-
- to a person responsible for a relevant place or an employee of that person acting in the course of their employment
- to any other person providing services in the relevant place under arrangements made with the person responsible for the relevant place.
However, the exceptions from the requirement to wear a face covering listed above do not apply to any person who, when acting in the course of their employment or providing services under arrangements made with the person responsible for the relevant place, is in any part of a relevant place which is open to the public, and comes or likely to come within close contact of any member of the public.
If you are attending a customer premise, the project admin team will carry out proactive checks to ensure that the site is safe.
To ensure nothing has changed between performing these proactive checks and your site visit, you should ask these questions to your site contact when you reach site:
- Am I likely to come into contact on this site with anyone displaying the symptoms of the Coronavirus, or has a member of their household been displaying these symptoms within the last 14 days?
- Is there any reason why social distancing cannot be maintained at all times during my visit?
If the answer to both questions is “no”, proceed with the task at hand, taking the precautions outlined above.
If the answer to either question is “yes”, assess whether any adjustments can be made to ensure your safety and contact your Project Manager.
If at any point you risk assess the situation and have doubts about the safety and well-being of yourself (and others in your team), inform your site contact and Project Manager and discuss whether changes can be made or whether the task should be postponed and you leave site.
- Mental health and wellbeing awareness is promoted and support made available for any staff struggling generally or specifically due to the changes and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Two Mental Health First Aiders are trained and assisting staff as required remotely.
- The Involve Time to Change Pledge has been signed and communicated to all staff and colleagues and managers are encouraged to regularly chat to team members to discuss any potential issues and offer support and resolution.