Our team conducted the below risk assessments in order to ensure the safety of our staff as they return to work on a voluntary basis.
|What are the hazards?
|Description and consequence
|What action do you need to take to control the risks?
|Who needs to carry out the action?
Lack of staff awareness around the spread of COVID-19
If staff are not aware of how the virus is spread, they will not take the appropriate measures to contain the transmission of the virus and a number of staff members will become infected with the virus. Our vulnerable employees are most at risk
We need to communicate with staff members via email communications and publishing posters around the office.
HR and office managers have provided guidance and established protocols on the workplace measures (entry to office, hand sanitiser, face masks). An information guide was shared with staff prior to returning to the office by email, video walk through, HIVE, and online mandatory training.
The office has been furnished with notices and posters while intranet communications and verbal manager briefings were established to disseminate information.
Posters and other signage have been placed above office equipment to indicate high risk touch point i.e., water machine usage is allowed but a warning sign about it being high touch point has been installed.
Signs are updated as guidance changes
|HR and OM
|The spreading of COVID-19 within the office
|We understand that this is a highly contagious virus and that crowding will increase the transmission rate of the virus, making a number of staff members ill. Our vulnerable employees are most at risk
We have inserted perspex shields between desks, put up signage for mask wearing, are hand sanitisers are installed in multiple locations throughout the offices. Cleaners provide a ‘fogging’ service to reduce bacteria spreading.
We are managing the occupancy of our offices to ensure they do not become too full through mandatory desk booking mandatory, in compliance with track and trace measures. This also enables us to notify staff who have had close contact with those tested positive for Covid19.
Mask wearing is mandatory when staff are away from their desks.
Due to the nature of the business, we have determined that other PPE, in addition to masks, will not be necessary as people are able to socially distance quite easily.
Change made: Under new guidelines- those that are able to, must work from home (10th December 2021).
|External contractors inserted Perspex shields and applied barrier tech to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
HR and the COVID-19 Task Team took necessary steps to mitigate the spreading of Covid19 within the office.
All staff to comply with mask wearing and adding their whereabouts on desk booking.
|Congestion at entry and exit of office
Staff are encouraged to minimise the amount of times that they enter and exit the building in one day.
We have implemented entry and exit procedures as well as a one-way system of moving through the office in order to prevent close contact with staff members.
We have signs spaced out on floors in order to remind staff to keep socially distanced.
|All staff to adhere to the one way system and maintain social distance with colleagues.
|The spreading of COVID-19 due to high touch points (i.e. toilet doors, printers, cell phones)
|There are numerous high risk touch points through-out the office which require staff contact and therefore there is an increased risk of transmission of the virus in this way. The result could be a high transmission rate within the office.
Hand sanitiser has been provided through-out the office
A Clean Desk Policy has been implemented so that we can ensure a thorough clean of desks and other surfaces around the office.
The offices are regularly sprayed with Barrier Tech – a substance which, when sprayed on surfaces, creates an environment unconducive to the survival of the virus.
The offices are cleaned every evening and is deep cleaned every Wednesday and every Saturday.
|The cleaners undertake enhanced cleaning activities.
Staff are responsible for implementing the rules in the Clean Desk Policy.
|The spreading of COVID-19 due to the contained nature of certain areas certain communal areas in the office (particular risks in using meeting rooms, kitchen, lift, toilet) and as a result of bad ventilation
|There are numerous areas within the office which, by their nature, are more enclosed and encourage groups of people to gather together. This environment may lead to a higher transmission rate between people which would result in multiple staff members becoming infected.
We have closed every second bathroom to limit the number of people in there at a time.
We have limited the number of people who may occupy a meeting room to the following: 1 person to occupy meeting rooms in the office, 4 persons to be seated in the Boardrooms with 6 standing along the border of the room (ensure 1.5m to 2m distance).
Only 2 people to be in the kitchen and only 6 at both tables.
Staff are encouraged to keep windows open but reminded to close windows before they leave.
Operation of the air con is the responsibility of the facilities manager who has confirmed that an assessment of the system was carried out. Enhanced filter changes will occur every month and checks will be conducted. There will be additional running of air con equipment to keep the air flow going out of hours.
We have advised staff not to use lifts but if this is not possible, to reduce the amount of people in the lift to the number suggested by the facilities manager.
|HR arranged for signs to be published
|Non-compliance by building management of COVID-19 secure rules
|While we ensure that our office is COVID-19 secure, we need to ensure that the greater parts of the building are also safe, otherwise there is a high risk of transmission for staff entering the office.
We have read through guidance from the facilities manager and where applicable and possible, have aligned our guidance.
We have sought and received clarification on the one way system into and out of the building and aligned our one-way system with that of the facilities manager.
We have discussed with the facilities manager that we will be applying the barrier tech technology in the bathrooms on our level and he has agreed that this is fine and that no bleach products will be used in that area (which could counteract the fogging).
|Building management and alignment by HR and OM
|Spreading of COVID-19 due to new staff members joining from overseas and locally
|The business is still recruiting and therefore needs to consider the locations from which our new recruits come so that we can consider how to reduce risks of transmission and keep new joiners as well as current staff members safe.
We will keep up to date with quarantine and self-isolation rules, and advise new joiners as and when they begin their employment contracts.
For new joiners joining from local locations, we will share information on measures we have put in place, categorise them according to their vulnerability and find out how they will commute to and from work.
Every new joiner will be required to complete mandatory training on best covid secure practices, through our intranet. This is addressed on induction days.
|HR and Managers to inform new joiners and implement rules
|Spreading of COVID-19 due to client meetings and external parties attending the office
|We cannot control the safety measures taken by external parties and therefore it may be that these external parties are at a higher risk of being infected. We acknowledge that coming into contact with people increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and so limiting the number of people our staff come into contact with will reduce the risk of exposure.
Client meetings will not take place in the office. These will have to be conducted via video conferencing.
No outside third parties or customers to access the office.
No personal deliveries are allowed at work so as to reduce transmission by packages and external parties.
Staff are advised to carry out bi-weekly lateral flow tests before coming into the office.
If staff do attend external meetings, they must follow the protocols of that business.
|Staff to inform clients and other third parties not to attend the office.
Staff to not order personal deliveries to the office.
Staff to comply with all mitigating measures, and take regular lateral flow tests.
|Spread of COVID-19 as a result of a staff member becoming sick
|When a staff member becomes sick, the chances of transmission occurring more rapidly within the office are higher.
We will shut down and deep clean the office if it is believed that Covid was caught in the office.
Our COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy must be followed to contact all those who may have come into direct contact with the infected staff member.
|Instructions will be issued by management
|Suspected cases of COVID-19
|Staff members might begin to present symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 and we need to know how to respond to them so we reduce the risk of transmission.
Staff members should leave the office and self-isolate until a diagnosis has been made.
Staff must follow the internal COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy for further information.
|Staff members who suspect they may be infected.
|Spread of COVID-19 due to a lack of personal hygiene
|If staff to not regularly wash their hands and practice measures such as sneezing into their elbows, there is an increased risk of transmission of the virus.
Hand sanitiser provided throughout the office and signs to remind staff to wash hands regularly are printed around the office.
|Spread of COVID-19 due to public and other modes of transport usage
|Public transport is a major risk due to the contained nature of public transport spaces. If staff are infected by the virus while using public transport, there is a high risk that they will transmit the virus in the office to more staff members.
Staff are encouraged to walk/ cycle to work.
Staff are encouraged to wear face masks on their travel to work.
If staff travel in the same car – they are advised to sit on opposite sides of the car, with one person driving and one in the back passenger seat, with a window open.
|Staff attending work / attending client meetings (voluntarily)
|Mental health and well-being
|While working from home, staff may begin to feel isolated. Staff may also start to experience increased stress levels as a result of working as well as caring for young children/ the elderly.
Resources have been shared on the intranet for staff to utilise if they feel they are not coping with working from home.
HR will continue to encourage staff to reach out to fellow colleagues, and to use the resources available.
Several staff have undergone training to become mental heath first aiders, posters are displayed around the offices with their contact details if employees want to reach out to them for support.
|HR and Mental Health First Aid staff
|Discrimination against those with ‘protected characteristics’
|There is a risk that in making the relevant changes, people who fall under the ‘protected characteristics’ category are left behind and not accounted for
During the process undertaken to make the office COVID-19 Secure, we considered those who fall under the ‘protected characteristics’ category. We have paid particular attention to those with physical difficulties, expectant mothers and those who are more vulnerable.
We carried out a separate risk assessment and advised those who need to take the lift, to take the lift one at a time.
For expectant mothers, there is a slightly increased risk in the third trimester so expectant mothers in their third trimester should stay at home.
Because attendance at work is voluntary, those who are more vulnerable should stay at home and not voluntarily attend at the office.
|HR and OM have advised of the business’ position and it is up to the relevant staff members to act in accordance with this advice.
|Personal data breaches
|Due to the fact that we are now collecting sensitive data, there is an increased risk of more severe personal data breaches
Only those with a business need to the health data have such access to this data. Our retention periods for this particular data are short and this data is only stored for the period of time such storage is necessary.
ICO guidance is followed closely
|HR and OM