Risk Assessment


How to carry out a Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Corona Virus

There are 5 steps to any risk assessment and it is no different for a Covid-19 risk assessment in the workplace. The five steps are:

  1. Identify the hazard.

    A hazard is anything that can cause harm - in this case Coronavirus

  2. Decide who may be harmed and how.

    In this case who could be infected, how would they get infected and if they did get infected are they more at risk from Covid-19 than others. It is common knowledge that vulnerable groups such as the elderly, people with underlying health conditions or pregnant women are at greater risk from Covid-19 disease.

  3. Evaluate the risks and decide upon precautions.

    This is where the risk assessment becomes very specific to your business. If your business has close contact with members of the public such as a shop, then you would have a greater risk than a business that does not such as a small engineering works. You will have to consider how you reduce the chance of people being infected in the workplace. Using measures such as social distancing, sanitising procedures, hand washing facilities, and any others that are appropriate and can be carried out so far as is reasonably practical. You will have to consider how you receive and deliver things, the workplace extends to any delivery vehicles and also how your staff get to and from work. You should involve all your staff at this stage - they will be important in implementing the risk control measures you decide upon.

  4. Record your findings and act upon them.

    You can record the assessment any way you like and if you have 5 or more employees it is the law that the assessment is recorded and available for inspection. The government are advising businesses of any size that where possible they should display their risk assessment on their web site. Having decided and recorded how you will reduce the risk of infection then you must ACT and carry out what you have said. DO AS YOU SAY.

  5. Review your risk assessment and update as necessary.

    This can simply be putting a date on the document as to when you will have another look at it. But with Coronavirus things are changing so fast, such as recommendations on PPE or social distancing that you may just have it under constant review as the information and guidance changes.

Our Covid-19 workplace preparedness course covers in detail how to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment with many useful risk controls discussed such as PPE, workplace social distancing and other considerations. Here are a few images from the course.

COVID Screens          COVID Payment Options          COVID Working Safely

 

A worked example of a Covid-19 Risk Assessment

This is an example risk assessment for a small businesses when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19, it should not just be copied, you must consider your business and just use this as an aid to your own specific Covid-19 risk assessment. This example is for a small manufacturing business.

Document Title, Author and Date

Covid-19 Risk Assessment for MyCompany | Assessor: YourName | Date: xx/xx/xxxx

What is the hazard?

Coronavirus infection has been identified as the hazard that causes Covid-19 disease.

Who might be harmed

  • My Staff
  • Visitors to my premises, reception area and showrooms
  • My Cleaners
  • Contractors I use
  • My Drivers
  • Especially anybody in one of these vulnerable groups – Elderly, Pregnant workers, those with existing underlying health conditions
  • Anyone else who physically comes into contact with the people identified during the course of my business - such as delivery drivers

What controls are required?

Controls Required

Ask all staff, visitors, contractors and anybody else to identify if they are in one of the vulnerable groups identified. Then we can take extra precautions where necessary. Introduce a log book to record such details as necessary.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Hand washing facilities with soap and water are already in place and staff are stringently hand washing using the guidelines of 20 seconds.

Additional control required: Get poster of good hand washing technique display above all hand wash facilities.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Additional control required: Use disposable paper towels for hand drying instead of air blowers. Install paper towel dispensers.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Additional control required: Provide Gel sanitisers in any area where hand washing facilities not readily available, reception, showroom and delivery vehicles.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly particularly in areas of high use such as door handles, light switches, reception area using appropriate cleaning products and methods.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Additional control required: Introduce a regular check that this procedure is being followed, as in a standard washroom check.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

If anyone becomes unwell with a new continuous cough or a high temperature in the workplace they will be sent home and advised to follow the latest guidance. Line managers will maintain regular contact with staff members during this time. If advised that a member of staff or public has developed Covid-19 and were recently on our premises (including where a member of staff has visited another work or workplace premises such as domestic premises)we will contact the Public Health Authority to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and will take advice on any actions or, the precautions that should be taken.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Social distancing rules will be applied inline with recent guidance throughout the work areas. Management will enforce this on a continuous basis with disciplinary action for non compliance.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Additional control required: Where it is found impossible to maintain social distance other measures such as back to back working or protective screens will be installed.

Action by who: name of person who will action Action by when: target date for it to be done Done: date it was actually done

Carry on adding any risk controls or additional controls you can think of following the format above. When you have finished, ask yourself this question:

Have I done everything I can so far as is reasonably practical to reduce the risk of infection to as low as reasonably practical?

If the answer is YES, then just publish the document, issue it to all your staff - show it or issue it to visitors and contractors and remind them you expect them to comply with it. Add a review date - or more likely review it weekly as guidance changes.

If the answer is NO, then keep thinking of things and actions until you can answer YES.

It is essential that you have as much knowledge of the hazard as you can reasonably be expected to know. In this case the hazard is the Coronavirus and the harm it can cause is Covid-19 disease. Before starting a risk assessment we would strongly advise you are aware of all the recent guidance a good starting point would be our online Covid-19 workplace preparedness course