26th May 2020
Top Tips for Keeping on Top of Health & Safety
In these unprecedented times, we are all navigating uncharted waters and as Health & Safety consultants, our skills and ability to develop risk assessments, help businesses make informed risk-based choices, and protect their staff and customers from infection, people have never been more important.
It is, of course, right that we are all focused on infection control right now, but it is important to keep the right health and safety systems in place in order to continue to protect staff from the hazards that are usually kept on top of. To assist in prioritising this, we have developed the following Top Tips to help clients keep on top of what is essential.
- Prioritise fire safety and critical building maintenance such as gas safety and electrical safety. Keep these systems in working order and carry out any routine maintenance when it falls due.
- If it is not possible to take passenger lifts out of operation, make sure there is emergency rescue cover and that statutory thorough examinations and maintenance are in date. If maintenance on a lift is overdue because of the crisis, we suggest using an alternative (where possible) and take equipment out of use if you can.
- For workplaces which are being fully utilised, continue to undertake a daily walk around for obvious hazards – remove any major issues and do what you can to reduce the usual slip, trip and fall issues.
- Make sure staff remain trained on the work equipment they need to use, do not let anyone use work equipment who hasn’t received the necessary training.
- Amend site rules for critical maintenance contractors so they can observe social distancing guidelines. Continue to provide safety inductions to make clear any known site hazards, especially asbestos.
- For buildings which are unoccupied or only partially occupied, prioritise legionella controls. Work with the contractor who undertakes your water risk assessment to determine a plan for this time. Either a flushing regime will need to be introduced for little-used outlets, or parts of the system taken out of use entirely with a full clean through undertaken prior to reoccupation.
- Remind staff of the critical safety precautions they need to take if they are working such as wearing PPE, following safe systems of work, checking the work equipment they are using for that day and driving safely. Explain why they need to be aware of personal responsibility right now to avoid getting injured and putting any strain on the NHS.
- Where any systems of work have been amended to allow for social distancing, ensure these have been documented and communicated.
- Where staff are working, some may-well be afraid, so ensure you communicate important safety measures and especially what actions have been taken within your business to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- If your work activities involve going to other client’s sites, then make sure you are still developing site-specific RAMS and communicating these to your operatives.
If your business requires any support at this critical time in developing return to work strategies or Covid-19 risk assessments for your particular operations, call our team of consultants today on 0845 459 1724