Health & Safety Guidance
The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on workplace Health & Safety Law in the UK.
Section 2 and 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 place a duty of care on employers to both employees and non-employees.
Employers will need to be able to prove under scrutiny that they fulfill these duties in relation to controlling exposure to or outbreaks of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Furthermore, section 3 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to suitably assess the risks to safety and health of employees and non-employees and have ‘Risk Assessment’ documents drafted and communicated accordingly.
This is no different in respect to the ‘hazard’ of COVID-19 and so employers must draft suitable and sufficient risk assessments displaying their control measures in respect of containing the virus.
The Health & Safety Executive has also confirmed that certain outbreaks of and exposures to COVID-19 in the workplace with be reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
Finally, specific guidance has been issued covering 5 Steps to Working Safely for employers to return to work safely. These must be implemented by employers as soon as it is practical to do so.
The government updated their ‘5 Key Points’ guidance to ‘5 steps to Working Safely’ on 23rd June 2020.
These 5 steps are the main considerations for businesses to take when implementing practical actions to control the spread of COVID-19:
Additional details on each of the 5 steps can be found on the government website.
Following on from the five steps to working safely, specific guidance covering 14 workplace settings have also been published.
These provide detailed instruction for the following environments:
Full details of the guidelines can be found here.
One element of the specific guides for workplaces is that employers are being asked to display a downloadable poster to show their employees, customers, and visitors to their workplace that they have acknowledged and followed the guidance.
We have been fielding numerous support calls from our customers requesting assistance in the development of COVID-19 control risk assessments for use in their workplaces.
Lighthouse customers who have an annual ‘Competent Person’ support contract with us benefit from this service as part of their agreement.
Draft risk assessments for certain trades are available for customers via the Lighthouse client portal. These include:
We do not plan on developing draft risk assessments by trade for environments such as manufacturing, warehousing and retail as every workplace will have its own intricacies to consider.
We are however available for consultation and have thus far developed specific procedural documents for customers in the following sectors:
In addition to the risk assessment document we have devised a series of checklists, toolbox talks and employee declaration templates, all of which are available to customers on requires, or via the Lighthouse client portal.
In addition to the Risk Assessments we have been developing for customers, Lighthouse can also deliver specific COVID-19 control audit reports for your workplace.
Our audits take into account the relevant legal guidance specific to the trade and is tailored to your operational circumstances.
A written report is produced, evidencing external guidance on the matter for any authorities which may scrutinise control measures in the future.
The report will also include a prioritised action plan of any additional measures deemed appropriate for your workplace.
COVID-19 audits can be conducted via desktop or by a Lighthouse Health & Safety consultant physically visiting your premises so long as the requisite social distancing can be adhered to and all relevant Personal Protective Equipment be available.
Lighthouse customers who have an annual ‘Competent Person’ support contract with consultancy visit days as part of the service specification can benefit from a COVID-19 audit as part of their contractual agreement.
If you are a non-retained customer and would like for Lighthouse to provide a COVID-19 audit for your workplace, please contact us on 0845 459 1724 to discuss.
As with any working procedure, it is important that employers compliment their risk assessments and safe working practices with relevant training.
Training increases the delegate’s awareness and knowledge of the subject matter and leads to enhanced culture in the working environment.
At Lighthouse we have a COVID-19 eLearning training course available which covers the following elements:
The course is available as part of our eLearning offering and so customers with credit balances can utilise them to gain access.
If you do not have a credit balance, please contact the office on 0845 459 1724 for pricing and delivery.