As the lockdown eases and businesses prepare plans to return people to their workplace, health and safety will be at the fore. Emma O’Connor, Head of Training, spoke to Ian Clements, Managing Director of Quadriga Health and Safety, about the key health and safety issues employers needed to be aware of. To find out more and listen to the podcast, read on.
The easing of lockdown, does not mean employers can simply open the doors of their offices or sites and get employees back to work. As Ian explains, the government’s advice is still, if you can, you should continue to work from home. However, for many employees and businesses, this is not possible.
Before any workplace can re-open, there are both health and safety and new Covid-19 health and safety requirements and risk assessments to be undertaken.
Ian explains in detail what employers need to do; remembering, that the overall obligation of “reasonably practicable” steps to protect health and safety still remain. But with businesses remaining shut for some months now, there are other considerations and obligations include legionella testing, checking the safety of gas/electricity/water supplies as well as contacting insurers to discuss cover.
Another concern for employers is not just the safety of their people whilst at work, but also giving thought to how their people are going to get to work and arrive safely. Communication and discussions with staff about their travel plans, how employers can be alert to concerns and in some cases assist is also best practice.
Communication seems to be the theme of much of what Ian and I discussed. Communicating about return to work plans, sharing plans for how the office or site will look with social distancing, reminding employees of their obligations to protect their own health and safety and those of others at work and of the consequences if this is not achieved.
Employers do not have to do this alone. There is help from organisations like Quadriga, who can assist with risk assessments and Covid-19 risk assessments, training for management and staff and offering support at this difficult of times.
For help and advice about the practical health and safety aspects of returning your people to work, do get in touch.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.