In England, decisions on whether or not workplaces should reopen have passed from government to employers. Meanwhile, in Scotland a more cautious approach has seen homeworking remain the default position. Even so, in all the UK nations, more and more workplaces are opening as lockdown is eased.
But Coronavirus (COVID-19) has not gone away; and localised outbreaks in Leicester, north west England, and recently in Aberdeen, have been a very clear reminder that we must not become complacent.
For those who have been shielding, a return to the workplace raises additional concerns, leading to calls that employers must not force people back to work. So when a workplace reopens, proper planning; and a thorough COVID-19 risk assessment, are both required. But even if you plan to put homeworking on a more permanent footing, your health and safety duty towards staff is not lessened. As such, you may need to revisit a hastily drawn up risk assessment for your home based workers.
Planning a return to the workplace will involve consulting with your stakeholders, and coming up with an agreed timetable and process. Your COVID-19 risk assessment is part of the process, and should involve an evaluation of the risk; leading to the measures you will take to remove or control that risk. It isn’t a difficult process, but does require a step-by-step approach.
To help you, Green Pepper has the following resources:
Online workshop, 29 October: Risk Assessment, Step by Step
Checklist (pdf): Preparing to move out of lockdown
For more details of the online training available from Green Pepper, please see Upcoming Events.