Next Steps towards Covid -19 Recovery
The government has set out its plans for a phased lifting of restrictions, and set some possible dates for movement. Whilst all of these dates depend on safety criteria being met, it is the right time to start planning for the next stage.
The government's guidance to businesses preparing to reopen has been published, and one of the fundamental requirements is that all businesses carry out a risk assessment of their premises and put in place reasonable measures to protect all users of that premises.
This BID update provides signposts and links to the information and resources you need to carry out a specific risk assessment, so you can confidently display the "Covid-19 Secure" poster in your business.
Please note: This page includes key information from government guidance, and provides quick links to the source documents. It's really important that you go through the government's guidance for yourselves, and carry out a risk assessment for your business premises as soon as possible.
How to start your risk assessment:
Your first risk assessment may not be perfect from the outset - your premises may not be open yet and you won't know exactly how things are going to work in "real life", but it's essential that you start preparing for it now. You can always revisit your assessment as the situation changes.
Before starting a specific risk Covid-19 risk assessment for your business, first read the guidance for your business sector published by the government to see what they recommend. It could be that you think you have to do more than is actually being recommended, so reading the document first could save you unnecessary expense on buying things you don't need (eg: PPE).
Then have a look at the HSE's summary PDF on preventing the spread of Covid-19 - it sets out the basic principles that underpin all of the government advice. We've provided all the links you'll need on this page, but you can also access the HSE resources directly from the government's guidance for your sector.
Once you have all the info you need, you'll be ready to write up a risk assessment for your unique business premises.
Working Safely During Coronavirus: Government Guidance
The government has produced guidance covering 8 workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways. This guidance sets out practical steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:
1. Work from home, if you can
2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
5. Reinforcing cleaning processes
The 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep employees safe.
Government guidance for specific businesses:
Carrying out a Risk Assessment
Carrying out a risk assessment doesn't need to be really complicated, so please don't be put off. It's just a structured way of thinking about the way your business operates, the space your business operates in, who uses that space, where the problems are likely to occur, and working out what steps you can take to offset those potential "hotspots".
To identify risks from Covid-19, you need to think about the ways it is transmitted - from person to person, and by person to surface, and then identify what you need to do to protect the people using your business premises where that's likely to happen.
The Government's guides to individual workplaces include links to the Health and Safety Executive website's Coronavirus Page. On there, you'll find a really helpful summary of what it is you need to be thinking about in terms of stopping the spread of Covid-19 in your business premises:
The government is also providing links to the Health and Safety Executive's website where you can see examples of risk assessments for different types of businesses, and a downloadable template that you can use for your own business.
Please note - these templates aren't specific to Coronavirus, but for the purposes of your Covid_19 risk assessment, you can keep things clear in your mind by focusing on "where could people get too close?" and "what could people touch?" That will help you think about what you can do to offset those risks.
HSE guide to risk assessments at work:
Covid-19 Secure Poster
Once you have written your risk assessment, you should print off the "COVID-19 Secure poster for display in your business premises.
The guidance says that you "should" display it. The BID would like to encourage all businesses to display this poster so that it's very visible - this will give your potential customers and clients reassurance that you've considered their concerns and have taken reasonable steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 if they come into your business premises.
COVID-19 Secure poster for display:
We'll be sharing more information over the next few weeks, but hope this is a helpful starting point!
Even though Clair and I are working from home, you can still contact us by email: email@example.com, by phone: 07917 692690 or through Zoom meeting software. The software is free to download and works across a wide range of platforms – phones, tablets, PC’s, Macs. If you’d like a virtual face to face, please invite: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindest regards, Heather
Heather Allen, BR BID Co-Ordinator