COVID-19:
During this time please check out our Risk Assessment guidancehere. 

COVID-19 Construction Risk Assessment

Back to business-ready

What do I need to do to get my business ‘back to work’ safely?

Following the Governments’ announcement on the 10th of May of its ‘road map out of lockdown,’ some businesses are being encouraged to get back up and running and operating safely from this week. As a business owner, you may be asking what action you need to take to ensure that this can happen and how you can get people back into a safe working environment. To ensure your compliance it’s important to focus on five key points:

  1. Work from home if you can - all reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. Where they cannot the Government message is that ‘you should go to work’.
     
  2. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible - employers should re-design workspaces to maintain 2-metre distances between people. Other options could include staggering start times, creating one-way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or/and changing seating layouts in break rooms.
     
  3. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk - employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other.
     
  4. Reinforcing cleaning processes - workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards. Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer at entry and exit points.
     
  5. Carry out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions - every business has a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19. You can use your Risk Assessment to guide and inform the measures you take in your business. Please note, if you have less than 5 staff, this Risk Assessment is not legally required to be written down.
     

How do I create a Risk Assessment to address COVID 19?

During the creation of your Risk Assessment, you must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

The Government has also launched a series of practical sector-specific guides which you can use to think about the risks you may face. These include controls related to social distancing, personal hygiene, organisational changes and other ways to reduce the risk of COVID 19 transmission which you can include in your Risk Assessment.

If possible, the completed Risk Assessment should be published - the Government is expecting all companies with more than 50 staff to do so.

What could happen if I do not implement safety measures?

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK Government agency set up to regulate and enforce workplace health, safety and welfare. They have the power to impose enforcement actions on businesses which they consider to be falling short of introducing suitable measures to address the risk of COVID-19. Such enforcement actions range from simply providing advice, serving notice on duty holders, issuing cautions or even carrying out prosecutions in some circumstances.

If you’ve broken the law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the Health & Safety Executive to help you put things right. This is called a ‘fee for intervention’ (FFI).

Where can we help?

Following the Government guidelines, our qualified team have published a template Risk Assessment. This can be used as a base allowing you to start to consider the risks and the applicable changes to your business.

Should you require further help, our advisors are happy to talk to you about your specific needs and how we may be able to assist with Risk Assessments, back to work checklists, relevant E-Learning courses, policy documentation and other matters of safety management within your business.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, call 0114 244 4461.

HS Direct

Download your free Covid 19 Construction Risk Assessment

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I don't have Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word, what should I do?

If you don't have Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Word installed on your PC or Mac, don't worry - you can still use our products. You can get a free alternative from Open Office.

Open Office Org is open-source developed alternative to Microsoft Office, developed by a large software company called Oracle. Open Source means the company who build the software, allow 100% use of it, 100% free.

Since Open Office is specifically developed to be exactly the same as Microsoft Office, with all the same programs in the suite (Eg: Word, Excel, Access and Power Point) - it will freely open any Microsoft Office file-format. Meaning, just because a document was written in Microsoft Word, doesn't mean it can't be opened in another program. Open Office will do that, and vise versa.

To download and install Open Office;

  1. Go to www.openoffice.org.
  2. On the left hand side, click 'I want to download Open Office'. In the green box, click the main link which starts with 'Start downloading OpenOffice.org...'
    • Windows Only:When the program has downloaded, click Install and wait for the program to install.
    • MAC OSX Only:When the program has downloaded, a notification box will pop up with an arrow from the Open Office Icon to the Applications Folder in Finder, drag the icon to the Applications folder to install the program.
  3. You are now ready to use Open Office, and the documents you have purchased from us.