The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has called for businesses to follow the government’s 5 steps to being COVID-secure as the lockdown eases and more sectors begin to open their doors.
The HSE’s Chief Executive Sarah Albon announced during a Downing Street daily Coronavirus press conference last month that the HSE is prepared to use its enforcement powers when necessary and will also consider criminal prosecutions.
The latest warning reiterates that inspectors are out and about, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with health and safety law.
Philip White, Director of Regulation at HSE said:
“Becoming COVID-secure should be the priority for all businesses. By law, employers have a duty to protect workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. It’s important that workers are aware of the measures that will be put in place to help them work safely.
“Ensuring workplaces are COVID-secure will not only reassure and increase confidence with workers, but also customers, partners and the local community. Nobody wants lockdown measures to be reversed and the Government has made clear that it will not hesitate to do so if the virus is not properly controlled.”
Inspections have been ongoing throughout the pandemic, with the HSE saying it has utilised a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage.
Some of the most common issues that HSE and local authority inspectors are finding include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day – and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.
HSE says it will support businesses by providing advice and guidance; however where some employers are not managing the risk, it says it will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.
“All sectors and business of all sizes are in scope for inspections and we will ask questions of duty holders to understand how they are managing risks. We understand that the vast majority of employers want to make their workplaces secure and are doing everything they can to keep people and their business safe and healthy,”
“Ultimately, becoming COVID-secure benefits the health of our nation; the health of our communities, of businesses and the health of the UK economy. As a nation, we can’t afford not to become COVID-secure.”
5 steps to being COVID-secure
The government has issued five practical steps that businesses can take to become COVID-secure and putting measures in place to control the risk of Coronavirus to protect workers and others. They are:
- Step 1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with HSE guidance;
- Step 2. Develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures;
- Step 3. Take all reasonable steps to help people work from home;
- Step 4. Maintain 2m social distancing where possible;
- Step 5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.
In order to help businesses meet the standard of being Covid Secure the Wilkins Safety Group Ltd have developed our NEW COVID-19: Assurance Assessment Service details of which are below.
Whether you have already established COVID-19 policies, protocols and workplace controls or you are just getting started, there is considerable benefit in undertaking an independent third-party review (audit) of these arrangements. We can provide such an assurance audit / review against the current government and sector guidelines and provide a Covid Secure Certificate, together with a summary report, with recommendations for improved controls if appropriate.
This can provide you with external verification of your commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace in accordance with current national and sector COVID-19 guidelines.
The Wilkins Safety Group’s NEW COVID-19: Assurance Assessment Service
The Wilkins Safety Group are now offering an assurance assessment service that focuses on five elements of business recovery and will help support your business take stock of the present situation and then grow in the future.
We are offering professional support, guidance and independent assurance to enable companies to develop and ensure they have suitable Covid controls within the workplace.
Our technical support can provide you with the independent assurance that your COVID-19 workplace safety, health and environmental arrangements are in accordance with current guidance and best practice as a minimum standard.
We can also support you as the guidelines, requirements and circumstances change to ensure your workplace remains as safe and healthy as is reasonably practicable.
The following five factors provide the framework for the consultancy services:
- Organisational context (risk management)
- Operational processes (risk assessment, safe operating procedures, etc)
- Health and wellbeing
- Stakeholder engagement
- Facilities and workplace health and safety (workplace adjustments, etc).
Our technical support includes:
Support for workplace procedure development and reviews (including social distancing, health surveillance, workplace control measures, emergency planning, PPE, etc)
Health and well-being guidance (including mental health factors)
Communication and information
Leadership and behavioural factors
Perhaps the most critical aspect of a return to the workplace. Compliance with statutory regulations has not been removed during the pandemic, therefore we can provide guidance in respect to this matter for clients who are seeking to return to offices, shops, factories or warehouses
Revised procedures and arrangements may well require physical adjustments within the workplace in respect of access, egress, emergency event management, use of equipment, PPE, cleaning regimes, use of elevators, movement and flow of persons within the premises, waste management, social distancing controls, welfare and hygiene controls, etc
Typical support would include review and/or development of workplace controls, processes, based upon relevant risk assessment outcomes and relevant national and sector guidelines.
As part of this support we will provide you with Your COVID-19 Five-Point Action Plan and, on completion, your Covid 19 Secure Certificate
This is new territory for all of us, but for almost 30 years we’ve been a trusted guide to excellent health, safety and environmental management. Our experience will help you achieve the very highest health, safety and wellbeing standards, so you can protect your people, your reputation and your bottom line.
To find out more about how we can help you plan for the return to work, please contact us on 01458 253682 or email.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Pandemic Awareness E-Course
This online eLearning course is the essential Coronavirus (Covid-19) and pandemic awareness training that has been developed to provide vital awareness for staff and employees of any business.
Using a combination of text, images, video and interactive content the eLearning course looks at how pandemics and epidemics are spread and the potential risks in the workplace as well as how to protect yourself from being infected. It includes the latest health advice for Coronavirus as well as the symptoms to look out for and what to do if you think you’ve been infected. Crucially, it also provides a practical video on how to wash your hands.
In addition, the course covers information on how viruses are transmitted and the control measures to take to reduce transmission and infection. It looks at high risk groups, isolation as well as the chain of infection.
Importantly, the online training course will help to minimise the impact to your business and staff. The information contained in the course provides advice on preventative measures and what to do if further action is required.
As with our CPD accredited courses the SCORM compliant Coronavirus (Covid-19) and pandemic awareness training allows businesses to quickly and easily deploy pandemic training to a workforce. The simple-to-use learning platform provides an audit trail for all employees and stores their training records.
By the end of the Coronavirus and Pandemic Awareness course you will have learned about:
- Description of the Coronavirus
- Proportionate measures
- How to stay safe – Hygiene advice
- Facts or fiction
- What to do if you feel unwell
- Covid-19 advice
- Bulk buying – Fact or fiction
- Self-isolation advice
- Touching your face – fact or fiction
- The difference between an endemic, epidemic and pandemic
- Recent pandemics
- High risk groups
- Introduction to viruses
- Transmission from hard surfaces
- Hygiene advice
- Flu vaccinations
- Treating symptoms
- Face masks advice
- The chain of infection
- Incubation and infection
- Sources of information
Pandemic Awareness: COVID-19 course content
- Understanding Pandemics
- How Viruses Spread
- The Chain of Infection
Who should complete this course?
The Pandemic Awareness: COVID-19 course is designed for all employees at all levels.
Prior Learning? – None required
Pre Course learning? – None required
Certification – All learners who successfully complete the module will be issued with a certificate of learning
Duration – Approximately 20 minutes
What is the cost of this course?
Companies will be able to buy credits. Each of these credits will allow 1 allocated person access to 1 course. The cost of these credits will reduce based on the number of credits purchased. See pricing chart below:
All online training courses are reduced by 20% for the next few weeks. The discount will be applied at the checkout automatically.
Remember – There is no limit on the time it takes to use the credits
Introducing a new member to our team.
John Sech joins WSG as our Business Development Manager. John is in charge of sales and customer care and pro-actively works with clients, new and old, to make sure they receive the support, training and protection they desire in a post COVID-19 market.
He brings a lifetime career in creating new multi-stakeholder sales and seeing them through the sales cycle into implementation of their services. Having had success in the Banking & Finance Sector, Higher Education and Insurance markets spanning the UK & Europe he will look to assist clients of all sizes. He will be promoting the full range of WSG’s services, training and online courses and to build strong, lasting customer relationships.