COVID-19 has changed the way every industry operates for both employees and consumers. As the situation evolves and changes, it is paramount that businesses keep on top of any changes and follow government recommended guidelines. We are facing unprecedented times, and it has brought new territory, including changes to employer duties, including legal requirements and ensuring the wellbeing of workers and customers.
To ensure that you are appropriately following guidelines and doing everything that is required of your business during the Coronavirus pandemic, you should consider a health and safety consultant. Here’s what you need to know about consultants and why they could benefit your business.
What is a Health and Safety Consultant?
A health and safety consultant is a qualified professional with expertise in health and safety; they can offer advice and guidance to businesses to ensure that they are appropriately and legally managing health and safety risks within the workplace.
At Armadillo, all our consultants are IOSH accredited and qualified to degree level. They can provide you with a wide range of services including health and safety audits, site inspections, risk assessment, accident investigation, first aid training, and so much more.
How Can a Health and Safety Consultant Help?
When you bring in a health and safety consultant, you take away the headache of trying to ensure that you are correctly managing the health and safety in your business by passing it on to a professional who knows everything there is to know. No matter the size of your business, dealing with health and safety can be a real challenge. That’s why a health and safety consultant can provide a wide range of services to ensure complete peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your employees and customers.
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a wealth of new health and safety concerns never before seen. Now it is more important than ever to step up hygiene regulations and stringently follow government guidelines to ensure you are operating safely and legally. As the guidelines are constantly changing and adapting, enlisting in the services of a health and safety consultant is the best way to ensure you are making the correct changes to working practices so you can continue to operate safely.
How to Stay Safe During the COVID Pandemic
By law, employers must carry out a risk assessment regarding COVID-19. These assessments are vital to getting people back to work safely. The assessment is based on guidance from Public Health England, The Health and Safety Executive and the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Using relevant legislation such as The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 and Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, businesses can get help and information on how they can manage these new ways of working.
A risk assessment for COVID-19 involves the following:
- Identifying what work activity or situation may cause the transmission of the virus and who could be at risk.
- Consider how likely a worker/customer could be exposed.
- Act to remove the activity or situation where possible, if unable to do so, control the risk.
Ways that employers can reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading is to put social distancing measures in place throughout the working environment, stagger employee shifts to minimise contact, and provide additional handwashing and sanitising facilities.
Employers should discuss the changes with their workers, so they are all aware of new processes and ways of working. They should also be ready to make changes if strategies fail to work, or if government guidelines change.
Social distancing is an essential part of COVID-19 safety working practices. Two metres distance should be kept between workers, or at least one metre if this is not possible. Floor tape and paint can be used to mark work areas; signage can remind people about keeping their distance; screens can create physical barriers between people and movement can be limited with shift rotations, one-way systems and only allowing essential trips.
As the virus can be transferred from people to surfaces, frequent sanitising and cleaning is essential to reduce the risk of spread. Provide adequate handwashing facilities with running water, soap and paper towels or hand dryers. Ensure that facilities and equipment are cleaned between uses and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.
At Armadillo, our health and safety consultants have received formal COVID-19 training through IOSH, and we can offer you a COVID-19 audit that looks at:
- Physical control measures – this could include one-way systems, signage and markings, high-risk areas, areas where social distancing may be challenging to achieve, provision of canteens, hand sanitiser/PPE or screens etc.
- Procedural issues – training, reporting, shift patterns, cleaning processes, customer/visitor management, staff working practices etc.
- Documentation – policies, procedures, risk assessments, training and responsibilities for individuals.
- Staff wellbeing – procedures for dealing with employees showing symptoms, high-risk staff, health questionnaires and self-isolation.
Our health and safety consultants in London and Essex are available for consultations and training. We will give you the advice and guidance you need to successfully meet all health and safety standards during this uncertain time. We can carry out on-site training and write up detailed risk assessments that you can use to ensure you are acting in a COVID compliant way. So if you’re looking for health and safety consultants in Kent, contact us today.