24 March 2020
In this blog, we examine how lone working risks to your employees may have changed with the current pandemic.
Has Covid-19 forced your staff to adopt a different way of working? Perhaps working remotely, working on a site with far fewer people or working in a different environment altogether? This blog outlines what you and your employees need to keep in mind to ensure these changes do not put staff at increased risks of accidents, health issues or any other harm. We are all familiar with the usual process of keeping staff safe. In a nutshell, risk assessments are carried out, risks are analysed and then policies and procedures are put in place to reduce these risks to an acceptable level. With the sudden changes to working environments, these risk assessments might not be relevant to your employees’ working conditions now. If your employees’ working environment has changed, a dynamic risk assessment should be carried out. A dynamic risk assessment is when an employee analyses the current risks posed to them as they enter a new or changing working environment. This enables employees to identify the risks and then work with their employer to put mechanisms in place to appropriately reduce these risks. To carry out a dynamic risk assessment, employees should identify the new risks posed to them and assess the likelihood and severity of the risks. Based on this process, the employee may determine it is not safe to carry out a specific task or that risk reduction measures should be put in place before it is safe to continue with their work. Working from home If people are working from home and live alone then regular check-in points should be established to ensure the safety of the employee, especially if the employee has any existing health issues. These check-ins also give you a chance to reach out to your employees, and can provide much needed contact in these isolated times. Staff on site With more people working from home, this can leave existing staff on sites alone. Whilst you may have accounted for risks they face in normal circumstances, if you are now operating with skeleton staff then these employees face additional risks. These employees should be given a method to be able to call for assistance should it be required, and again regular check-ins should be scheduled. If these are missed the necessary steps should be taken to follow up and confirm the safety of the individual. If you would like any free advice on keeping your staff safe during these unprecedented times, Pick Protection is happy to offer our help.