Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Helath & Safety Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Assessment Details 


Caroline Tomlinson 

  Assessment Date: 

  27 July 2020 v.2 

  Assessment Location: 

  1st Floor Cloister House, Riverside, New Bailey Street, Manchester, M3 5FS 


  Business hazards associated
  with the coronavirus pandemic 

  Potential risk to workers caused by hazards 

  Control measures 

  Further actions required/taken 

Infection prevention, cleaning and staff safety 


Business hazards associated with the coronavirus pandemic

Potential risk to workers caused by hazards

Control measures

Further actions required/taken

Infection prevention, cleaning and staff safety

As the business rebuilds after lockdown and staff return to work the organisation must ensure their safety by making the premises ‘COVID’ secure – unsafe workplace premises raise the risks of virus transmission

There is a direct threat to staff health and wellbeing from transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus while at work.
People can catch the virus from others who are infected in the following ways:
Virus moves from person-to-person in droplets from the nose or mouth spread when a person with the virus coughs or exhales
The virus can survive for up to 72 hours out of the body on surfaces which people have coughed on, etc
People can pick up the virus by breathing droplets or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their eyes or mouth

Ensure that the organisation complies with its duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace/working conditions for staff in the workplace during the coronavirus pandemic by:
Circulating COVID secure coronavirus policies and safety procedures to all staff and managers; these set out how staff should behave and the precautions they must adopt during the pandemic to keep them safe
Requiring staff to practice effective social distancing while in and around the workplace, while travelling to work and in all work business
Managers should pass on and reinforce key Government public health messages to all staff:
Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing (Catch it, bin it, kill it)
Put used tissues in the bin straight away
Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available) – we have hand sanitiser pumps available at many points around the office
There is signage to remind people about washing hands etc

Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – we have individual wipes for equipment around the office near heavy touch points
Do not touch face, eyes, nose or mouth if hands are not clean
The firm has a supply of face masks that it can provide for anyone wishing to wear one

A return to the office safely document has been distributed to all staff.
A rota system has been put in place to keep staff numbers reduced.
Signage has been placed around the office to remind people about social distancing, not entering the office if unwell,  washing/sanitising hands and areas where there should only be a limited amount of people in the area
Masks are available if requested, as are gloves and can be worn whilst in the workplace if an employee wishes to
Alcohol wipes have been placed near communal machinery and in the kitchen area to enable items to be wiped down in between use

Home-working, Hot-desking and Equipment Sharing

Staff working together in workplace premises inevitably raises the risk of virus transmission.  Hot desking and the sharing of equipment present hazards that raise the risk of virus transmission further

As above









Staff are currently homeworking with limited staff attending the office under prior agreement to limit numbers.
Staff questionnaires will be sent to assess the needs and risk to staff.
Maximum number of staff allowed in the office at any time to be agreed and relayed to staff.
Hot desking will not be supported at this time and any move arranged from an employee’s usual desk will be agreed in advance and they will be the only person to use that desk until further notice.
Equipment should not be shared between staff and drinks should not be made for each other to limit risk of virus transmission
Working hours and staggered shifts will be implemented to ensure that staff using public transfer attend outside of rush hour and will also keep office numbers to below the maximum number agreed to limit risk of virus transmission
Working hours and staggered shifts will be implemented to ensure that staff using public transfer attend outside of rush hour and will also keep office numbers to below the maximum number agreed

Following updated government guidance, the business has introduced a rota system to split staff and have them in on specified days only to keep the number of staff in on any day reduced
Guidance has been distributed about not hot desking
Staff have been advised that they can request a temporary change to their working hours and take a reduced lunch break if required (minimum of 20 minutes to be taken by all staff)

Workplace Social Distancing

Effective social distancing is a key element in reducing the transmission of COVID-19Effective social distancing is a key element in reducing the transmission of COVID-19

Social distancing refers to people being required to maintain a distance from each other of 2 meters, wherever possible.  Though this has recently been relaxed to 1 metre.
Social distancing effectively puts people at a safe range from anyone coughing.  The main route of virus transmission is through droplets exhaled or coughed by an infected person.

Staff are required to practice effective social distancing while in and around the workplace, while involved in work activities and when travelling to and from work, whenever possible and by:
Avoiding non-essential contact with others
Keeping a safe distance of at least 1 metre (but preferably still 2 metres which is around 3 steps) from others whenever possible
Avoiding physical contact (hugs, handshakes etc)
Social distancing posters are displayed around the office as a reminder
Adaptations to work processes to support social distancing will include:
Cancelling non-essential meetings
Holding essential meetings in well ventilated rooms with appropriate social distancing in place – limit numbers to essential members only and use phone/video conferencing etc
Replacing face to face meetings wherever possible with video conferencing, phone conferencing 
Holding meetings outdoor
Providing hand sanitiser at meetings
Cancelling non-essential training and all face-to-face training/recruitment practices
Carrying out any essential training/recruitment by using email/online learning wherever possible rather than bringing people face to face

Documentation has been distributed to inform staff of this and there is also signage around the office to remind staff

 Higher Risk Areas of the Workplace

Some areas of the workplace may present a higher risk than others – in our offices it is the kitchen and breakout area and the toilets

Heavily used areas of the workplace are more likely to present an infection transmission risk.  Essential for staff to wash hands regularly but also that toilets are kept clean and free of coronavirus contamination.
A number of staff going to the toilet together may compromise their ability to comply with social distancing
Increased risk of coughing and touching door handles, taps and toilet flush handles

Stressing the need for staff to follow good hygiene practice at all times while at work (i.e. regular handwashing, using tissues and disposing of them appropriately)
Ensuring that adequate resources of liquid soap, sanitiser etc are provided
Handwashing posters have been placed around the workplace to remind staff of the need to wash hands
Limiting the number of staff who can use high traffic areas such as corridors, toilets etc
Closing the kitchen and breakout area for use in relation to sitting to avoid seat/table sharing
Monitor high traffic areas and regulate access as necessary
Staggering breaks to ensure that kitchen and toilets are not overloaded
Hand gels placed around the office for use at any time

Signage has been placed around the office to remind people
Certain areas (kitchen and bathrooms) have signage detailing the limited number of people who should be in that area at the same time. 
This is also covered in documentation distributed to staff

Vulnerable and Extremely Vulnerable Staff

Some staff may have pre-existing medical conditions which render them more vulnerable to the dangers of coronavirus infection

Vulnerable (moderate risk) people include:

Are 70 or older
Are pregnant
Have a lung condition such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis (not severe)
Have heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or liver disease (such as hepatitis)
Are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids) or
Are very obese
Extremely vulnerable (high risk) people include those who:
Have had an organ transplant
Are having chemotherapy for cancer, including immunotherapy
Are having an intense course of radiotherapy for lung cancer
Have a severe lung condition (such as severe asthma or severe COPD)
Are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids)

Questionnaires to be distributed to staff to check if they fall into any of the categories described
Firm will comply with current government recommendations in relation to anybody who falls into this category at all times
No member of staff in the extremely vulnerable ‘high-risk’ category should be expected to come to work during the pandemic crisis or during recovery from the lockdown – these staff will be advised to follow government medical advice and stay at home
Staff in the vulnerable ‘moderate risk’ will be assessed on a case by case basis – wherever possible they will be supported to work from home

Questionnaires reviewed and vulnerable or extremely vulnerable staff contacted separately in relation to office attendance rather than going on the rota system

Staff Health and Staffing Levels

Low staffing levels due to high rates of staff sickness or staff having to self-isolate themselves at home or remain home because they are shielding

Staff may get sick with coronavirus infection
People who have symptoms must self-isolate at home for 7 days from the start of symptoms to prevent them from passing the infection on
Those who live with others and where one person has symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from the day when the first person in the house became ill. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period
Those who are considered extremely vulnerable are advised to shield themselves at home

Staff who are considered extremely vulnerable or high- risk are not expected to attend the workplace
Staff who are sick or self isolating should telephone and inform Caroline on their first day of absence and on no account should they attend the office
All staff to be notified that are not to attend the office if they feel unwell or are self isolating
Notices are on entry points advising staff not to enter if they are feeling unwell

As above
Documentation has been provided to request staff notify Caroline if they feel unwell, live with somebody who is unwell or they have been contacted by track and trace and they are not to attend the office
The office has signage advising staff not to enter if they feel unwell


Premises Access and Travel

Staff who are required to attend for work must be given safe access to the workplace

Travel to and from work may lead to greater risk of virus transmission
Public transport may be restricted in order to achieve social distancing on trains/buses etc
Access to building may create a virus transmission risk if staff all seek entrance at once or are channelled through single points of entry

Ensure social distancing is adhered to when entering or leaving the premises.  There is signage throughout the building and hand sanitiser terminals available for use
Flexible/staggered working arrangements so that staff can avoid travelling at peak times or all arriving or leaving at the same time
Hand sanitiser at entrance/exit points
Staff can cycle to work and use the cycle room to store their bike in the building
Those staff using public transport should conform with all requirements (such as face mask use and social distancing)

Signage throughout, hand gels placed throughout the office and building in general
Staff have been advised they can request alternative working hours