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It’s been a milestone week in England with many children going back to school and their parents returning to their workplaces, instead of working from home. But whilst it’s good to celebrate returning to the new normal, it’s important that employers don’t lose sight of the importance of workplace health and safety.

Reduce your risks

This is not a time for relaxing any guidelines or restrictions. It’s important to keep strict measure in place including increasing ventilation, regular cleaning, better hand hygiene, improved social distancing, regular testing and perhaps even the continued wearing of masks, particularly in indoor areas, to prevent and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

We should not forget that the virus is still very much living amongst us and even if you have been single or double vaccinated, it’s possible to become infected and ill as a result. It’s also essential that you look at ways in which you can reduce the risks of it being passed onto others, especially those who are classed as clinically vulnerable.

Recently The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) advised organisations “not to let their guard down”, particularly in light of a possible spike in infections because of children being back at school. And the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) agreed, saying that “employers should continue implementing preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of infection in the workplace.”

Health and safety law

At Actif HR, we are keen to stress the importance of comprehensive Covid Risk Assessments. Not only is failing to conduct one a potential breach of health and safety law, but they are very helpful at identifying proportionate controls to protect workers, clients, consumers and communities.

If you have one in place already, it might be a good time to review its effectiveness, including monitoring and supervision, so that it continues to identify and control:

  • The risks of transmission
  • People who could be at a higher risk
  • The measures needed to reduce the risk

Protecting you, your employees and your business

Every business is different, we recommend that you consult your workforce on health and safety matters to increase buy in and engagement. Plus, don’t forget if you have fewer than five employees you still don’t have to write anything down, but we think that it might help you and your workers if you do. After all, it’s far better that everyone knows upfront what’s going on and can fully understand how you are protecting them and what their role is.

How can we help

If you need some additional help with your risk assessments, let us take the strain. We can offer advice, guidance and access to relevant documentation and templates, which will save valuable time and resources. This will free up your time to concentrate on ensuring the safety of your workers whilst continuing to increase your productivity.