COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
CLEAR ENVIRONMENT (OFFICE CLEARANCE) LTD AND RECYCLED BUSINESS FURNITURE LTD COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT
Reviewed 18/05/20, 09/09/20, 04/11/20, 01/12/20, 05/01/21
Issued 18/05/20, 10/09/20, 04/11/20, 03/12/20, 06/01/21
Introduction Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As an employer, we have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means we need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19. Clear Environment Ltd and Recycled Business Furniture Ltd have continued to trade throughout the Lockdown period, by modifying practices and following government requirements and general advice at that time. This has been planned and implemented with the consultation of all staff throughout the process and with their full co-operation and agreement.
1 Managing risk Objective: To reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority. Employers have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. Employers must work with all clients or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody’s health and safety is protected. In the context of COVID-19 this means working through these steps in order: · In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning. · Due to the nature of our business it is not possible for staff to work from home, if not already doing so. · Everyone should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible). · Our circumstances and services mean that this is not always possible, so in order to minimise risk we have:- Closed our showroom facility to the public and operated an on-line and phone service. Modified our operating practices and Method Statements to comply with recommendations at the time. Increased the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning. Kept staff apart wherever possible. Re-organised the office arrangement to assist in social distancing. Reduced the number of people each person has contact with by using our own staff, known sub-contractors and outside courier companies only. Ensured that any staff members regarded as high risk have been furloughed until deemed safe to return. Furloughed non-critical staff to reduce staffing levels on site.
2 Staff Objective: It is recognised that the nature of our work in this environment requires staff to work on sites, in vehicles and at our offices. We must mitigate circumstances to keep them safe and well. Steps that have been considered and implemented: · Planning for the minimum number of workers needed on the premises and deployed in the field to operate safely and effectively. · Monitoring the well-being of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site. · Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security. · Protecting people who are at higher risk. · Insisting and facilitating people who need to self-isolate by ensuring they do not attend work for 14 days. All other Health and Safety, Equality and legal obligations as an employer are being fulfilled in the normal manner.
3 Social distancing at work Objective: To maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work, while in work, and when travelling between sites. It is not generally possible to keep a distance of 2m inside vehicles. Most in-vehicle tasks need more than one person and changing vehicle configurations to create more space is not practical. We have considered what activities need to continue for the business to operate, modified our practices and are taking all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between staff. Social distancing applies to all parts of a business, not just the vehicles, but also the warehouse, office, showroom and client sites. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.
3.1 Coming to work and leaving work Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible, including on arrival and departure, and to ensure handwashing upon arrival. Steps implemented: · Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace. · Providing additional parking or facilities to help people walk, run or cycle to work where possible. · Limiting passengers in vehicles to two. · Reducing use of public transport where possible.
3.2 Moving around buildings, worksites and destinations Objective: To maintain social distancing while people travel through the workplace. Steps implemented: · Reducing the number of workers at the warehouse/office and on client sites at a given time based on minimum operational safety requirements. · Scheduling times for the collection of goods to avoid over-crowding. · Picking goods ahead of collection and loading onto vehicles without interacting with the driver, by segregating the warehouse entrance and collection point by using physical barriers and tape. · Reducing job and location rotation. · Finding alternative delivery solutions using courier and pallet services. · The internal routes within the building are wide and although a one-way system is not operationally feasible, it is deemed possible to socially distance by waiting in a distant area, while somebody passes by. · Increasing the number of available toilet facilities on site to enable social distancing.
3.3 Social distancing in vehicles Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible between individuals when in vehicles. Steps implemented: · Devising mitigation measures where workers have no alternative but to work within 2m to minimise the risk of transmission, including: – clear signage to outline social distancing measures in place – single person or contactless refuelling where possible – sitting side-by-side not face-to-face and increasing ventilation where possible · Using a fixed pairing system where people have to work in close proximity. · Making sure vehicles are well-ventilated to increase the flow of air, for example, by opening a window. · Ensure regular cleaning of vehicles, in particular between different users.
3.4 Carrying out deliveries or collections Objective: To maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the vehicle. Steps implemented: · Scheduling to limit exposure to large crowds and rush hours where appropriate. · Revising pick-up and drop-off collection points and procedures with signage and marking. · Where possible and safe having single workers load or unload vehicles. · Minimising unnecessary contact on site by providing ‘door drop’ deliveries only, where possible. · Maximising use of electronic paperwork where possible, and reviewing procedures to enable safe exchange of documents. · Enabling drivers to access welfare facilities when required and consistent with other guidance. · Encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice.
3.5 Accidents, security and other incidents Objective: To prioritise safety during incidents. Steps that will usually be needed: · In an emergency, for example, an accident, fire, or break-in, people do not have to stay 2m apart if it would be unsafe. · People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards, including washing hands.
4 Managing customers, visitors and contractors
Objective: To minimise contact risk and provide and explain available guidance Steps implemented: · Closing of showroom for general access. Some clients are now returning to work, so an appointment only system has been implemented to ensure that only one customer is present on site at any time. · Ensuring delivery and receipt confirmation can be made contactless and avoiding physical contact when handing goods over to the customer or delivery driver/contractor. · Preparing for goods to be dropped off to a previously agreed area to avoid transmission. · Maintaining a record of all visitors. · Providing guidance and explanation on social distancing and hygiene to staff, contractors, clients and visitors · Understanding the protocol for collecting and distributing goods across different locations and agreeing these in advance. · Regularly briefing staff, communicating to customers and providing signage and reminders for everyone.
5 Keeping the workplace clean
Objective: To keep the workplace clean and prevent transmission by touching contaminated surfaces. Steps implemented: · Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between uses, using usual cleaning products. · Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, such as door handles, fuel pumps and vehicle keys, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements. ·
Encouraging workers to wash hands before boarding vehicles. · Retaining sufficient quantities of hand sanitiser / wipes within vehicles and in the office/warehouse to enable workers to clean hands after each delivery / drop off. · Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the vehicle at the end of a shift. · Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, including the need for increased handwashing, to avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm. · Ensuring drivers have access to appropriate toilet facilities during their journeys and at their destinations. · Providing sufficient hand sanitiser where handwashing is not possible. · Providing paper towels and removing cloth towels/tea cloths. · Encouraging single use of kitchen utensils and regular washing using dishwasher.
6 PPE and face coverings PPE requirements and provisions are already in place regarding steel toe capped boots, gloves, high viz-jackets etc, as per our standard procedures and practices. Current guidelines state: When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE. Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by law, including in the workplace. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off. Employers should support their workers in using face coverings safely if they choose to wear one. This means telling workers: · wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it · when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands · change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it · continue to wash your hands regularly · change and wash your face covering daily · practise social distancing wherever possible Disposable gloves and face coverings have been provided to all staff and sub contractors.
7 Workforce Management In addition to the measures detailed above, government advice suggests: Identifying areas where people have to directly pass things to each other (such as job information, furniture components, etc.) and find ways to remove direct contact, for example, by using drop off points or transfer zones. Putting in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.
Providing clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working and to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.
Using simple, clear messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of groups for which English may not be their first language. Communicating approaches and operational procedures to suppliers, and customers to help their adoption and shared experience. These are on-going situations that are being considered and implemented where reasonable practicable.
8 Variations / Additions This should not be regarded as an exhaustive document as the health and safety of all persons is paramount, at all times, and as situations locally and nationally change, procedures must be modified and improved where possible, by all parties. We will constantly review our practices and apply common sense and all practicable measures.
8.1 Version 2 The experience and situation since implementation has largely been positive and effective. All measures detailed above are still in effect and implemented by all. Legislation has changed to require face masks to be worn in shops by customers. As we are limiting access, by appointment only and in minimal numbers, we do not believe that this applies strictly to our showroom. However, as a precaution, we will continue to ask customers to wear face coverings. As a courtesy, we will also wear masks in the presence of customers. Staff returning to work from furlough have been briefed, have agreed, and comply with current measures. Customer management to limit access has been improved and managed more strictly. All visitors are required to sign in and provide contact details on entry to assist with contact tracing, if required. A follow up meeting with all staff to reiterate the above points and gain reciprocal feedback was implemented on 10/10/20. In addition, after the Prime Ministers announcement on 9th September, regarding ‘Rule of 6’, all domestic deliveries with immediate effect will be to doorstep only. When delivering to workplaces, social distancing is imperative, as face masks will be removed while carrying goods. This will be stressed in advance to all clients and managed by our staff on site. If in doubt, the delivery must not go ahead. The situation is to be reviewed regularly and in line with changes announced.
8.2 Version 3 The Government announced the latest shutdown to commence on Thursday 5th November. The showroom will be closed from Thursday 5th November and no customers will be permitted on site. It has already been established that the staff cannot work from home and as such, will attend work from site as usual. All other precautions detailed previously will continue to be put in place.
8.3 Version 4 As of Wednesday 2nd December 2020, the lockdown has finished and the Tier System introduced. The warehouse site and all staff are currently in Tier 2. The showroom has been opened under the same protocol as detailed previously in Version 2 of this document and Paragraph 8.1 above. All other precautions detailed previously will continue to be put in place.
8.4 Version 5 The Government announced the latest National lockdown to commence on Tuesday 5th January 2021. The showroom has been closed and no customers will be permitted on site. It has already been established that the staff cannot work from home and as such, will attend work from site as usual. All domestic deliveries will continue to be to kerbside only.
Managing Director Clear Environment (Office Clearance Ltd)
Recycled Business Furniture Ltd