COVID-19 Risk Assessment Reminder

25 February 2021

Author: Ashleigh Birkett
Practice Area: COVID-19 , Health and Safety

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Conducting a COVID-19 risk assessment of the workplace has been required since the early stages of the pandemic and most organisations will already have this in place.

However, it is important to remember to keep these risk assessments under regular review to take into account any workplace changes, the availability of new information or changes to the level of restrictions in place. A record should be kept of any reviews conducted.

It is worth noting that the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (“HSENI”) has updated [1] its COVID-19 template risk assessment for small businesses.

Businesses can use the template as a ‘guide’ to consider the hazards associated with COVID-19 and the control measures they can put in place to counteract them.

Regarding consultation with workers in relation to managing the risks of COVID-19, HSE(GB) has published guidance [2] for all employers entitled “Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus”.

The Guidance covers five key areas namely: social distancing; organising your workplace; cleaning and sanitising; information and guidance; and wellbeing and support. Each section contains questions that employers can use in discussions with workers, or their representatives, to gain their information and insight as part of the COVID-19 workplace risk assessment process.

All workplaces are different so it is imperative to particularise risk assessments to suit the needs of each individual business. Businesses should also ensure that they act on the findings of their risk assessment, implementing reasonable control measures, and keeping them under review (periodically or should there be any changes).

If you would like any further health and safety law information or advice, please contact Ashleigh Birkett or Ben Johnston from the Health and Safety team at Carson McDowell.

*This information is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute, nor should be regarded, as a substitute for taking legal advice that is tailored to your circumstances.

[1] Updated example workplace Covid-19 risk assessment template | Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (hseni.gov.uk)

[2] Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus (hse.gov.uk)

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