Here is FutureSures Guide on helping your company be Covid-Secure. There is a lot of information largely posed in the form of questions to consider.
By Considering and acting on each issue during the Covid-19 risk assessment you should be able to mitigate the risk of exposure to the virus as far as reasonably practicable.
This Covid Audit is formed from all the latest government advice and guidance and will be updated as and when there is significant changes to the government advice.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at:
Emergency Covid Budget:
- How much resources allocated to each site?
- Any sites have more priority over others?
- Any site have more risk/staffing than others?
- Any site have hard to distance activities or facilities?
- Are measures to be best practice, minimum compliance requirement or something in between?
- Achieve government guidelines to be ‘Covid-Secure’
- Individual risk assessment for each site to consider the below points:
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- think about who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
- Identify ‘at-risk’ groups and individuals.
- limiting the number of people in rooms so that social distancing rules can be met, e.g. stagger breaks, have maximum occupancy numbers for meeting rooms
- Work out current estimated capacity based on fire regs then recalculate based on social distancing measures for maximum site and room capacity for each room
- Enforce capacity limits.
- increase the use of online meeting facilities, even for people working in the same building, to reduce the number of people moving around
- Emails, calls, Skype/zoom rather than face-to-face meetings wherever possible.
- Identify any groups of workers who live together and group them into a work cohort
- Identify groups of workers who travel to work together and group them into a work cohort
- Discuss with workers who live and/or travel to work together to agree how to prevent the risks of spreading coronavirus
COVID CONTROL PLANS:
- Hand washing stations;
- Provide water, soap and drying facilities at wash stations.
- Provide information on how to wash hands properly and display posters
- Based on the number of workers and the number of people who come into your workplace decide:
- how many wash stations are needed
- where wash stations need to be located
- You may already have enough facilities
- Provide hand sanitiser for the occasions when people can’t wash their hands
- There’s a legal duty to provide welfare facilities and washing facilities for visiting drivers
- You should talk to managers at any sites your drivers are visiting to ensure they are provided with hand washing facilities
- provide washing facilities and hand sanitiser at accessible places near to where people will have contact with high traffic communal areas, e.g. sanitiser/washing facilities at the entrance/exit to canteens
- Put in place monitoring and supervision to make sure people are following controls
- Put signs up to remind people to wash their hands
- Provide information to your workers about when and where they need to wash their hands.
- Identify if and where additional hand washing facilities may be needed
- If people can’t wash hands, provide information about how and when to use hand sanitiser
- Identify how you are going to replenish hand washing/sanitising facilities
- Make sure people are checking their skin for dryness and cracking and tell them to report to you if there is a problem
- Additional Staffing or staffing hours for Cleaning;
- Additional training of new and existing staff on correct cleaning procedures
- Cleaning regimes to make sure high traffic communal areas are kept clean – consider frequency, level of cleaning and who should be doing it.
- keep surfaces, such as kitchen sides and tables, in communal areas clear for people to sit and eat at to make cleaning easier
- Responsibility for students and teachers to clean areas too;
- Identify surfaces that are frequently touched by many people (often common areas), e.g. handrails, door handles, vehicle door handles (inside and outside), shared equipment etc. and specify the frequency and level of cleaning and by whom
- Train people how to put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE) that is used for normal work hazards and how to keep it clean
- Reduce the need for people to move around your site as far as possible. This will reduce the potential spread of any contamination through touched surfaces
- Avoid sharing work equipment by allocating it on personal issue or put cleaning regimes in place to clean between each user
- Identify where you can reduce the contact of people with surfaces, e.g. by leaving open doors that are not fire doors, providing contactless payment, using electronic documents rather than paperwork
- Put in place monitoring and supervision to make sure people are following controls, i.e. are implementing the cleaning regimes implemented
- Provide information telling people who needs to clean and when
- Provide instruction and training to people who need to clean. Include information on:
- the products they need to use
- precautions they need to follow
- the areas they need to clean
- Identify how you are going to replenish cleaning products
- Identify other areas that will need cleaning to prevent the spread of coronavirus, e.g. canteens, rest areas, welfare facilities, vehicles and specify the frequency and level of cleaning and who will do it
- Identify what cleaning products are needed (e.g. surface wipes, detergents and water etc.) and where they should be used, e.g. wipes in vehicles, water and detergent on work surfaces etc.
- Keep surfaces clear to make it easier to clean and reduce the likelihood of contaminating objects
- Provide more bins and empty them more often
- Provide areas for people to store personal belongings and keep personal items out of work areas
- clean things like reusable boxes, door handles and bannister rails regularly
Clean equipment frequently
- Set clear guidance for the use and cleaning of toilets, showers and changing facilities to make sure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible
- Clean work areas and equipment between uses
- Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
- If equipment like tools or vehicles are shared then clean them after each use
Assessment of Cleaning products:
- Product effectiveness
- Ensure competency of cleaners and document cleaning practices refresher training.
- Extra staffing, increased daily cleaning scope and stricter documentation of cleaning undertaken.
- Cleaning methods SOP/WI’s
- Contractor Management
- Ensure all staff not just cleaning staff are trained on Cleaning practices and Covid measures.
- Train students; ‘back to school’ toolbox talk/induction for all to highlight Covid-19 Measures.
- put signs up to remind people to wash and sanitise hands and not touch their faces
- Thermometers on entrances, with range detailed, temps above range no access permitted
Purchased from a company called Mustang Supplies Ltd in the UK. £80 each plus Vat. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Doors to be automatic where possible or left open to mitigate the contact risk of multiple people touching doors to open them.
- Where automatic doors can not be utilised doors should be kept open during operating hours to increase airflow and prevent contact.
- This does not include doors onto stairwells which must remain closed to maintain fire protection.
- Masks in corridors off in classrooms?
- Cover nose and mouth
- Specific standard of mask?
- Enforcement? (Sent home?)
- Only KN95 or other masks accepted?
- Surgical masks only, cloth banned?
Other PPE required in certain areas:
- Gloves? (Students and teachers or just cleaning staff?)
- Aprons? (“ “)
- Visors? (“ “)
Provision of PPE:
- Students to bring from home? Or College providing?
- College offering for those students who forget or don’t have?
- College obliged to provide for staff
- Staggered college open time
- Staggered controlled break-times
- Staggered home-time
- Identify places where, under normal circumstances, workers would not be able to maintain social distancing rules
- Identify how you can keep people apart in line with social distancing rules in the first instance. This may include:
- using marker tape on the floor
- one-way systems
- holding meetings virtually rather than face-to-face
- staggering start/end times
- limiting the number of people on site at one time
- having allocated time slots for customers
- rearrange work areas and tasks to allow people to meet social distancing rules
- using empty spaces in the building for additional rest break areas where safe to do so
- implementing ‘drop zones’ for passing materials between people
- providing more parking areas or controlling parking spaces
- providing facilities to help people walk or cycle to work, e.g. bike racks
- minimising contact at security offices for drivers
- Identify where it isn’t possible to meet social distancing rules and identify other physical measures to separate people. This can include
- physical screens and splash barriers – if they are used in vehicles they must be safe, not impair visibility and will probably need approval from the vehicle manufacturer to ensure they don’t compromise safety
- place markers on the floor (e.g. in lifts) to indicate where people should stand and the direction they should face
- reducing the numbers of people using lifts If it isn’t possible to meet social distancing rules and physical measures can’t be used then put in place other measures to protect people. This can include:
- enhanced cleaning regimes
- increase in hand washing
- limiting the amount of time people spend on the task
- placing workers back-to-back or side-by-side rather than face-to-face when working
- ‘cohorting’ work teams so they consistently work together
- improving ventilation
- Display signs to remind people to socially distance
- Provide information, instruction and training to people to understand what they need to do
- Provide signage and ways to communicate to non-employees what they need to do to maintain social distancing
One way system in corridors:
- One entrance or exit through whole building or lanes indicated in corridors wide enough.
- Floor tape or painting
- Colour coding
- Masks, screens or visors for teachers?
- Separation of desks and chairs
- Removal of tables and chairs to limit use
- signs/tape on ‘out of service’ tables and chairs to ensure distancing
- No face-to-face seating arrangements
In workshops or other practical learning areas:
- No sharing of PPE
- Clean-down of tools and equipment between users
- Tutors to wear visors and aprons for close contact tutelage
- Removal of benches, tables etc. or signage indicating ‘out of service’ to ensure distancing
- Alternate urinals ‘out of service’
- Alternate sinks ‘out of service’
- Additional personal cleaning (wipes, hand sanitiser, spray disinfectant? Blu-roll?)
In canteens and recreational areas:
- reorganise facilities in communal areas such as spacing out tables in meeting rooms, canteens etc. so social distancing rules can be met
- areas where people will congregate, e.g. rest rooms, canteens, changing rooms, reception, meeting rooms, smoking areas, tea points, kitchens etc.
- areas where there are pinch points meaning people can’t meet the social distancing rules, e.g. narrow corridors, doorways, customer service points, storage areas
- areas and equipment where people will touch the same surfaces, such as in kitchens, e.g. kettles, shared condiments etc.
- areas and surfaces that are frequently touched but are difficult to clean
- communal areas where air movement may be less than in other work areas, e.g. kitchens with no opening windows or mechanical ventilation
- Put in place monitoring and supervision to make sure people are following controls put in place, e.g. following hygiene procedures, washing hands, following one-way systems
- Near-miss reporting may also help identify where controls cannot be followed or people are not doing what they should
- where possible put in place physical impervious barriers (e.g. Perspex in reception areas) to reduce contact
- Masks, screens or visors, aprons and gloves for serving staff and cleaners
- Separation of tables and chairs
- Removal of tables and chairs to limit use
- signs/tape on ‘out of service’ tables and chairs to ensure distancing
- No face-to-face seating arrangements
Personal Belongings / Storage:
- provide lockers for people to keep personal belongings in so that they aren’t left in the open
- Limit bag numbers for service users to save space on site.
Facilitating working from home:
- Record lessons (GDPR)
- Zoom/Skype etc. remote attendance options
Reduce paper use and thus physical contact:
- Encourage all work (where possible) to be completed, sent and marked digitally to reduce cross contamination between teachers and pupils
- Testing for staff showing symptoms or with a family member with symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis should be offered.
- Students with symptoms or infected cohabitator should seek medical assessment via their GP or hospital.
Track and Tracing:
The NHS Test and Trace service will support businesses and economic recovery by:
- providing free testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus
- asking those that test positive and their close contacts to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus in the workplace
- enabling the government to go further in safely lifting lock down measures
Employers (and the self-employed) must continue to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. They also have similar obligations in respect of other people, for example agency workers, contractors, volunteers, customers, suppliers and other visitors.
Mental Health and Well-being
- Have regular keep in touch meetings/calls with people working at home to talk about any work issues
- Talk openly with workers about the possibility that they may be affected and tell them what to do to raise concerns or who to go to so they can talk things through
- Involve workers in completing risk assessments so they can help identify potential problems and help identify solutions
- Keep workers updated on what is happening so they feel involved and reassured
- Discuss the issue of fatigue with employees and make sure they take regular breaks, are encouraged to take leave, set working hours to ensure they aren’t working long hours
- Share information and advice with workers about mental health and well-being
- Consider an occupational health referral if personal stress and anxiety issues are identified
- Where you have an employee assistance programme encourage workers to use it to talk through supportive strategies
- There is no increased risk for people working at home temporarily but if this arrangement becomes long term the risks should be assessed
- For all people working at home using display screen equipment (DSE) put in place information and training on how to protect themselves, e.g. take regular breaks, stretching exercises, set the equipment up properly
- For people working at home longer term complete a DSE assessment with them and identify what equipment is needed to allow them to work safely at home
Heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC):
- Maintain air circulation systems in line with manufacturers’ recommendations
- Identify if you need additional ventilation to increase air flow in all or parts of your workplace
- Fresh air is the preferred way of ventilating your workplace so opening windows and doors (that are not fire doors) can help
- If you need additional ventilation provide it, e.g. mechanical ventilation, desk fans, air movers etc.
- Switch heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to drawing in fresh air where they can be, rather than recirculating air
- – Identify who in your work force fall into one of the following categories:
- Clinically extremely vulnerable
- People self-isolating
- People with symptoms of coronavirus
- Groups who may be at higher risk of
- poorer outcomes (see the Public Health England report Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19)
- Put systems in place so people know when to notify you that they fall into one of these categories, e.g. they start chemotherapy or are pregnant
- Discuss with employees what their personal risks are and identify what you need to do in each case
- Identify how and where someone in one of these categories will work in line with current government guidance
- If they are coming into work identify how you will protect them through social distancing and hygiene procedures
Cases of Covid-19 on site:
- Document (GDPR)
- Isolation (not allowed on site- time frames
- Work from home?
- Quarantine (Time frames
- RIDDOR reporting:
Whether or not a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is likely to have been caused by an occupational exposure, that is, whether or not there is reasonable evidence that a work-related exposure is the likely cause of the disease.
You should only make a report under RIDDOR when one of the following circumstances applies:
- An accident or incident at work has, or could have, led to the release or escape of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
- A person at work (a worker) has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a case of disease.
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a work-related death due to exposure to a biological agent
- Dangerous occurrences are certain unintended, specified events, which may not result in a reportable injury, but which do have the potential to cause significant harm.
- For an incident to be reportable as a dangerous occurrence, the incident must have resulted (or could have resulted) in the release or escape of coronavirus, that is, led to a possible or actual exposure to coronavirus.
- The assessment does not require any complex analysis, measurement or test, but rather for a reasonable judgement to be made as to whether the circumstances gave rise to a real risk or had the potential to cause significant harm.
Staff Death due to Covid-19 contracted from work (college site)
- The responsible person should notify the enforcing authority by the quickest practicable means, without delay, and send a report within 10 days. The report should specify death due to exposure to a biological agent using the “case of disease” report form.
- Communicating to other staff and to students/and carers.
Shutdown procedure in event of local outbreak:
- Decision making
- Action plan (emergency preparedness)
CLEANING FOR COVID
The risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection depends on many factors, including:
- the type of surface contaminated
- the amount of virus shed from the individual
- the time the individual spent in the setting
- the time since the individual was last in the setting
Surfaces and belongings can be contaminated with COVID-19 when people who are infectious cough or sneeze or touch them. Transmission of COVID-19 can occur when someone else then touches the contaminated surface or item. The person may become infected if they touch their nose, eyes or mouth with a contaminated hand or object. Increased frequency of cleaning of general room surfaces reduces the presence of the virus and the risk of contact.
The infection risk from a COVID-19 contaminated environment decreases over time. It is not yet clear at what point there is no risk from the virus, however, studies suggest that, in non-healthcare settings, the risk of residual infectious virus is likely to be significantly reduced after 48 hours.
In situations where someone has symptoms of COVID-19, we continue to advise storing personal waste for 72 hours as an additional precaution.
Cleaning and disinfection
Regular cleaning plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19.
Reducing clutter and removing difficult to clean items can make cleaning easier. Increase the frequency of cleaning, using standard cleaning products such as detergents and bleach, paying attention to all surfaces but especially ones that are touched frequently, such as door handles, light switches, work surfaces, remote controls and electronic devices.
As a minimum, frequently touched surfaces should be wiped down twice a day, and one of these should be at the beginning or the end of the working day. Cleaning should be more frequent depending on the number of people using the space, whether they are entering and exiting the setting and access to hand washing and hand-sanitising facilities. Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is particularly important in bathrooms and communal kitchens.
When cleaning surfaces, it is not necessary to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing over and above what would usually be used.
Kitchens and communal canteens
It is very unlikely that COVID-19 is transmitted through food. However, as a matter of good hygiene practice, anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before doing so. Crockery and eating utensils should not be shared. Clean frequently touched surfaces regularly.
Food business operators should continue to follow the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) guidance on good hygiene practices in food preparation, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) processes, and preventative practices (pre-requisite programmes (PRPs)).
Clean frequently touched surfaces regularly. Ensure suitable hand washing facilities are available including running water, liquid soap and paper towels or hand driers. Where cloth towels are used, these should be for individual use and laundered in accordance with washing instructions.
Waste does not need to be segregated unless an individual in the setting shows symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19.
Dispose of routine waste as normal, placing any used cloths or wipes in ‘black bag’ waste bins. You do not need to put them in an extra bag or store them for a time before throwing them away.
Principles of cleaning after an individual with symptoms of, or confirmed COVID-19, the case has left the setting or area
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning an area after a person with symptoms of, or confirmed COVID-19 has left the setting possible is disposable gloves and an apron. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed.
If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of virus may be present (for example, where someone unwell has spent the night such as in a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) then additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose may be necessary. The local Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Team can advise on this.
Cleaning and disinfection
Public areas where a symptomatic person has passed through and spent minimal time but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids, such as corridors, can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.
All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with should be cleaned and disinfected, including all potentially contaminated and frequently touched areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab rails in corridors and stairwells
Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings – think one site, one wipe, in one direction.
Use one of the options below:
- a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine (ppm av.cl.)
- a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
- if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses
Avoid mixing cleaning products together as this can create toxic fumes. Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.
Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.
When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.
Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items. To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry prior to washing.
Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.
Personal waste from individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 and waste from cleaning of areas where they have been (including PPE, disposable cloths and used tissues):
Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full
The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied
This should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known
This waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. It should not be placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
If individual tests negative, this can be disposed of immediately with the normal waste.
If COVID-19 is confirmed this waste should be stored for at least 72 hours before disposal with normal waste.
If during an emergency you need to remove the waste before 72 hours, it must be treated as Category B infectious waste. You must:
keep it separate from your other waste
arrange for collection by a specialist contractor as hazardous waste
There will be a charge for this service.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal,