Health & Safety: COVID-19…and the rest

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Written by: Alcumus
14th August

You will have no doubt read numerous times that these are strange times we are living in. Dealing with life and COVID-19 is certainly not easy, but what about all the other Health & Safety considerations businesses need to make?

They haven’t gone away, nor has their importance diminished and your legal H&S responsibilities haven’t changed, our attention has just been diverted onto other things.

So, if some statutory inspections have slipped now is the time to redouble your efforts to get them up to date. For example: if the passenger lifts have not been inspected in the last six months (as required by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER)), arrange for them to be completed immediately. 

To help you monitor what needs attention to keep you legally compliant, it’s worthwhile to put an inventory together. When producing one, you should consider the following:

  • LOLER inspections for all lifting equipment and relevant accessories.
  • Condition report for the installed electrical system.
  • Portable appliance testing
  • Legionella checks
  • Fire detection and alarm checks
  • Fire extinguisher checks
  • Training records up to date
  • Fork lift truck inspections
  • First aiders trained
  • Fire drill carried out within last 12 months
  • Emergency lights tested/inspected
  • Gas fired appliances serviced within the last 12 months
  • Risk assessments reviewed
  • Pressure vessels inspected

The above list is not an exhaustive list but should serve as a reminder for the sort of things that may have gone on the back burner recently.

Don’t forget mental wellbeing

One issue that has come to the fore significantly over these last few months is the mental wellbeing of your staff. The threat that COVID-19 poses to us all will affect every individual differently. As an employer you must consider the mental wellbeing of your staff

To assist with this issue, it would be worth considering having an Employee Assist Programme (EAP) in place that all staff can freely access.

A typical EAP would normally provide confidential information, support and counselling to staff with personal or work-related issues and cover topics such as stress, mental wellbeing, financial advice assistance, legal advice assistance etc.  The EAP would normally be available around the clock by telephone or online.  A comprehensive EAP could also provide access to face-to-face counselling if necessary and could be tailored to suit the needs of the company and its staff.

Our business partner Valentine Occupational Health are experts in this field, so get in touch with us on [email protected].

COVID-19 Risk Assessment

To demonstrate you have considered all risks associated with COVID-19 in the workplace, it would be advisable to ensure all staff have sight of your COVID-9 risk assessment that clearly identifies the relevant controls that need to be followed to keep everyone safe. 

If you have not yet completed a COVID-19 risk assessment download our “COVID-19 Return to work Pack” or find out more about our comprehensive COVID-19 solution.

The HSE are carrying out spot checks to ensure companies are COVID-19 – Secure, but don’t forget they will be looking at other areas of Health and Safety management whilst at your premises.

If you have any questions about the above, or would like to know how Alcumus PSM can help you manage your health and safety, please contact the Alcumus PSM H&S Consultancy team on [email protected].

Alcumus SafeWorkforce specialises in human resources (HR) and health and safety (H&S) consulting for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Written by Graham Carson, Senior Health & Safety Consultant