Is your business Covid Secure?

Covid-19 Returning to work

 Last week, Boris Johnson announced that staff who couldn’t  work from home in (England only),      should speak to their employers about returning to work.

 But is your business ready & Covid secure?




Employers need to make sure their staff are protected as far as is “reasonably practicable” and they  must carry out a risk assessment for all activities/tasks to do this.

 Are you competent  to be able to  conduct a  risk assessment yourself?

 Will your risk assessment identify the control measures required to protect your workforce from Covid-19?

 Will your risk assessments identify the  need to use PPE or RPE in your  workplace?

 Do you have procedures in place to keep your workforce uptodate with your control measures ? 

 If you would like more information on how we can help you with any of the above, please give us a call on 07738 788272 

We can provide any of the following:-

Covid-19 Risk Assessment Template- General

Covid-19 Risk Assessment Template- Return to work

Home working Risk Assessment Template

Covid-19 Health & Safety Policy




Welfare facilities for drivers

Arrangements for driver welfare and hours of work during the coronavirus outbreak

Driver access to welfare facilities

All drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.

We are hearing reports that some drivers are not being allowed to use welfare facilities when they deliver. Preventing access is against the law, equally it’s not the sensible thing to do.

Those who already provide reasonable access to toilets and handwashing facilities should continue to do so.

With the latest advice for hands to be washed regularly, failure to allow access to welfare facilities may increase the risk of the COVID-19 infection spreading.

Temporary and limited relaxation of drivers’ hours rules

The Department for Transport (DfT) have announced that there will be a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland, and Wales for the drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of:

  • food
  • non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning)
  • over the counter pharmaceuticals

We are clear that driver safety must not be compromised, and they should not be expected to drive whilst tired.  Employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees, other road users, and anyone involved in loading and unloading vehicles.
These arrangements may change during this time.


Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Volunteers

In a crisis such as the Coronavirus, it is vital that volunteers are not put at risk. 
We have therefore  put together a Risk Assessment  for both Organisations who are  controlling volunteers and volunteers themselves  to help them during the response to COVID-19.
 This can be downloaded HERE
The template can be adapted to the needs of your organisation.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): IOSH information and links

IOSH is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to share the latest information and guidance on the coronavirus and how to stay healthy at work.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and chronic lung disease. 

Whilst the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public to moderate, the risk of catching COVID-19 depends on where you live or where you have travelled recently. The risk of catching it within the workplace is low.

However, employers have a role to play in preventing the spread of this disease by taking sensible action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as ensuring that workers have access to appropriate hygiene facilities such hot water, soap and bins to get rid of used tissues.

Workers are advised to maintain good hygiene standards around the workplaceby following the latest advice from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website which includes the following basic protective measures: 

  • Wash your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand wash or wash with soap and water
  • Maintain social distancing- maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet distance) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose
  • Practice respiratory hygiene
  • Stay informed and follow the advice given by health care providers

Personal precautions:

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has advised that most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places, and that self-isolation is only to be undertaken if the individual is advised to do so by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional. Read the full NHS advice here. 

Emergency planning advice:

IOSH advises that businesses follow good practice in emergency planning, preparedness and response. This can be achieved by adopting the following steps:

  • Develop a response plan for if someone in the workplace becomes ill with suspected COVID-19. This should include the immediate response e.g. isolate the individual and contact the local health authority and also how you plan to identify persons who may be at risk without stigma or discrimination
  • Explore ways of remote working (teleworking) that will allow workers to continue their work from home
  • Develop a business continuity plan for an outbreak, which covers:
  • How your organisation will continue to function if workers, contractors and suppliers cannot come to your place of business
  • Communicate to workers and contractors about the plan and their role in it
  • Ensure the plan addresses mental health and social consequences of a case of COVID-19 in the workplace

For further information on emergency planning read WHO document Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 or UK Government Guidance Preparing for emergencies.

Ferry operator Stena Line has been prosecuted after an employee was seriously injured when he was struck by a van that was reversing out of a docked vessel.

Investigating, the HSE found there was no consideration of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when vessels were being unloaded. Stena Line Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

On 17 September 2017 George Ball, a pontoon traffic marshall working for Stena Line Limited, was struck by a 3.5 tonne delivery van at the company’s port terminal in Birkenhead, Wirral. The van was being reversed off the Stena Lagan vessel onto the pontoon area by a port service operative.

The vehicle reversed over Mr Ball’s head and body after the initial collision had knocked him down. Mr Ball suffered multiple injuries that included numerous fractures to his skull, ribs and other bones, and loss of sight in one eye. He has been left with double vision in the other eye and ongoing mental health problems.

Investigating, the HSE found there was no consideration of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when vessels were being unloaded. Stena Line Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

Stena Line Limited of Station Road, Ashford, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £400,000 with costs of £6,576.15.

HSE Inspector Rohan Lye said after the hearing: “The injuries sustained by Mr Ball, which affect him to this day, were easily preventable. The risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles is an obvious one which should have been identified and controlled. Had Stena Line Limited employed suitable control measures the life changing physical and emotional injuries which continue to impact Mr Ball and his family would have been avoided.”

Man sentenced following gas concerns at Caravan site

One of the individuals with management responsibility of a static caravan site has been sentenced for failing to have gas appliances properly maintained and inspected and failing to safely store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the individual had no Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificates for the gas appliances in caravans rented out, some of which were found to be immediately dangerous and had to be disconnected. The LPG cylinders not being used were stored unsafely presenting a risk of fire and explosion.

The HSE ensured that all the caravans on the site were inspected by a competent person (a Gas Safe registered engineer) to ensure the gas appliances and fittings were safe.

The individual pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also instructed to pay full costs of £22,235.00.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Lindsay Bentley said “This case highlights the importance of not only looking after your employees but members of the public too. Gas safety is so important and regular inspections of the gas fittings and equipment in the caravans, by a Gas Safe registered engineer, would have ensured that they did not deteriorate to a condition where they endangered lives.”


Farm Vehicles -The Law

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations1992 and the Provision and Use of Work EquipmentRegulations 1998 (PUWER) apply to transport activity.
Vehicles should be able to move around safely, be properlymaintained and operators should be adequately trained.The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations1998 (LOLER) require thorough examination, marking ofequipment and properly organised lifting operations

The most common causes of serious and fatal injuries in agriculture involve moving and overturning vehicles. Transport movements in and around the workplace need to be controlled to protect pedestrians and to prevent damage to equipment and buildings. Other incidents happen when people leave a vehicle without making sure it cannot move or cause injury in other ways. The vehicle braking system must be properly maintained and you should also lower to the ground any raised implements or loaders.

Health & Safety after Brexit

There are some things that #Brexit won’t change for small businesses. Like your health and safety responsibilities to #workright

While small businesses will be trying to get ready for Brexit at the end of October, health and safety need not be top of your to do list. Here’s why…

When the UK leaves the European Union health and safety responsibilities in the workplace, to make sure everyone can go home healthy and safe, will not change. Whatever the scenario.

This is because minor amendments have been made to the existing regulations. For example, EU references have been removed. So these legal requirements, and the protections these provide, will be the same as they are now.

After Brexit you should continue to manage your business and employees in a proportionate way to reduce risk and protect people. But it does not need to be time consuming or costly.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are there to provide simple, practical advice on how to work right and comply with the law. Good health and safety is good for business. 

Working together to protect your workers, keeping them healthy and safe, is an integral part of #WorkRight. We want to help your business succeed. 

We know you will be keen to understand how else Brexit will affect your business. So we also hope to provide useful sources of information on a range of topics to help you get ready for Brexit.

Britain is doing a great job. This is one of the world’s safest places to work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are there to make sure that doesn’t change.

Photo credit @muffin