New Hazard of the Month
Our Hazard of the Month is focusing on Returning to Work as many of us may now be back in the office and on-site. Apart from just remembering what it is like to not be in your pyjamas all day, there are a number of considerations to be aware of to make the return as safe as possible for all staff. As a result, this research blog will focus on things to consider before employees make a safe return back to the office.
The Ending of Shielding
From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly. As a result of this, if you had previously been shielding, you can now go back to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure (please read on to the next section to learn how to do this) – but government guidance recommends carry on working from home if you can. From this date, individuals will also no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) on the basis of being clinically extremely vulnerable. Employers should help you to transition back to work safely and support you to keep to social distancing in your workplace (if you can’t work from home).
For more information on this, you can read the government guidance on shielding.
You can get advice on your specific situation and your employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline, 0300 123 1100. For Health and Safety advice, we are here to help you with Covid-19 risk assessments, social distancing tips, posters and more – just give us a call!
A Covid-19 Secure Workplace
In order to keep your workplace as safe as possible, an updated ‘Staying Covid-19 Secure’ poster has been released by the government in line with new guidance. This poster confirms your workplace is complying with government guidelines in the form of following 5 key steps:
- Carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment of your workplace and sharing the results with the people who work there.
- Having cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance.
- Taking all reasonable steps to help people work from home.
- Taking all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace.
- Where people cannot keep 2m apart, ensuring at least a 1m distance and taken all the mitigating actions possible to manage transmission risk.
This poster is also required by CHAS as part of their assessment process therefore it is worthwhile making sure it is displayed in a prominent position in your workplace.
You can access the poster here.
To read in more detail about the advice for your sector, visit the government website.
Offices need to make sure they are Covid-19 secure and this includes putting measures in place for workstations. To comply with government guidance, workers should make sure their workstations are 2 metres apart from one another, or when this is not possible, 1-meter social distancing must be maintained with risk mitigation, this includes: increased frequency of handwashing, minimising activity time, using screens or barriers, working back to back or side to side, and/or reducing the number of contacts through classified groups.
Along with Covid-19 measures, it is still necessary that employers ensure that workstations remain ergonomically sound for staff to use, in order to prevent injuries that can occur from overuse or improper use of DSE (Display Screen Equipment). As a result, the best way to do this is for staff to undertake a DSE workstation assessment which makes sure they:
- Have access to an adjustable chair and know how to use it to find a safe and comfortable position
- Position any screen they use approximately 1 arm’s length away.
- Regularly check the equipment to ensure it is flicker and glare-free, and not straining their eyes.
- Know how to raise any issues they may be having with their workstation.
An easy and accessible way to check your workstation is through our online DSE risk assessment; please get in touch if you are interested in purchasing this!
Make sure you follow social media and blogs closely this month to keep up-to-date on more expert H&S advice from WA Management!
In addition, for the month of July only, you can get 10% OFF our ‘Display Screen Equipment (DSE)’ and ‘Business Communication’ online training courses with the code ‘ReturnToWork20’. These courses are ideal for employers and employees who are due to return to work and need a reminder about how to get back into the swing of things safely and correctly!