HSE GUIDANCE: KEEPING WORKPLACES SAFE AS COVID RESTRICTIONS ARE EASED
This article below will provide the latest information from the HSE on any changes related to workplace safety during the pandemic following the easing of coronavirus restrictions. It will also provide you with advice from the public health bodies and other government departments on requirements that are not enforced by the Health and Safety Executive.
The guidance will continue to be updated by HSE to reflect any reviews of social distancing and other long-term measures.
The information provided below is from the latest ‘HSE guidance’ which was updated 31/03/2021. For further updates please click here. This will take your directly to the HSE page on this matter.
Roadmap for Coming Out of Lockdown
We now have a four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a bit of normality.
As the economy begins to reopen, businesses should continue to follow working safely guidance provided by GOV.UK. Businesses should remain to put measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The following workplace controls remain unchanged:
Returning to the Workplace Safely
As restrictions are eased and people start to return to work, it is important that workplaces are COVID-secure. Every business should have completed a COVID risk assessment.
The HSE advise that businesses talk to the their workers about returning to work and that it’s vital that employers can answer questions to help employees understand the risks as well as giving them the freedom to contribute to decisions on reducing the risk of transmission. Employers should talk through the changes in the workplace. These could be things such as site rules, one-way systems, arriving at work, visitor process etc.
Advice from Public Bodies & Other Government Organisations
The guidance below has been provided by public health bodies and other government departments: (This covers matters that are not enforced by HSE)
- mass asymptomatic testing in education settings
- workplace testing
- NHS Test and Trace
- face coverings
The Department for Health and Social Care lead on testing in education and workplace settings.
Education & Workplace Testing
Education and workplace settings should ensure that testing is carried out safely and control measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID transmission during the testing process.
NHS Test and Trace
For in depth information on the NHS Test and Trace service please visit the NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace.
The main features of the NHS test and trace system are:
- free testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus to find out if they have the virus.
- get in touch with anyone who has had a positive test result to help them share information about any close contacts they have had.
- alert those contacts, where necessary, and instructs them too self-isolate.
The NHS is currently leading the COVID-19 vaccine programme. There is an order in which people will be offered the vaccine. This is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Face coverings are a public health protection measure intended to help protect others. They are PPE and are therefore not covered by health and safety legislation