totes ISOTONER | Eastman House | Radford Crescent | Billericay | Essex CM12 0DN
COVID-19 Office & Warehouse Risk Assessment
Date of Assessment: 24.06.20 | Updated: 14/01/2021
Task/Process: General Risk Assessment – COVID-19
We are committed to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our staff and our customers and are taking all possible steps to address the risks posed by Coronavirus
Hazard: Asymptomatic Covid-19 Infection – there is a risk of virus transmission via others who may be showing no symptoms
1. Face coverings are to be worn wherever and whenever social distancing guidance cannot be maintained.
2. Staff are urged to undertake Lateral Flow Device self-testing at home twice a week as per the current Government/NHS campaign.
3. Where a Lateral Flow Device self-test shows a positive or inconclusive result, the affected staff member MUST stay away from the workplace and inform their Line Manager or a member of the management team promptly.
4. Any such employee is required to self-isolate in accordance with Government guidelines and obtain a PCR test as quickly as possible.
5. Any such employee MUST continue to stay away from the workplace until a negative PCR test result is received and forwarded to their Line Manager/Directors’ Secretary.
Hazard: Covid-19 Vaccine Resistance – there is a risk of virus transmission to and via others who may be reluctant to take up the vaccine
1. All staff are encouraged to seek credible advice on the vaccine from the NHS, from their GP or other relevant medical practitioner or from Public Health England to enable them to make an informed decision as to whether to take up the vaccine when offered.
2. All staff are strongly encouraged to take up the vaccination when invited.
3. Vaccine take-up rates within totes are being monitored, currently on a voluntary basis, by the Directors’ Secretary.
4. Any concerns regarding your own position, or that of others, may be raised with your Line Manager or a member of the senior management team.
Hazard: Employed staff who are not fully aware and understanding of the procedures and arrangements in place as per Government guidelines could compromise our arrangements and jeopardise the health of others.
1. Specific procedures and measures to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus (Covid-19) have been prepared. These are based on NHS, Public Health England and Government guidance. They will be reviewed regularly to reflect any changes in the official advice but Government guidance will always be followed.
2. Every employee will be fully briefed to ensure that they are aware of the hazards and risks and understand the measures we have put in place.
3. Communications, signage and warning notices are displayed throughout our premises and staff are kept advised as to updates.
4. All employees will continue to be encouraged to work from home wherever possible and practicable, as per Government guidelines.
5. Occupancy levels in office and warehouse areas will be managed to facilitate social distancing and reduce the risk for contact or spread of the virus.
6. Health & Safety communications will be issued to all employees, are available in printed format upon request and on the Company’s Public Directory.
7. Any employee may raise a concern with their Line Manager or any member of the senior management team.
8. Employees are reminded of the existence of the Employee Conduct Concern Line maintained by our US office.
9. Any work practices requiring close contact working have been minimised with appropriate guidance issued.
10. Employees arrive at work via different transport methods and all are required to sanitise and/or wash hands upon arrival.
11. Staff are requested to check in to the building using the official NHS QR code at all entry points if they have the NHS Covid-19 app. on their ‘phone.
12. The practice of daily temperature checks for our warehouse team has been reviewed. Non-contact infrared body thermometers remain available for use by staff from the Warehouse Manager or Director' Secretary, but it is no longer required that every member of the team is temperature checked every day.
Hazard: Food & Drink Preparation Areas – Potential risk of transfer of virus through cross-contamination
1. All employees are expected to maintain good standards of hygiene whenever or wherever food or drinks are being prepared by washing their hands for at least 20 seconds before and after using any communal food preparation area.
2. Only one person may use either kitchen area at any given time and employees are encouraged to bring all refreshments.
3. Staggered breaks are encouraged to avoid gatherings. Specifically timed staggered breaks are set for warehouse based staff.
4. Employees are actively encouraged to use only their own cutlery, crockery and glassware and should prepare their own food and drink only. Any company- provided implements are to be washed, dried and taken away from communal areas after use. Single use paper towels are provided for this purpose.
5. Employees are to act responsibly in sanitising all work surfaces and washing all implements after use.
6. Kettles, microwaves, ovens and fridges are to be left in a clean, sanitised condition after use.
7. Bins are to be open, where practicable, to allow for contactless waste disposal, where this is not possible foot pedals are to be used.
8. Any food to be stored in the communal fridges is to be placed in a clean, sealed wrapper or container.
Hazard: Shared Facilities, Entrances, Toilets, Stairs, Corridors, etc. – Risk of cross-contamination
1. A deep clean of the premises has taken place and contract cleaning services are retained for a regular, high-specification cleaning routine.
2. Supplies of hot water, liquid hand soap and sanitising products are provided.
3. Employees are reminded to wash their hands regularly, and for at least twenty seconds.
4. Staff should maintain an awareness of their surroundings and ensure that touch points (toilets, basins, door handles, etc.) are sanitised.
5. Any item visibly contaminated with body fluids must not be touched but immediately reported to a Manager.
6. Staff are reminded to flush the toilet with the lid down to prevent airborne contamination through aerosol effect.
7. Staff should endeavour to store any personal effects or clothing items away from those of others.
Hazard: Risks – risk of illness due to Covid-19 and other pathogens through cross-contamination after contact, accidental or otherwise
1. Waste bins are provided at employees’ desk areas and within kitchen and toilet areas.
2. Employees are instructed not to put their hands directly into any bin.
3. Employees are requested to use disposable tissues to catch coughs and sneezes, and to safely dispose of the tissue by flushing or in a bin, preferably bagged.
4. All waste bins are to be carefully and safely emptied by the contracted cleaning staff.
5. Employees are expected to demonstrate respect for the safety of cleaning staff in respect of discarded tissues, food, tins, glass, etc. to prevent accidental contamination or injury.
Hazard: Smoking / Vaping – inhalation of second hand smoke and vapour may result in adverse Covid-19 health effects, this is as yet unproven.
1. Employees are instructed not to smoke or vape at building entry/exit points but to move away from high traffic areas.
2. Employees who wish to vape in their own, single occupancy, office may do so with the door closed but the production of excessive clouds of vapour (cloud chasing) is not permitted.
3. Employees are advised to avoid inhalation of second hand tobacco smoke and vapour. Although there is currently no evidence of transmission by this method, this is a precautionary measure and Government guidance recommends erring on the side of caution.
Hazard: Meeting Rooms – potential risk of infection or transfer of virus due to close contact.
1. Employees are advised that face-to face meetings of up to 3 people only may be held in the Board Room and Just Sheepskin Showroom, meetings of up to 8 people may be held in the Main Showroom and then only when absolutely essential. Social distancing guidelines must be followed. Face coverings are optional where social distancing guidelines can be maintained unless colleagues / other attendees make a specific request to the contrary. Face Coverings are also optional where documented exemptions apply on medical grounds. Video-conferencing is proving a safe, successful and convenient alternative for both internal and external meetings.
2. Visitors from outside the Company are discouraged unless absolutely essential, e.g. contract cleaning staff.
3. Any face-to-face meetings that are deemed necessary will not be catered under any circumstances. Attendees are responsible for their own refreshments and for washing their own crockery and glassware. Anti-bacterial wipes should be used to sanitise surfaces after any meeting has taken place.
4. Attendees should not share equipment – pens, etc.
Hazard: Workstations, IT and Telephones, etc. – potential for infection or transfer of virus through sharing of equipment.
1. Employees are advised to sanitise their workstations and equipment at intervals during the working day using appropriate anti-bacterial wipes, etc.
2. Employees should not hot-desk nor use share.
3. Employees are asked to bring only necessary personal effects into the workplace to reduce touch points and allow contract cleaning staff access to touch points.
Hazard: Close Contact – potential exposure to infection from carriers of Covid-19.
1. Face coverings remain mandatory wherever social distancing guidelines cannot be maintained. The Company appreciates that exemptions may apply on medical grounds; any such exemptions must be documented.
2. Employees are instructed to avoid close face-to-face or physical contact with colleagues and any essential visitors – hugs, handshakes, etc. – and to follow social distancing guidelines.
3. Employees are reminded to be aware of their surroundings and sit away from the immediate airflow from fan heaters, cooling fans, ventilations systems, etc. Where possible, the use of such systems will be avoided.
4. Desk layouts have been altered in any open plan office to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
5. Employees are instructed to exercise courtesy to colleagues when using corridors, utilising passing places as appropriate to maintain social distancing.
6. Controls on access to and exit from the premises will continue to be in place.
7. Both kitchen areas are limited to one person at a time.
8. Any essential visitors or contractors are required to sign the Visitor’s Book and ensure their contact details are readily available to aid contact tracing. Visitors and contractors are also required to check in to the building using the official NHS QR code at all entry points if they have the NHS Covid-19 app. on their ‘phone.
9. Video-conferencing is actively encouraged as a safe alternative for both internal and external meetings.
10. Employees using public transport for their commute to work are required to wear face coverings as per Government Guidance.
Hazard: Vulnerable Employees – those with existing health conditions at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and/or suffering increased adverse ill effects.
1. In accordance with Government guidelines, those are identified as being in the high risk or vulnerable categories should continue to work at home.
2. Employees with family members in high risk categories are instructed to inform their Line Manager. Decisions on home working in accordance with Government guidelines will be taken on a case by case basis.
3. Any employee falling in the extremely vulnerable (shielded) category is to advise their Line Manager accordingly and continue to work at home.
Hazard: Cleaning & Hygiene – inadequate cleaning and hygiene practices exacerbate the risk of infection spread.
1. Cleaning regimes have been reviewed – a deep clean has taken place and regular contract cleaning is in place.
2. Suitable products will be used by the contracted cleaning staff with particular attention paid to touch points around the building.
3. Hot water, soap, disposable hand towels and alcohol-based sanitiser dispensers are provided throughout the premises.
4. All employees are required to report any contamination or spill requiring attention.
Hazard: Personal Hygiene – poor personal hygiene standards pose a risk of passing or contracting the infection.
1. The need for regular and thorough hand washing (minimum of 20 seconds recommended) has been reiterated to all employees.
2. Hot water, soap, disposable hand towels and sanitiser dispensers are provided throughout the premises.
3. Employees are aware that disposable tissues should be used to cover coughs and sneezes, and should be disposed of in a responsible manner.
4. Alcohol based sanitiser is designated a COSHH item so employees are reminded not to touch their face with their hands until dry to avoid potential skin or eye irritation.
5. If alcohol based sanitiser should come into contact with the eyes, glasses or contact lenses (if worn) are to be removed and eyes rinsed with clean water for several minutes. First aid or medical advice/assistance must be sought if irritation persists.
6. Employees with a diagnosed skin condition are advised against the use of the alcohol based gel as this may exacerbate their condition and should instead wash hands regularly with soap and water.
7. Employees should avoid inhaling vapours from the alcohol based gel as this may cause dizziness and/or drowsiness.
8. Any spillage of hand sanitiser is to be cleaned up immediately with water and the area dried.
Hazard: Colds & Infections – there is a risk that any such symptom coudl be consistent with Covid-19
1. Where symptoms start in the workplace, employees are required to notify a member of the management team immediately, and in a socially distanced manner. Decisions to refrain from working will be made accordingly where there is a potential risk of infection.
2. Employees self-isolating due to having tested positive for Covid-19, experiencing symptoms, having a family member who has tested positive or displaying symptoms are to stay away from the workplace and inform their Line Manager or another member of the management team accordingly.
3. Any such employees are required to self-isolate in accordance with Government guidelines.
4. Employees contacted by the NHS Covid-19 Test & Trace service MUST follow any Government guidance given and advise their Line Manager or a member of the senior management team accordingly.
5. Any member of staff in receipt of a negative test result following the onset of symptoms is required to provide a copy of the result notification for retention on file before entering the Company’s premises.
Hazard: Emergency Evacuations – Inhalation of smoke or exposure to fire leading to injury or fatality
1. Fire Wardens are in place in Eastman House.
2. Upon the alarms being sounded, employees are to follow the usual emergency evacuation procedures.
3. In an emergency situation, e.g. an accident or a fire, social distancing guidelines will not apply as it would be unsafe to enforce.
4. In an emergency situation, e.g. an accident or fire, face coverings should continue to be worn if at all possible.
5. All employees are to wash or sanitise their hands at the earliest opportunity following an emergency evacuation.
6. Where there are no Fire Wardens on-site due to furlough or working from home, this responsibility transfers to Line Managers.
First Aid Provision – lack of first aid provision leading to injury, further injury or pain
1. Trained emergency First Aid at Work and/or First Aid at Work employee/s on premises at all times.
2. All First Aiders are provided with faceguards (splash-proof) to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
3. Additional first aid equipment is provided in first aid boxes to reduce risk to First Aiders, i.e. CPR shields, disposable aprons and disposable masks.
Hazard: Employee Wellbeing – mental health affected through anxiety upon return to the workplace
1. Line Managers to communicate regularly with their teams, whether on furlough or not, to check on wellbeing.
2. Any employee may report a Health & Safety concern via their Line Manager, Health & Safety Representative or the senior management team. Any such concern will be addressed promptly in liaison with the senior management team.
Hazard: Contractors / Visitors – risk of external transmission of virus
1. Any necessary contractor access will be managed, monitored and controlled by the Systems Operations Manager and senior management team.
2. Visitors are to be kept to those essential to the business or safety critical and face coverings must be worn unless exemptions apply on medical grounds.
3. Any necessary maintenance work should be conducted outside of normal operating hours, essential services only with social distancing, face coverings and hygiene measures observed.
4. Any necessary contractor must sign in and ensure that their contact details are readily available to assist in contact tracing if necessary. Visitors and contractors are also required to check in to the building using the official NHS QR code at all entry points if they have the NHS Covid-19 app. on their ‘phone.