Due Diligence for Safety Officers In the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

August 13 2020 0comment

Due Diligence for Safety Officers In the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business landscape quickly and drastically, which presents a real challenge for almost every business. Transactions have slowed down dramatically, travel is restricted, and face-to-face interactions have been banned. Safety officers including business owners and anyone in charge of workplace safety have additional responsibilities in relation to work health and safety during and post COVID-19. Read on to learn more about what due diligence means you must do as a safety officer.

What You Need to Do

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your workforce complies with their duties and obligations. There are various actions that you need to consider to attain due diligence:

  • Ensure your business is properly resourced to manage health and safety risks during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Ensure you understand your workplace’s risks and hazards, including effects of COVID-19 on your workers and the workplace in general.

  • Stay up-to-date on the current knowledge and changes in the COVID-19 situation.

  • Ensure to organise for proper and efficient communication of new information, procedures, policies, and processes about COVID-19 to workers, clients, and visitors.

  • Review your organisation’s policies, procedures, and reporting processes to ensure they address the risks and hazards of COVID-19.

  • Ensure your workforce is properly trained on their responsibility in managing the risk of coronavirus spreading in the workplace.

How to Meet Your Duty as an Officer

  1. Ensure the Workplace is Properly Resourced to Manage the Risk of COVID-19

A properly resourced business during the COVID-19 pandemic operates effectively while also maintaining physical distancing requirements. Some of the important measures to consider implementing include allowing some workers to work from home and staggering worker start times to ensure there’s a limited number of workers in the workplace at any given time.

It’s important to consider whether you’ll need to restructure your workplace or equipment to maintain safety. You may need to put up barriers between staff and clients or remove some furniture to provide more space in accordance with the social distancing UK guidelines. You need to also check whether workplace facilities such as bathrooms, dressing rooms, and other common areas are properly managed and stocked to keep workers safe.

 

  1. Ensure Procedures and Policies are in Place

As an officer, it’s your responsibility to ensure processes and procedures to manage risks arising from COVID-19 are in place and being followed strictly. Risks assessment can be essential to ensure the policies and processes are followed to the latter. You may consider sharing risk assessment templates with your supervisors and team leaders to help assess the situation around the workplace so you know which areas need improvement and see to it that they’re up-to-date.

You can also develop a process for how you’ll respond if one of your workers or clients tests positive for COVID-19 while in the workplace. If necessary, you can develop a policy for working at home, including information and procedures on how to set up a safe home workspace.

 

  1. Understand the Risks of COVID-19 and How it Affects the Workplace

You must stay up-to-date in the information provided by the government and relevant health bodies about the best ways to minimise and eliminate the risk of exposure to the virus. Ensure to regularly inspect the workplace to assess how and if the risk control measures in place are being applied. You can also consult with your workers regularly on the risks of COVID-19 in your business and ideas for minimising and eliminating them.

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