The following checklist should be used as a guide when considering Health and Safety issues relating to the control of Covid-19 within the workplace. They are by no means exhaustive.
Cleaning, hygiene and social distancing
- Has there been a deep clean (akin to summer clean) prior to reopening your workplace
- Are there enhanced cleaning provisions in place daily, including shared surfaces such as keyboards?
- Are effective hygiene measures in place, including foot pedal bins in every room alongside hand sanitisers, which should be available also at entrances?
- Is personal protective equipment (PPE) required? Is it adequately provided to staff? Are staff allowed to wear face coverings should they wish?
- Is there a designated person with responsibility for keeping up to date with any changes to NHS, Public Health England or SAGE guidance?
- Have staff, and students, who may be at additional risk, e.g. underlying health conditions, those who identify as BAME, or other demographic or protected characteristics, had individual risk assessments carried out?
- Is there a designated person in the University responsible for ensuring that everyone on the campus or in a particular building is aware of up to date symptoms of Covid19?
- Are vulnerable staff (severe as well as moderate risk) working from home?
- What additional support may be needed for staff working at home who are classed as ‘at risk’ from Covid-19?
- Is there temperature testing facility at all colleges for staff?
- Is there a protocol for what to do where an individual develops Covid-19 symptoms during the day? Is there provision of an isolation area where any employees, students and visitors showing symptoms can be directed until they are able to leave the site safely?
- Is there a Test and Protect protocol for ensuring the testing of staff who have symptoms? (https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/ ) Are there contingencies for dealing with self-isolation of staff, students, visitors under the Test Trace and Isolate protocols?
- What additional control measures are in place to reduce the risk of any necessary visitors (e.g. key worker NHS staff) bringing the Covid-19 virus into the University inadvertently?
- Is there a contingency plan to deal with any situation where a number of staff have to leave the University and return home?
- Has a risk assessment been undertaken for increased stress levels (ie of working during Covid 19)?
- Some staff will still be working from home but no longer as a short term measure. Has this Home working risk assessment been updated? Does this risk assessment take into account domestic violence, for example?
- Has a risk assessment been undertaken on the increased stress associated with an increased workload being undertaken (ie to convert courses)?
- What consideration has been given to transportation difficulties for those staff who usually use public transport, with safeguarding being paramount, along with logistical issues? Has a risk assessment been completed for this?
- Are there sufficient car parking spaces clearly which are set out to maintain physical distancing?
- There are many risk assessments available on the portal online. Many do not rate the severity of the pandemic as Catastrophic. As death and permanent disability have been shown to be a consequence of Covid 19, why do the University not see the potential severity of the pandemic as the most severe rating in all cases?
- Many of the risk assessments have been undertaken by Heads of Department. What training (1) have the people undertaking the risk assessments received? Do the University consider the assessors as people who have adequate experience (2) and adequate local knowledge (3) of undertaking risk assessments? (see comment at the bottom of the page
- Have assessors been told that not only the institution but also individual members of staff can be prosecuted if the risk assessment is seen as incorrect by the HSE? If something has been done incorrectly they will prosecute. They will look to see the extent to which an individual or an organisation is to blame. Individual assessors not just the H&S officer can be prosecuted. If there is culpability the penalty will be higher.
- Have staff been consulted and involved in all of the above?
- University senior management should have involved Union Reps at the outset and consulted with staff as widely as possible and practicable. Have staff been consulted and asked for feedback?
- Does the University have a written Covid-19 risk assessment register? Does this capture who has seen and acknowledged seeing control measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19?
- What formal process is there for reviewing risk assessments and implementing revised control measures where appropriate and necessary? In light of the emerging scientific evidence and a potentially bounce in the R (infection) score, is the University reviewing risk assessments and protocols at regular intervals? When circumstances change, are changes being made in consultation with staff and union representatives?
- If control measures cannot be maintained within the University, what is the plan? ie what will it take to close the campus again? One case on Campus? Two over a fourteen day period? How are staff being made aware of the plan before returning to work?