Model Covid Individual Risk Assessment (Sept 2021)

An individual risk assessment should be an assessment of an individual’s risk of being exposed to Covid and the risk to that individual should they be exposed to the virus, not just a form to refer you to occupational health. Therefore, the risk that you are being exposed to by undertaking face to face teaching or other activities on campus needs to be assessed and controlled for (reduced as far as possible). If adequate controls are in place the likelihood of transmission will be lower than if they are not.

If you are not sure what should be included in your individual risk assessment, then take a look at our model risk assessment form here.

An individual risk assessment should include:

  • who and how many people will be using each room you need to visit;
  • what activity is taking place in the room;
  • how long the activity will last;
  • what controls are in place to minimise the risk of Covid 19 (and other infections), such as:

– Clearly state how is the room ventilated and how many complete changes of air take place each hour. [It should be more than 10]. What needs to take place to ventilate the room, i.e. do windows need to be opened for an hour or two beforehand? Will there be sufficient time between the last lecture and your class for the room air to be appropriately purged? And who is responsible for opening the windows? If you find that you are responsible, given that upper windows are recommended to be open for best ventilation air flow, will you put yourself at risk opening the window? All risks need to be controlled and mitigated for.

– How will the room be monitored for adequate ventilation rates? If a CO2 monitor is advised, what should you do if the levels of CO2 rise above 600ppm (parts per million) or the alarm goes off? [Clue – the alarm should be treated similarly to a fire alarm as it warns you that the room is currently poorly ventilated and the risk to you and your students of airborne particles potentially circulating has increased above the maximum recommended limit]. If no CO2 monitor is recommended, then how will you and your students safety be assessed?

– How many people are able to sit in the room safely and for how long? Occupancy levels are important, as is the room usage before your class [a 9am class may be much safer than a 4pm one, if the room has been used in each teaching session and inadequate time between classes has been given to purge the room air].

– What the room is being used for is important. If students are doing more than just sitting in your class, then their ventilation rates will be higher, so this should be taken into account and controlled for. In these instances the acceptable ventilation rate for the room should be significantly above 10 changes of air / hour. This may be particularly relevant for Dance, Drama and Sports students, but is not limited to these activities. You know your classes and activities best.

– Controls should mention how social distancing will take place, state the University policy on mask wearing, and that students and staff should be undertaking and reporting their biweekly Lateral Flow tests and how to do this.

– What will happen if someone is taken ill, or shows symptoms in your class, or is in contact with anyone infected, either on campus or at a placement/field trip?

– Your risk assessment should clearly show that all risks are mitigated for.