A new toolkit to help employers assess staff members’ risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19 has been launched by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Public Health Team.
The toolkit, which is available to download from the council’s website, has been developed using national government guidance and information provided by the National Health Service.
It’s intended to help employers support staff to work safely, minimising the risk of infection.
Becky Reynolds, Director of Public Health at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “During the pandemic we’ve learnt that some people are more at risk of developing serious illness after being infected with Covid-19. This toolkit is designed to help employers check their employees’ risk, understand the risk and identify actions to reduce the risk to as low as is reasonably practicable. For members of staff identified as high risk it might mean, for example, changing working hours to avoid the need to commute to work at peak times on public transport or avoiding tasks where people come into close contact for extended periods of time.”
The downloadable form should by filled out by the employer and staff member together. It asks several questions about the employee that are designed to identify whether they are at higher risk of developing serious illness following an infection with COVID-19, including details about their age, gender, ethnicity, health and household as these factors may increase their own or other’s risk of severe illness.
The toolkit then outlines additional protective measures which can be taken to lessen the risk to employees. These mitigation measures should be mutually agreed by the employee and staff member.
Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic resource for employers enabling them to tailor their infection control measures to the needs of individual employees.”
The toolkit is not designed to replace a thorough workplace risk assessment, rather to complement it. Any control measures put in place should be included in the employers’ company risk assessment.
To download the toolkit visit: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information-and-advice/help-businesses
For more information on workplace risk assessments visit : https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/index.htm