Article summary: Since December, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety - has been carrying out spot inspections on businesses in the transport and logistics sector.
They’ve been working in partnership with local authorities to check that businesses are continuing to manage the risk of COVID-19, especially during periods of high demand. This highlights the importance of being able to continue distributing goods to stores and to customers via home delivery in a timely fashion, but with the safety of both staff and customers being the ultimate priority.
It has been reported that the majority of the sites visited had COVID-secure measures in place and demonstrated good practice. Good examples of COVID-secure measures include:
- Provision for access to toilets, handwashing facilities and rest areas for drivers
- Active monitoring to ensure staff were following procedures
- Limiting numbers in canteens and break rooms to make social distancing possible
- Provision of COVID-kits to drivers including hand sanitiser and wipes
- Grouping workers who typically work closely together
- Staggering shift starts to reduce congestion at entry points
There were a few areas where concerns were noted, though most were resolved by the end of the inspections:
- Poor ventilation in office spaces
- Lack of a site-specific risk assessment
- Hand sanitiser being too far away from workstations to be used regularly
Ensure your workplace is safe by following the latest guidance on being COVID-secure; visit the HSE website for further information on spot checks and inspections.
What does COVID-secure mean?
To be COVID-secure, workplaces must comply with the government guidelines on how to maintain a COVID-safe environment for staff, customers and anyone entering the site. To achieve this you will need to ensure you:
- Have identified COVID hazards specific to your business
- Have completed a COVID-19 risk assessment
- Are maintaining social distancing at all times
- Keep your workplace clean with increased cleaning procedures being carried out
- Provide hand sanitising stations
COVID-19 risk assessments
As an employer you have a responsibility to keep your staff, clients and anyone you come into contact with on your premises safe. By carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment you are taking all the reasonable steps you can to protect them and limit the risk of infection. Without one, you are putting others in danger and failing to run your business in a professional and responsible way. It is also a breach of health and safety law and could lead to prosecution.
What does a COVID-19 risk assessment involve?
- Identifying what activities or situations could lead to transmission of the virus in your workplace
- Considering who could be at risk
- Evaluating how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- Removing the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, controlling the risk
All risk assessments should be recorded on paper for your own reference as well as for the purposes of inspections. Although companies with less than five employees are not obliged to record their assessment, it is advised to do so anyway.
How we can help
Health and safety training is one of PETA’s areas of expertise. We offer a range of advice and consultancy services that could help you deal with the additional COVID safety requirements quickly and easily. Our packages can be tailored to fit your exact requirements, whether you need help with all your safety processes from scratch, assistance with completing risk assessments or help putting measures in place.
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