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SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WHISTLE BLOWING AT WORK

As companies are preparing to return to work, business implementation plans for health and safety risk assessments are being considered and shared with employees.

Whilst some companies are opting for a broad approach and hoping their employees take a “sensible approach” others are implementing more of a belt and braces approach. With floors maps to demonstrate where social distancing needs to be adhered to, where new hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed, and walk through videos so staff can see exactly the changes being implemented before they get into the office.

Whichever approach your company is taking, you need to be mindful that some employees will be very nervous about coming back into the office and therefore will take rule breaking to social distancing rules very seriously.

We have recently dealt with a number of enquiries from companies who need support with “whistleblowing” incidents, where an employee has made a complaint about a colleague/s not adhering to the new rules in place or sanitising expectations. Please see below a question list sent by HSE to one of our clients, after an anonymous complaint to them regarding social distancing.

Please note that the HSE’s Fee For Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme is applicable if they identify any breach of health and safety law – more information can be found on our website here https://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/.

As a business please ensure you will be able to answer all of the questions as well as been to supply evidence.

HSE Questions

  1. Has a written risk assessment been produced for COVID-19 – if so, could you please provide a copy?
  2. Is there any segregation of the workforce, and/or policy regarding social distancing, in place (either time-sequence or spatial separation)?
  3. Are there any washing/sanitising facilities available for staff to wash their hands regularly with soap and water, or hand sanitiser?
  4. Are there any arrangements for cleaning of surfaces where multiple people are operating?
  5. Do you provide any information, instruction, and training to workers so that they are aware of the risks, the relevant control measures and how to use and maintain them?
  6. Do you make available any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your workforce, if so, what does this comprise of?
  7. Could you provide details of how you are ensuring employees follow any procedures you have implemented i.e. supervision?

This company followed Agility’s COVID-19 Risk Assessment so the HSE confirmed no fees will apply.

If you would like to DISCUSS this with one of our CONSULTANTS please call us on 01527 571611 or contact us via email.

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Agility Risk & Compliance Ltd provide tailored solutions to mitigate risk and improve compliance in Health and Safety, HR, Training, and Occupational Health.

If you have an enquiry please call us on 01527 571611 or email us on info@agilityrac.com.

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