Risk Assessment - Planning a safe return to premises
In preparing to return to our premises and provide services we need to consider all of the risks that exist. The health and safety of our staff, volunteers and service users is paramount. We need to identify, evaluate and control the risks. We cannot eliminate all risks completely as this would be very difficult and not cost effective, but we need to reduce the risk to a level that your organisation is comfortable with.
In NICVA we have undertaken an extensive risk assessment of our building using the Health & Safety Executive Template attached. We expect this document will be updated on an ongoing basis as circumstances change and public health guidance is reviewed. We have also developed a set of protocols to guide individuals on the behaviour expected from them to ensure the safety of everyone.
Risk Assessment - 5 steps
- Identity hazards
- Identify who might be harmed and why
- Analyse risk
Organisations should carry out a risk assessment following HSE guidance, using the easy to use risk assessment template that you can adapt for your organisation. You can use it as a guide to think about: the additional hazard that COVID 19 introduces into your business and the steps you need to take to control the risks. NIBusinessinfo have a helpful guide on Assessing the Health and Safety Risks in your business.
Don't just copy it and put your organisation's name to it as every organisation is different - you need to think about the hazards and control measures your organisation needs to take to keep workers safe and healthy. The control measures you adopt may have to be different from those in the example to meet the particular conditions in your workplace. You should ensure that you follow the latest advice from the Public Health Agency Employer Guidance and incorporate this information into your risk assessment.
NICVA has carried out its own risk assessment which is regularly reviewed to assess risk and identify any actions needed to ensure safety in our premises. The risk assessment process is ongoing and under constant review. We are happy to share this resource with you in draft form to help with your own risk assessments. Please see the document attached.
NICVA has also developed this COVID-19 Draft Protocol document to outline the policies, practices and behaviours NICVA staff/tenants all must adopt to fulfil our risk assessment findings to ensure the health and safety of all those working in the building. Again this document (attached) is under continual review but please use it for reference purposes when developing your own Covid19 Health and Safety documents.
The LRA (Labour Relations Agency) has published practical guidance on managing vaccination issues in the workplace which includes a policy template for employers. The guidance can be accessed here.
NIBusinessinfo article - Coronavirus: Working Safely in Different Business Settings
NCVO Knowhowto article on Supporting volunteers and staff and keeping beneficaries safe this also includes webinars on a variety of COVID 19 topics.
Charity Retail Association - Charity Shop reopening guidance.
CIPD have some useful guidance on returning to the workplace their website.
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