Risk assessment - returning to work safely

5 Jul 2020 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 30 Jul 2020

Many organisations are now preparing to return to work safely. It is essential that risk assessments are carried out not only for your building but for your projects/work that you do. This article provides some templates as well as helpful advice.

In preparing to return to work and provide services we need to consider all of the risks that exist and now with the coronavirus there are more issues to consider than before. 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.

Risk Assessment - 5 steps

We have risk assessment guidance on our website that outlines the 5 steps.

  1. Identity hazards
  2. Identify who might be harmed and why
  3. Analyse risk
  4. Record
  5. Review

HSE risk assessment template

Before restarting work organisations must carry out a risk assessment following HSE guidance. They have provided a 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.

Don't just copy it and put your organisation's name to it, 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 and incorporate this information into your risk assessment.

Useful links

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. They also have a risk assessment template

sandra.bailie@nicva.org's picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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