Health & Safety in the Workplace and How Covid Has Affected It

In 1975, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was established in order to generally prevent work-related death, injury and ill-health. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) is the main piece of legislation and details that employers have a responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety.

Health & Safety Executive Results

HSE helps both workers and employers understand how they can stay safe and well in the workplace. Since the introduction of this legislation, the UK rates of death in the workplace are evidently low. Especially over the last few decades where there have been dramatic reductions in death and injuries in many sectors, such as construction, farming and mining.

Whilst this is great news, HSE had to address a new area of health and safety at work during 2020.

How COVID-19 Affected Health & Safety

With the government’s roadmap out of lockdown well underway and seemingly on track, it is likely that we are looking toward a more general return to the workplace. However, it is vital that businesses continue to follow new GOV.UK working safely guidance. This includes implementing measures in order to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

Working Safely Guidance involves:

  • Social Distancing – Social distancing means keeping people apart to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Where possible, you should keep people 2m apart.
  • Frequent Cleaning – Keeping your workplace clean reduces the potential for COVID-19 to spread; increase how often and how thoroughly you normally clean your workplace.
  • Adequate Ventilation – Employers must make sure there’s an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace. Use natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, and/or a combination of both.
  • Good Hand Hygiene – Use signs and posters to help your workers practice good handwashing technique, to remind them to catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue or arm and avoid touching their faces. Provide sufficient handwashing and hand sanitiser facilities.

HSE has compiled all of the relevant information employers need to know, so workplaces are kept as safe as possible while restrictions are eased. Click here and you will find the latest information regarding workplace safety, advice from public health bodies and other government departments.

Returning to Work Safely

To avoid any problems arising during the return to work, HSE have provided a useful hub where employers have access to all the official guidance and advice. Not only physical changes and health and safety guidelines, but also how to talk to employees about returning to work after lockdown.

At Caversham Solicitors, our Employment Law Solicitors are able to advise employers as to their overall approach to the employment relationship. This includes assisting with plans for the future, such as returning to work post-lockdown, and advising on issues that may have arisen, for example any health and safety related incidents.

Contact us today if you require any advice or guidance for your workplace.