Taylor & Co Property in Abergavenny

 

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Updated December 2021

  

Following recent Government announcements on Winter Covid-19 business preparedness, we have reviewed our working practices to ensure that we remain Covid secure. The principal objective of this assessment and plan is to take all reasonable steps to prevent the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus to:

  • Our employees and their families
  • Our customers and their families
  • Visitors and contractors who visit our premises or properties we are selling or managing

The senior person responsible for COVID-19 Management is Kate Taylor

 

Hazards

 

1: Communal / shared facilities etc.

Possible harm

Risk of cross-contamination from equipment, surfaces etc. that may have been touched or otherwise contaminated by coronavirus and create a risk to health.

Existing control measures

1.1 Toilets and communal areas, along with workspaces, are cleaned frequently.

1.2 Supplies of soap and sanitising agents are provided and regularly topped up at all handwashing stations. HSE,

1.3 Public Health and handwashing advice posters displayed.

1.4 Employees instructed to clean their hands after using the toilet, by washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

1.5 Employees made aware that where welfare facilities are used during the working day, they must have an awareness of surfaces (toilets, sinks, door handles, soap, and soap dispensers, etc. and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids must not be touched, but reported to a manager.

1.6 Employees instructed to ensure that the toilet seat is in the closed position before flushing to prevent aerosols becoming airborne and contaminating the facilities with potential pathogens.

1.7 Employees are required to ensure that coats, scarfs and other outdoor items are stored separately (where applicable) avoiding contact with other people's personal items.

Further actions

Cleaning products

Required action

Review cleaning product stock

Assigned to: Kate Taylor

Due date: Tue 21 Dec 2021

 

2: Cleaning and hygiene.

Possible harm

Inadequate cleaning and hygiene standards pose a risk of spreading infection by way of cross-contamination from surfaces contaminated with the coronavirus.

Existing control measures

2.1 Cleaning regimes have increased and the frequency of cleaning of hard surfaces (floors, handrails, door handles, lifts, buttons, switches, etc). Suitable disinfectant cleaning products are used by the contracted cleaning staff.

2.2 Sufficient hot water, liquid soap, disposable towels and hand sanitiser dispensers are provided throughout the building.

2.3 Line management and employees are required to report anything contaminated or spilt that requires cleaning.

 

3: Close contact with others.

Possible harm

Staff working on the premises may be at risk of exposure to other members of staff or visitors who are carrying coronavirus, knowingly or unknowingly.

Existing control measures

3.1 Employees instructed to avoid close face-to-face contact or touching other employees, visitors, etc. and follow social distancing rules.

3.2 Physical contact, such as handshakes, hugs, pat on the back, etc. is to be avoided.

3.3 Employees are required to be environmentally aware and sit out of the immediate airflow from fan heaters, cooling fans and or ventilation systems that could spread the virus. Where possible the use of such systems will be avoided.

3.4 Plastic protection screens installed on sites to protect employees working at reception areas and in certain roles.

3.5 Directional signage will be in place on common and floor areas to allow for social distancing.

3.6 Controls on access and egress to the office.

3.7 Office kitchen areas with only one person at a time using to allow for social distancing. Signage or tape markings will highlight this control.

3.8 Any visitors or contractors to sites are to sign the visitors' book.

3.9 Visitors to site are to be limited and if possible video conferencing software to be utilised to reduce face to face contact.

Further actions

Signage

Required action

Review signage around the building

Assigned to: Kate Taylor

Due date: Thu 23 Dec 2021

 

4: Food and drink preparation areas.

Possible harm

Potential risk or transfer of virus through cross-contamination.

Existing control measures

4.1 Employees instructed to ensure that good hygiene standards must be maintained when food or drinks are being prepared.

4.2 Ensure that when spills of food or liquids occur, they must to ensure that the work surfaces are left in a clean and sanitised condition.

4.3 Use your own drinking mugs, cups and glasses to prevent cross contamination.

4.4 Keep your hands out of and not to touch food and waste bins or receptacles as they may contain contaminated products, food or tissues.

4.5 Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before and after using these facilities.

4.6 Leave the microwave ovens as it should be left in a clean condition and wiped out after use.

4.7 Put uneaten food products in a clean, sanitised, sealed wrapper, bag or container, if they are to be stored in the communal refrigerator.

4.8 Thoroughly wash crockery and cutlery after each use before putting them away.

4.9 Single use paper tissues rolls are provided within kitchen areas and to be disposed of correctly in waste bins provided.

4.10 Departments and teams are to implement staggered lunch breaks.

 

5: Personal hygiene.

Possible harm

Poor personal hygiene standards pose a risk of passing or contracting the infection.

Existing control measures

5.1 The importance of good personal hygiene has been explained to all employees. Particularly the need for regular thorough hand washing and the avoidance of touching eyes, nose or mouth, if their hands are not clean.

5.2 Employees instructed to clean their hands frequently, using alcohol-based hand sanitisers or to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and hand gels are provided.

5.3 Employees instructed that any potentially contaminated clothing should be removed and placed in a suitable plastic bag or container.

5.4 Employee instructed that disposable tissues should be used when coughing and or sneezing. Used tissues to be bagged and put into a bin or pocketed and taken home for safe disposal.

5.5 Hand sanitizers will be in place at access points.

5.6 Employees who use this to disinfect their hands are not to touch their face until the sanitiser dries out due to irritation risk if the goes into eyes.

5.7 If alcohol gel comes into contact with eyes then employees are to (remove glasses or contact lenses if worn) and rinse eyes with water for several minutes, then seek first aid assistance. If eye irritation persists then employees to seek medical advice or assistance.

5.8 Employees with a diagnosed skin condition are advised not to use the alcohol hand sanitiser as this may exacerbate their condition, but to use soap and water for 20 seconds.

5.9 Employees to avoid inhaling the vapours from the alcohol hand sanitizer as this may cause dizziness or drowsiness.

5.10 Alcohol gel hand sanitiser spillages are to be cleaned up immediately with water and the area dried off.

Further actions

Hand sanitiser

Required action

Review stock levels and replenish

Assigned to: Kate Taylor

Due date: Tue 21 Dec 2021

 

6: Meeting rooms.

Possible harm

Potential risk or transfer of virus on account of close contact with other persons.

Existing control measures

6.1 Employees instructed that meetings in enclosed spaces such as conference and meeting rooms should only be undertaken when absolutely essential for business needs and kept as short as possible.

6.2 Employees using conference and meeting rooms instructed to follow Government advice and maintain a social distancing.

6.3 Employees instructed that the same social distancing rules must be applied to any meetings with clients or visitors or meetings held by video conferencing.

6.4 Employees told to avoid physical contact with clients and visitors, such as handshakes, hugs, etc; and to give a polite explanation of this policy if required.

6.5 Hand sanitiser is provided within the meeting for use by employees.

 

7: Vulnerable employees.

Possible harm

Vulnerable employees with existing health conditions are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, which may have a significant increased adverse effect on their health and wellbeing.

Existing control measures

7.1 In accordance with Government guidelines, employees who are in the vulnerable and high risk categories are where possible to continue to work from home.

7.2 Employees with family members in high risk categories have been instructed to inform their management team.

7.3 Decisions on home working in accordance with Government guidelines are taken on a case by case basis.

7.4 Those employees who fall within the extremely vulnerable category (shielded) in accordance with Government guidelines are to continue to work from home.

7.5 Employees who are high risk vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) that cannot work from home, then management will offer the option of the safest available on-site role, enabling them to stay socially distant from others.

 

8: Workstations, IT, and telephony equipment.

Possible harm

Direct contact with potentially cross contaminated workstations, IT or telephony equipment may cause adverse coronavirus health effects.

Existing control measures

8.1 Employees are advised to ensure that their workstations, IT and telephony equipment, such as keyboards, screens, and phones are cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis throughout the working day. Suitable wipes and cleaners that do not damage equipment.

8.2 Employees instructed that they should not use each other's IT equipment, to prevent accidental cross contamination

8.3 Telephone equipment is cleaned at the end of each working day by employees.

8.4 Employees advised not to share phones and personal mobile phones with others to prevent accidental cross contamination.

8.5 If employees hot desk, they should clean the desk and equipment prior to use.

 

9: Colds / infections.

Possible harm

There is a risk that any cold and or infection could be consistent with COVID-19 symptoms and there is a risk that accidental cross-infection could be transmitted to other persons.

Existing control measures

9.1 Where symptoms of a cold / infection starts at work, employees are required to notify their management team immediately. Decisions to refrain from working will be made accordingly where there is a potential risk.

9.2 Employees who are currently self-isolating due to having tested positive for COVID 19, experiencing symptoms or have a family member who have tested positive or have symptoms are not to return to work and inform their line manager.

9.3 Employees are advised to isolate in accordance with Government guidelines.

 

10: First aid provision.

Possible harm

Lack of first aid provision leading to injury, further injury or prolonged pain.

Existing control measures

10.1 Trained emergency first aid at work and first aid at work employees.

10.2 All first aiders provided with face guards to reduce risk of cross-contamination.

10.3 Additional first aid equipment provided in first aid boxes to reduce risk to first aiders. CPR shields and disposable masks provided.

10.4 All first aid should be treated as a suspected case and should follow new PHECC guidance.

Further actions

CPR shields

Required action

No shields in building, order stock

Assigned to: Kate Taylor

Due date: Tue 21 Dec 2021

 

11: Legionella (biological hazard).

Possible harm

Exposure to legionella bacterium in water droplets could lead to ill-health in those people exposed. On return to working environment after COVID-19 leave an increased risk of biological waste would be present.

Existing control measures

11.1 All water taps and showers are ran off before staff are to use the facility. Face masks are to be worn during this process.

11.2 Testing of water temperatures in place.

11.3 If hot or cold water temperature are identified as being between 20-45 degrees, which is suitable for bacterial growth, specialist advice will be sought.

 

 

12: Uninformed staff.

Possible harm

Staff who are not fully aware and understanding of the procedures and arrangements we have put in place to work within Government Policy on essential working could compromise our arrangements and jeopardise the health of others.

Existing control measures

12.1 Specific procedures and measures to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus have been prepared. These are based on HSE, Public Health and Government guidance and instruction. They are updated daily to reflect any changes in the official advice and guidance.

12.2 Every member of staff has been fully briefed to ensure that that they are aware of the hazards and risks and understand the rules and procedures we have put in place.

12.3 Communication warning posters displayed in the office.

12.4 Plans and procedures have been shared and co-ordinated with our landlord on our owned or managed premises.

12.5 Employees have access to the 24/7 confidential EAP (Employee Assistance Programme).

12.6 Health and safety communications available to all employees

12.7 Employees can raise a concerns with their line manager.

 

13: Emergency evacuations.

Possible harm

Potential risk or transfer of virus on account of close contact with other persons.

Existing control measures

13.1 Employees are to follow the emergency evacuation procedures for the site.

13.2 In an emergency, for example, an accident or fire, employees do not have to socially distance as it would be unsafe to do so.

13.3 All employees are to wash or sanitise their hands at the earliest opportunity.

 

14: Waste.

Possible harm

Ill-health as a result of the transfer of coronavirus and other pathogens through cross contamination after contact with waste (accidental or otherwise).

Existing control measures

14.1 Waste bins are provided at employee desk areas and within kitchen areas.

14.2 Employees instructed to not put their hands directly into food waste or general waste bins or receptacles as they may contain contaminated products, food or tissues.

14.3 Employees instructed that disposable tissues should be used when coughing and or sneezing and put directly into a waste bin, preferably bagged, or pocketed and taken home.

14.4 All waste bins and receptacles are carefully and safely emptied daily by the contracted cleaning staff.

14.5 Employees are required to have consideration for contracted cleaning staff with regards to discarded tissues, food, tins etc. to prevent cleaning staff being accidentally contaminated or injured.

Reviewed by Kate Taylor, December 2021

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