Reducing the spread of respiratory infections in workplaces
Although restrictions have been lifted, COVID-19 is still a risk and, as with other infectious diseases, it’s important to bear in mind the hazards associated with these and put in place appropriate measures for your workplace. We can all play a part in understanding the situations where risks of COVID-19 infection and transmission are likely to be higher and take action to reduce these to help keep us all safer.
- Know what symptoms to look out for (listed in the above document)
- Ensure that staff and customers who are unwell do not come to the setting. Guidance is available here: People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 - GOV.UK
- Consider the needs of staff by following COVID-19: guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk - GOV.UK
- Mitigating factors such as
- Get vaccinated - COVID-19 vaccination: guide for employers - GOV.UK
- Let fresh air in if meeting others indoors. There is further advice at what you can do to improve ventilation.
- Practice good hygiene:
- wash your hands
- cover your coughs and sneezes
- clean your surroundings frequently
- Wear a face covering or a face mask and encourage tolerance and respect for members of the community that chose to continue to wear them.
- While there is no longer a requirement for all employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their statutory health and safety risk assessments, it is important for businesses, organisations and employers to continue to comply with their legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment and equality duties.
- COVID-19 restrictions are being replaced by public health advice
- Complying with general health and safety law
- RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19
- Advice from public health bodies and other government departments
- Protecting those who may be at higher risk
Here is the link to the latest Public Health Guidance, which provides practical considerations on how to apply measures within different settings and in the workplace.