What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease, commonly known as COVID-19, is an infectious disease which mainly affects the lungs causing mild to moderate respiratory difficulties.
This newly discovered strain of coronavirus is highly contagious and can lead to fatalities, particularly within high risk groups such as those with pre-existing medical conditions and the over 60s.
As of 30th April 2020, over 200,000 people, globally, have died from COVID-19 with an estimated total of 3.3 million confirmed cases.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of this illness include:
- Dry cough
- Sore/aching muscles
- Loss of taste and smell
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion
There is not yet any vaccine available for this disease, but it is advised that anyone showing any of the above symptoms should self-isolate for at least two weeks and stay on bed rest.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is primarily spread through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
This can then be carried around on one's hands and onto surfaces where it is believed to survive for 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.
Hence why it's important to regularly clean all surfaces, wash your hands and keep a 2-metre distance from one another.
Why do businesses need to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment?
In an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through the workplace, employers have a duty to carry out a risk assessment as they would with any other hazard, activity or illness within the business that puts employees in danger.
A thorough risk assessment will enable you to identify the risks, put appropriate control measures in place and monitor the effectiveness of these control measures over time.
In the specific case of COVID-19, the disease spreads so quickly and easily that it could result in the majority of your workforce being off sick, and even lead to fatalities, if not managed correctly.
What is included in our COVID-19 risk assessment?
Our COVID-19 risk assessment has been written up by one of our qualified Health and Safety Consultants in line with the most recent guidance and advice provided by WHO and Public Health England.
This seven-page document is not industry/sector specific so it can be implemented in any UK workplace.
It assesses the hazard of the spread of COVID-19, identifies those who are at risk, the control measures that need to be put in place along with clear tips and instructions on how to do so, and any other additional controls that we would suggest to protect you and your workers.
This risk assessment will ensure that you are fulfilling your responsibility as an employer when it comes to the health and safety of your workers, and it will demonstrate to your employees and the HSE that you are taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.
If you have any questions about our COVID-19 risk assessment, then give us a call today or email us at email@example.com.