Note: Your progress in watching these videos WILL NOT be tracked. These training videos are the same videos you will experience when you take the full Coronavirus COVID-19 Level 2 (VTQ) program. You may begin the training for free at any time to start officially tracking your progress toward your certificate of completion.

Show full transcript for Covid 19 Risk assessments video
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COVID-19 is a public health emergency. Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19, and in particular businesses should consider the risks to their workers and visitors. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety.

This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising that you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19. You must make sure that the risk assessment for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform your decisions and control measures.

You should also consider the security implications of any decisions and control measures you intend to put in place, as any revisions could present new or altered security risks that may require mitigation. A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. If you have fewer than five workers or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment.

Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to. There are interactive tools available to support you from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on their website at hse.gov.uk/risk/assessment

Employers have a duty to consult their staff on health and safety. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19. The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace and will have a view on how to work safely. Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously.

You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be. At its most effective, full involvement of your workers creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem-solving. As is normal practice, workers should be involved in assessing workplace risks and the development and review of workplace health and safety policies in partnership with the employer. Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues. If concerns still cannot be resolved, there are further steps you can take.

Where the enforcing authority, such as the HSE or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they are empowered to take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate action to ensure social distancing, where possible. Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements.

Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to two years. There is also a wider system of enforcement, which includes specific obligations and conditions for licensed premises. Employers are expected to respond to any advice or notices issued by enforcing authorities rapidly and are required to do so within any timescales imposed by the enforcing authorities. The vast majority of employers are responsible and will join with the UK's fight against COVID-19 by working with the government and their sector bodies to protect their workers and the public. However, regulators are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.