As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes doing a risk assessment to decide what reasonable steps you need to take to protect your workers and others from coronavirus (COVID-19).
A generic risk assessment is unlikely to be specific or detailed enough. For example, it might not identify adequate ventilation requirements or sufficient cleaning controls for particular areas and circumstances.
Your risk assessment should reflect the public health regulations and guidelines for the nation you are in.
Steps needed to manage the risk
As part of your risk assessment, you must:
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- think about who could be at risk – this could include workers, visitors, contractors and delivery drivers
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- identify the controls needed to reduce the risk
If you have fewer than five employees you don't have to write anything down, but it might help if you do. Find out more about managing risk and risk assessment.
You should ensure you consider the risk to groups of workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) and put controls in place to reduce that risk.
When you’re doing your assessment, you must talk with your workers about the measures you’re considering. They can provide valuable information on how you could reduce risks.
You should put monitoring and supervision in place to make sure the controls you have are working as expected.
Controlling the risks
HSE has produced guidance to help you continue working safely and manage the risks associated with running your business at this time.
This includes practical measures you should take, including:
You must consult your workforce on health and safety matters, talking to workers and their representatives helps to reduce risk.
You should also make sure that any controls you identify do not increase other risks.
None of these control measures can help manage the transmission of COVID-19 on their own. Your risk assessment should identify a package of measures.
Other measures to help reduce workplace transmission
There are other measures you can consider to help reduce the risk of transmission during the pandemic to limit the number of people your workers are in contact with, for example staggering the times people come into work or go home.
UK government guidance on working safely provides further information and advice on these measures covering a range of different types of work.
We review and update this page regularly to reflect any changes in guidance.
Page last reviewed: 31 July 2021
Next review due: 31 August 2021