As an employer or self-employed person who works with or near other people, you have a duty to protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called Risk Assessment and it will help you manage risk and protect people. Guidance is available to assist you and help inform your assessment and the decisions you need to take. Further information is available at www.hse.gov.uk/news/working-safely-during-coronavirus-outbreak
The Government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self- employed to understand how to work safely and what you need to do to keep people safe. These include sector specific guides that cover a range of different types of work. This guidance is available at
You are advised to keep checking the Government websites as they are regularly updated and information added. You may also wish to refer to your trade organisation were appropriate, who may be able to offer sector specific help.
The general guidance recommends that you follow 5 main steps, which are outlined below.
1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
In line with the Health and Safety Executives (HSE) guidance available at
Consult your staff during the assessment process and share the results of the risk assessment with your workforce. Inform staff of the measures to protect themselves and others. If you employ fewer than 5 people, you don’t have to record your assessment but it will probably help, if you do.
2. Develop cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures for your workplace
Ensure staff are handwashing regularly and basins are provided with running hot and cold water, soap and disposable towels or air dryers. Encourage people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene which is available at www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
Provide hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to basins in toilets and washrooms.
Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly and the cleaning of busy areas.
Set out clear use guidelines and cleaning guidance for toilets and other shared welfare facilities.
3. Help people to work from home were possible
If it is possible for staff or some staff to work from home, they should do so. If so, discuss home working arrangements with staff and take all reasonable steps to help people do this, such as making sure they have the right equipment, to enable them to do so.
4. Maintain 2 metre social distancing, where possible
Workplaces should be reviewed and organised with this in mind. Where possible, you should maintain 2 metres between people by:
· avoiding sharing workstations
· using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
· arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
· switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible
· putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance.
5. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
Where it’s not possible for people to be 2 metre apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:
· considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
· keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
· using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
· using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
· staggering arrival and departure times
· reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’