COMPANY STATEMENT – CORONAVIRUS
The company are aware of the duties under the Health and safety At Work Act in relation to their duty to provide a safe place of work and keep their own employees and others safe. However, covid19 as a virus is at this time being controlled by social distancing, use of PPE, good hygiene standards and if possible, working from home. Warm Front Limited, is supporting these measures by providing appropriate PPE, Overalls, Sanitizing agents, FFP 3 face masks of which all fitters have been tested, eye protection and gloves. The need to work at the appropriate distance will be maintained until otherwise advised by the Government / World Health Organisation (WHO). Risk assessments will be issued to fitters along with their work sheets. This section of the policy will be reviewed at appropriate intervals to ensure we work within the guidelines set out / up dated. We are aware of the reporting procedures for RIDDOR, the following is and extract from the HSE information page:
You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:• An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
• A worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
• A worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
What to report
Read about RIDDOR
If something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of coronavirus you must report this as a dangerous occurrence. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19 / Covid-19)?
COVID-19 is an illness that can affect the lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global health emergency. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and loss of taste and/or smell.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from moderate to high. As at the date of our Company Statement, the UK is in the “delay” stage of its response to the coronavirus – until advised to the contrary by the UK Govt. We continue to receive regular updates from the UK Govt. advisory websites, from the NHS and Public Health England and we shall continue to monitor all information and adhere to the recognised published official guidelines.
Warm Front Limited acknowledges that employers have a vital role to play by taking sensible action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as ensuring that workers have access to appropriate hygiene facilities such as hot water, soap and bins to get rid of used tissues.
The risk of catching it within the workplace remains low, although an increasing number of employers are encouraging their employees to work from home in order to help to prevent further spread of the virus.
Workers are advised to maintain good hygiene standards around the workplace by following the latest advice from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website which includes the following basic protective measures and this is the guidance we shall give to our employees:
• Wash your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand wash or wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Maintain a distance of at least 2.0m (6`6”) from other people wherever practicable and possible
• Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose
• Practice respiratory hygiene – Using the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use
• Stay informed and follow the advice given by health care providers
• In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has advised that most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places, and that self-isolation is only to be undertaken if the individual is advised to do so by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional. Read the full NHS advice https:// www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Emergency Planning Advice:
Our advisors (Mentor, IOSH, RoSPA etc.) as well as UK Govt., Public Health England etc. advise that individuals and businesses follow good practice in emergency planning, preparedness and response. This can be achieved by adopting the following steps:
• Develop a response plan for if someone in the workplace becomes ill with suspected COVID-19. This should include the immediate response e.g. isolate the individual and contact the local health authority
• Plan to identify persons who may be at risk without stigma or discrimination
• Explore ways of remote working (teleworking / home working) that will allow workers to continue their work from home
• Develop a business continuity plan for an outbreak, which covers:
– How your organisation will continue to function if workers, contractors and suppliers cannot come to your place of business
– Visitors and vendors who have access to the building
– Communicate to workers and contractors about the plan and their role in it
– Ensure the plan addresses mental health and social consequences of a case of COVID-19 in the workplace
– For further information on emergency planning read the World Health Organization (WHO) document Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 via https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/ coronavirus/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf or UK Government Guidance Preparing for emergencies via https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-emergencies/ preparing-for-emergencies
Additional Sources of Information
As the situation is changing rapidly, and to ensure Company guidance is current and correct, and we offer and provide the highest focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and the general public, all employees should refer in the first instance to the following:
• WHO – for their Situation Reports – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
• Rolling updates on COVID-19 – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/ events-as-they-happen
• Public Health England – for latest situation reports in the UK – https://www.gov.uk/government/ collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance