Sentient Group Ltd
 
Info Update 2020/32                                                        Issue Date: 11/06/2020
 
Infection Control - Keeping Covid at Bay 
 
Barely a day goes by when the government Covid-19 announcement fails to mention the need for employers to carry out a risk assessment on the subject of dealing with Covid-19 as a hazard. We have been keeping a close eye on this area and have previously provided a generic risk assessment template and guidance documents to assist employers in this key area.
 
As new information becomes available about the virus and control measures recommended in guidance, we have updated our template documentation. These are available on our website available to clients who take our ongoing advisory services or access to our document library. We have today uploaded Version 3 of our Risk Assessment template. It contains a number of improvements that reflect current guidance and our recommendations concerning how best an employer might demonstrate it is properly exercising its duty of care. Thus, some of our recommendations go a bit further than government and Health & Safety Executive (HSE) recommendations. This is to provide greater ability to defend future potential Personal Injury / Illness related claims that would be picked up by your Employers Liability Insurance – but do check to make sure there are no exclusions in your EL policy wordings for pandemics or similar events.
 
In summary, the changes we have made include the following areas -
Added reference to:
  • The provision of paper towels for hand drying (thus avoiding use of hot air blowers and cloth towels)
  • Additional hand-wash stations
  • Emphasising the importance of handwashing as a key control measure
  • The provision of fluid proof face visors in high risk circumstances
  • First aiders refreshing their knowledge on how to protect themselves from contamination with airborne / body fluid based infection
  • Re-enforcing the need for an Enhanced Risk Assessment where workers are required to work in environments where Covid-19 is, or is likely to be present
  • Making it clear that the hazard presented by a lack of PPE supplies includes that presented by lack of handwashing related supplies.

We also tweaked some of the previous wording so as to aid comprehension without altering the underlying meaning. It’s important to remember that the resulting document needs to be understood by the proverbial “man or woman in the street” so it's best not to use too much overly technical language. Just say things simply. Also, an important note – don’t forget that there are a number of different sanitising substances that can be used (including soap, bleach, alcohol at min 70% concentration) to destroy the virus.
 
We are currently working on a Covid-19 Infection Control Assessment template that focusses on the specific needs within the hospitality sector. So if you run a hotel, restaurant, pub, club etc. stay tuned for more information.
 
If you are not a retained client of Sentient and would like to discuss how you can access these documents please do contact us.
 
And Finally – honest – we have heard anecdotal accounts that spoof e-mails have been going round purporting to come from the HSE. The content suggests that the receiver has been reported for breaching Covid-Secure obligations and that the HSE will be investigating them. The inevitable encouragement to “click here” is included. That’s the danger signal – don’t click them but get your IT support to check it out. The HSE are of course adding this topic to the issues they will address and the following link to their website gives their official line on things. https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/hse-regulatory-activity-during-coronavirus.htm
 
 
 
The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of the law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.
 
 
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49-51 Pegholme
Wharfebank Mills
Ilkley Road
Otley
LS21 3JP
03456 446006
info@sentientuk.co.uk 
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