Helping you return to work safely
Introducing the NEW COVID-19 Assurance
We are here to help
COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the global economy and continues to present all business sectors with severe immediate challenges both commercially and ethically.
We place the health and wellbeing of staff and stakeholders as the primary concern and we consider it important to provide technical support to clients and members.
Over the past 12 months, a significant number of organisations and businesses have been in enforced lockdown. These measures were designed to slow and suppress the spread of Covid-19 allowing medical services to cope with the expected influx of people to hospitals.
The increasing likelihood of easing some of these restrictions and cautiously re-opening society is being supported in places by the publication of framework workplace guidance for organisations to adopt as part of their return to work protocols and subsequent risk management of the COVID-19 hazard.
REVISED: British Safety Council Guidance
We have revised our detailed general return to work guide across all sectors. The framework should enable organisations around the world to develop robust protocols and arrangements, designed to effectively manage the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as far as is reasonably possible within their workplace.
We realise that many organisations are under extreme pressure to return to operational activity and looking for credible and reliable sources of support. The guidelines take account of current good practice, health and safety guidance issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), governmental departments, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), other professional organisations and relevant legislation.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve provided COVID-19 assurance assessments to organisations across many sectors, both within the UK and internally. These experiences have also provided valuable input into this updated guidance.
Do you want to learn more about the guidance? We hosted a free webinar, COVID-19 Workplace Management and Resilience on Tuesday 16 March. Watch the recording.
NEW COVID-19: Assurance Assessment Service
We are now offering an assurance assessment service that focuses on five elements of business recovery and will help support the stabilisation and future growth of organisations around the world.
We are offering professional support, guidance and independent assurance to enable organisations to develop and implement suitable protocols and arrangements within the workplace.
Our technical support can provide you with the independent assurance that your COVID-19 workplace safety, health and environmental arrangements are in accordance with current guidance and best practice as a minimum standard.
We can also support you as the guidelines, requirements and stakeholder expectations change to ensure your workplace remains as safe and healthy as is reasonably practicable.
The following five factors provide the framework for the consultancy services:
- Organisational context and stakeholder profile (risk management)
- Operational processes (risk assessment, safe operating procedures, etc)
- Health and wellbeing
- Stakeholder engagement
- Facilities and workplace health and safety (workplace adjustments, etc).
Our technical support includes:
- Risk assessment reviews
- Support for workplace procedure development and reviews (including social distancing, health surveillance, workplace control measures, emergency planning, PPE, etc)
- Health and wellbeing guidance (including mental health factors)
- Communication and information
- Leadership and behavioural factors
- Assurance auditing.
Our COVID-19 Consultancy Services
Risk Management and Organisational Context
Focus on the priority operational activities, stakeholder groups and the decision-making process for who to bring back into the workplace, remote-based working and mapping the level of risk to their health, safety and wellbeing together with the wider business risks. Business continuity planning protocols would also be inclusive of this element.
Typical support would include risk profiling, reviewing roles and responsibilities, establishing suitable objectives, operational planning, etc.
Typical outputs would include a summary report with recommendations, top management briefings, guidance, post-operational return reviews.
Operational Processes and Risk Assessment
Primarily concerned with risk assessment, aspects / impacts evaluation, control measures (planning and implementing), safe operating policies and procedures, crisis management plans, training needs analysis, etc
Typical support would include review and/or development of COVID -19 specific risk assessments, provision of risk assessment templates, development and/or review of safe operating policies and procedures (in accordance with current governmental and/or sector guidelines and practice), monitoring and review processes. Communication with, and participation of, key stakeholders (management, staff, etc) would be an integral part of this service.
Health and Wellbeing
An area of great concern for all organisations. Employees will undoubtedly have been impacted by the pandemic, some more directly than others either as recovering patients or bereaved individuals. Many experts have also identified that those in enforced isolation, or those who have adapted their lives to staying at home, may suffer from increased levels of anxiety and possibly panic attacks. This is a critical area for employers and an obvious area for “Mates in Mind” to offer support.
Organisations will also need to consider enhanced health surveillance provision for staff as identifying people who may be infected with Covid-19, or who have been in close personal contact with an infected person, and then isolating them from work for a period until they are clear of infection is considered to be a key control measure.
Typical support would include risk assessment reviews / development, identification of vulnerable staff, development of pre-return to work confidential health assessments, mental health training for managers and other designated staff, information and guidance, etc.
In the same way as wellbeing is critical to recovery, then stakeholder engagement is equally important. Employees may well be anxious and cautious about returning to the workplace and sharing information, ensuring understanding of the controls selected and of the underlying rationale, will be essential in ensuring compliance, sustainability and, most importantly, reassurance to employees, visitors, and other stakeholders.
Typical support would be the development of a communications plan, staff briefings, revised induction process for return to the workplace, etc.
Facilities and Workplace Adjustments
Perhaps the most critical aspect of a return to the workplace. Compliance with statutory regulations has not been removed during the pandemic, therefore we can provide guidance in respect to this matter for clients who are seeking to return to offices, shops, factories or warehouses.
Revised procedures and arrangements may well require physical adjustments within the workplace in respect of access, egress, emergency event management, use of equipment, PPE, cleaning regimes, use of elevators, movement and flow of persons within the premises, waste management, social distancing controls, welfare and hygiene controls, etc
Typical support would include review and/or development of workplace controls, processes, based upon relevant risk assessment outcomes and relevant national and sector guidelines.
Assurance Statement and COVID-19 Assured Logo
Whether you have already established COVID-19 policies, protocols and workplace controls or you are just getting started, there is considerable benefit in undertaking an independent third-party review (audit) of these arrangements. We can provide such an assurance audit / review against the current government and sector guidelines and provide an Assurance Statement, together with a summary report, with recommendations for improved controls if appropriate.
If you are successful in achieving an Assurance Statement, we will provide this to you in the form of a pdf file along with a COVID-19 Assured logo. You can display the statement in its entirety or the COVID-19 Assured logo on your website, social media, email or other literature.
Example statements and logo can be found below.
This is new territory for all of us, but for more than sixty years we’ve been a trusted guide to excellent health, safety and environmental management. Our experience will help you achieve the very highest health, safety and wellbeing standards, so you can protect your people, your reputation and your bottom line.
To find out more about how we can help you plan for the return to work, please request a callback and we will be in touch to discuss your situation further.