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Assessing health and safety risk in uncertain times

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In partnership with Zurich, NCVO is pleased to bring you a webinar discussing the importance of risk assessments and how effective risk assessments can demonstrate that appropriate health and safety measures are being adopted during the COVID 19 pandemic.

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Assessing health and safety risk in uncertain times

  1. 1. Assessing health & safety risks in uncertain times 20th May 2020 Sharon Kearns Risk Consultant, Zurich Insurance
  2. 2. ©Zurich  Review the risk environment and identify key operational risks  Benefits of a risk assessment approach  Risk control hierarchy and selection  Risk assessment and liability defence Objectives 2
  3. 3. ©Zurich  Understanding the basics of risk management – Why is risk management important? – What particular risks do charities face? – How can risk be managed? – Disaster recovery planning  Risk management model – Establishing a risk policy – Identifying risks – Assessing risk – Evaluating what action needs to be taken – Periodic monitoring and assessment Charity Commission for England & Wales Guidance CC26 Charities and Risk Management 3
  4. 4. ©Zurich 4 Moral Legal Financial Why carry out risk assessments?
  5. 5. ©Zurich The headlines 5 Genesis Housing Group fined after outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at sheltered housing scheme Southwark council fined £570,000 over fatal tower block fire Worker’s hand in flames as a result of using alcohol based sanitizer in a static electrical environment
  6. 6. ©Zurich Compensation claims 6 £88,627 compensation for night support worker who sustained injuries after falling down staircase whilst carrying laundry basket – RA not suitable or sufficient £58,893 compensation for community centre visitor who suffered significant burns after sitting on a toilet seat cleaned with a concentrated solution of cleaning product – lack of COSHH risk assessment
  7. 7. ©Zurich “A systematic examination of a work activity, undertaking, premises/area, equipment, etc..” HSE Risk = Likelihood (probability) x Severity Carried out by competent person What is a risk assessment? 7
  8. 8. ©Zurich Have you formally identified the competent health & safety risk assessors in your organisation? YES or NO Go to slido now to vote Poll 8
  9. 9. ©Zurich 9 Step 1 – identify the hazards Step 2 - identify who might be harmed Step 3 - evaluate the risks & controls Step 4 – record, communicate & retain Step 5 - monitor risk assessments - check controls Risk assessments - a 5 step process
  10. 10. ©Zurich 10 Covid-19 presents a new risk…
  11. 11. ©Zurich 11 Step 1 – identify the hazards Step 2 - identify who might be harmed Step 3 - evaluate the risks & controls Step 4 – record, communicate & retain Step 5 - monitor risk assessments - check controls Risk assessments - a 5 step process
  12. 12. ©Zurich  All safe systems of work should be reviewed e.g. – Can the work be carried out from home? – Can travel to a job be carried out whilst observing social distancing rules? – Can tasks be carried out safely while observing social distancing rules? – Can normal and emergency operations continue safely with fewer staff at work, or when those with key skills are absent? – Can the required PPE be provided to continue a specific task? – Will fatigue be likely if staff are working longer hours? * Government advice - certain types of businesses / work must close during the lockdown. Safe systems of work 12
  13. 13. ©Zurich 13 “Suitable & sufficient”  The assessment should identify all significant and foreseeable risks arising from work activities / undertaking o Identify and consider guidance on those particularly vulnerable to the virus: pregnant workers, those beyond typical retirement age, those with underlying health conditions etc. o Take into account a reduced workforce o Adhere to Public Health England, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and government regulations & advice  All necessary measures must comply with statutory provisions, codes of practice and industry guidelines  Positive: o Should NOT be over-complicated o Allows flexibility o Open to interpretation
  14. 14. ©Zurich 14  Office safety / homeworking  Working with DSE  Working environment  Cleaning  Grounds maintenance  Caretaking  Working at heights  Lone working  Violence  Emergency  Fire safety  Welfare  Slips, trips and falls  Volunteers  Use of chemicals  Use of electricity  Use of power tools  Noise  Manual handling  Use of vehicles / driving  General maintenance duties  Health risks eg infection  Mental health & wellbeing  First aid  Changes to work / work practices  Redeployment  Getting back to “normal” * Not exhaustive - what are the significant risks in your organisation? Employee activities to consider in the new normal
  15. 15. ©Zurich 15 Service activities to consider in the new normal  Activities / actions of employees  Changes to services delivered – Contractual – Grant-funded  Activities / actions of volunteers  Activities / actions of third parties eg contractors  Organised events  Assets – Buildings and curtilages – Statutory obligations – LOLER – lifting equipment – PSSR – pressure systems – Water systems – legionella – Electrical equipment – Vehicle maintenance & inspection – Etc – Maintenance – Site inspections – Security – Temporarily-closed buildings – Getting back to “normal” – What are the risks associated with the new normal?* Not exhaustive - what are the significant risks in your organisation?
  16. 16. ©Zurich Poll In your organisation, what do you consider to be the main risk associated with the new normal? Go to slido now to vote 16
  17. 17. ©Zurich Covid-19 and Risk Assessment 17  How does the virus threat change risk assessments?  Refer to current COVID-19 guidance and how this relates to the risks in the workplace and services provided  Work should not be carried out or service provided unless essential  All mitigating measures must be taken to reduce the risk of transmission eg - Plans to minimise contact - Implement social distancing rules - Making handwashing part of the safe system of work - Etc  Any changes should be documented and records retained  Deputy Coroner of Birmingham recently provided guidance: – COVID-19 risk assessments should be undertaken – Generalised COVID-19 policies should be in place – Contemporaneous and detailed records should be made in support of decisions taken – "Provided that the stance adopted is a reasonable one and can be supported evidentially, the risk of a finding of neglect should be minimal."
  18. 18. ©Zurich 18 • Review existing risk assessments • Complete risk assessments for new or changed practices • Review controls and safe systems in place in the wake of COVID 19 • Confirm that controls reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring or mitigate it’s impact • Ensure that risks assessments, controls and safe systems of work are recorded • Monitor the implementation of safe systems of work • Review risk assessments and safe systems of work “Would it be reasonably practicable to do more taking into account circumstances of your services and Covid-19?” Covid-19 – risk assess, risk assess, risk assess
  19. 19. ©Zurich  NCVO is collecting information about how lockdown will affect charities – please complete and submit – – Sharing your experience 19
  20. 20. ©Zurich 20      News & Views - Zurich  Managing Safety at Events - Zurich Municipal  Local Community Advisory Service - Zurich Municipal   guidance     settings-on-covid-19/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19  educational-settings-about-covid-19  guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-home-care-provision   people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable- adults  19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings Useful references