Coronavirus risk assessment

18 May 2020

10 min read

Hazard Risk rating Control measures Additional controls Residual risk Persons at risk
Exposure from others due to:
  1. Living with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  2. Have come into close contact (within 2m for 15 minutes or more) with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  3. Being advised by a public health agency that contact with a diagnosed case has occurred.
3 x 4 = 12
  • To continue following Government action on self-isolation and general COVID-19 ongoing guidance.
  • Colleagues are encouraged to work from home when possible when self-isolating.
  • Colleagues are encouraged to work from home where possible.
  • Colleagues maintain contact with line management and Human Resources (HR).
  • The Bank has ensured that extremely vulnerable workers are shielding themselves and following their specific medical advice issued to them.
  • Colleagues advised to follow good hygiene measures at all times.
  • Daily text message put in place to allow colleagues to report changes to their status (working status and physical health/absence). Colleagues required to respond to the text message to allow appropriate data collection. Text messaging was an initial control to provide early warning of spread, which will be superseded from 18 May by reporting through HR system.

To continually review individual risk assessments and react sensibly and proportionately to changes and updates.

Continued communications to be sent out to all colleagues regarding COVID-19.

Review of government guidelines on track and trace when this commences.

1 x 4 = 4 All colleagues

Transmission and spread of COVID-19

To maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible including whilst in work and travelling between sites.

3 x 4 = 12

Hand washing

  • Hand washing facilities with soap and water are in place in all work locations.
  • Alcohol hand sanitiser procured for all sites with aligned communication on use. Cleaning products sourced have a two week life cycle for killing the virus. Two months’ worth of stock is held to ensure the continuation of this service. Frequent calls are made to all properties to check stock levels of the above.
  • Antibacterial wipes, or where not available antibacterial spray, procured for colleagues to use on desk areas. Usage was for desks and key points.
  • Cleaning schedule increased to manage the cleaning requirements for cleaning and disinfecting keyboard, mouse, monitor arm and touch points such as handrails, toilets, taps and circulation areas.
  • Communications provided on a regular basis to all colleagues to remind them of the requirement for frequent handwashing, avoiding touching their face etc.

Movement

  • Restricted movement between occupancies (offices, call centre and branches etc.) for colleagues and suppliers to reduce contact. Encouraging use of telephones or radios etc. and cleaning them between use. Access is restricted where possible between different areas of a building.
  • Monitoring use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts and walkways to maintain social distancing.
  • All colleagues using a lift advised that in order to protect social distancing requirements they should not enter a lift containing other occupants but wait for the next lift.
  • Barriers provided in certain workplace locations to restrict the flow of colleagues and encourage social distancing.
  • Colleagues are encouraged not to gather in communal areas in order to protect social distancing.
  • Where possible start, finish and break times to minimise colleagues numbers in certain flow areas.

Food and waste

  • The Bank cafeteria was closed when government advice on lockdown was issued on 23 March 2020. This remains closed at present.
  • All food sharing activities such as tuck shops, bake sales and related sharing activities were stopped from 23 March 2020.
  • For colleagues who are based from a Bank workplace; service implements and dispensers such as tongs and sugar dispensers are provided to avoid direct contact with foodstuffs and drink items.
  • Vending machines including cup dispensers are subject to routine hygiene cleaning with sanitisers.
  • Tissue bins provided with accompanying label, lid and communications on disposal methods.
  • Food service options such as extra microwaves provided to avoid colleagues from congregating in central areas.
  • Waste collections are now on demand (based on the service). All waste contractors are required to sanitise the area, wear PPE and sanitise again afterwards.
  • Shared cutlery and crockery is not advised.
  • There is a limitation on the number of colleagues permitted to enter a tea point to reduce disease transmission.
  • Agile workers are able to work from home.

Cleaning and facilities

  • Frequent cleaning is carried out and is inclusive of disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly particularly in areas of high use such as door handles, light switches, reception areas. Appropriate cleaning products and methods are utilised.
  • The cleaning team has been retrained in cleaning tasks and all aspects of hygiene. The cleaning team has been provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and overalls.
  • Where there is a confirmed or suspected case the cleaning team has been provided with advanced training and PPE in order to provide a deep clean. This is inclusive of the immediate working area and extended to the neighbouring working area. Two colleagues per site are trained to provide this service.
  • Colleagues routinely clean and disinfect touched objects such as computer workstations and telephones etc with sanitiser provided (wipes or spray).
  • Clear desk policy is in place to minimise contact items.
  • Showers are closed for use.
  • Cleaning procedures are in place for goods and merchandise entering the premises (contractors observe social distancing, items are observed to be left in a noted location and cleaned on arrival and the contractor cleans down the areas).

Social distancing

  • Colleagues advised through communications and government guidance to maintain a minimum distance of two metres apart.
  • Activity time kept as short as possible (customer interaction and colleague interaction) to minimise personal contact.
  • Back to back and side working is in place where possible to reduce face to face working.
  • Remote working tools are in place to prevent in person meetings. Only absolutely necessary participants should attend meetings and maintain a 2m separation throughout. Transmission is avoided during meetings by avoiding sharing items such as pens etc. Hand sanitiser is provided in meeting rooms.
  • Limitation on number of colleagues working in an office; adhering to occupancy guidelines to minimise personal contact and to adhere to social distancing.
  • Steps taken to review work schedules including start and finish times/shift patterns, working from home etc. to reduce number of colleagues on site at any one time.
  • Conference calls are used instead of face to face meetings where possible.
  • Colleagues do not gather in communal areas to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
  • Sneeze screens are provided in branches where there are no screens in place.
  • Split screens are covered to ensure there are no gaps in protection.
  • Face shields are provided to branch colleagues for voluntary use with guidelines.
  • Branches are provided with marketing stands to promote social distancing notices.

Wearing of PPE

  • PPE (gloves, overalls, visors etc) have been provided in line with task requirements and government guidelines as a protection factor where either social distancing cannot be achieved or for protection for cleaning purposes. Where a Risk Assessment identifies wearing of PPE as a requirement of the job, an adequate supply of these is provided.
  • Colleagues are instructed on how to wear PPE and dispose of it safely.
  • Gloves procured for locations where colleagues are required to handle pass books.

Communications

  • All standard internal postal services (delivering and opening of external mail) ceased from 23 March. All post is managed centrally and is scanned and emailed to the relevant colleague/team.
  • Regular branch communication in place to ensure a consistent flow of current information regarding COVID-19 status; where a branch notes a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 this branch is subject to a deep clean overnight.
  • Floor stickers are provided in branch areas to ensure social distancing.
  • Daily text message put in place to allow colleagues to report changes to their status (working status and physical health/absence). Colleagues are required to respond to the text message to allow appropriate data collection. Text messaging was an initial control to provide early warning of spread which will be superseded from 18 May by reporting through HR system.
  • Daily IMT (Incident Management Team) meetings are held with actions reviewed and SMEs handling requests.
  • Ongoing engagement with colleagues through internal communication channels and trade unions to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.

Contractors and security

  • Consideration has been given to staffing levels for contractors; rated on criticality to the Bank.
  • Non-essential contractors were stood down (where the service was not required at this time) to reduce possible transmission of the virus. All contractors that are providing a service are contacted on a daily basis to ensure they adhere to hygiene requirements, sanitise areas they are working in and in particular all surfaces they have come into contact with.
  • All security guards have been trained to ensure that all visitors acknowledge and adhere to hygiene standards and wear PPE where required.

Continuation of communication: Colleagues to be reminded on a regular basis to wash their hands for 20 seconds with water and soap and the importance of proper drying. 

Colleagues are reminded to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and to avoid touching face, eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands.

Directional signage has been requested for branches (entrance and exit routes) in order to allow customers to adhere to social distancing (on order).

Awaiting distribution details for requirements for gloves ordered for locations where customers use pass books.

1 x 4 = 4

Colleagues

Visitors to premises

Cleaners

Contractors

Drivers

Vulnerable groups – Elderly, Pregnant workers, those with existing underlying health conditions

Homeworking and DSE 3 x 3 = 9
  • All Bank colleagues provided with a link to carry out new Display Screen Equipment training (March 2020).
  • New homeworking display screen equipment risk assessments (for temporary home working) were undertaken in March 2020.
  • Specific work equipment requirements for colleagues were identified and equipment purchased as necessary.
  • Homeworking and display screen equipment guidance provided to all colleagues.
  • New Homeworking Task Force has been created to manage the transition to new ways of working considering technology requirements, homeworking and all related work streams to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to returning to work.
  • For office based colleagues, workstations are assigned to one person and not shared. Where they need to be shared this should be shared by the smallest number of people possible. Workstations and colleagues are sited 2m apart. Layouts and processes are continually reviewed to ensure that colleagues can achieve a 2m distance.
  • Where is it not possible to move workstations further apart colleagues work side by side or facing away from each other rather than facing each other.
  • Occupancy levels are managed to achieve social distancing.
  • The use of hot desks is avoided and where this is not possible workstations are cleaned between different occupants.
Ongoing review of display screen risk assessments (by Managers) 1 x 3 = 3 All colleagues
Wellbeing 3 x 4 = 12

There has been a consistent and organised promotion of mental health and wellbeing awareness to colleagues during COVID19, supplementing our usual wellbeing offering including:

  • continued regular promotion of our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to leaders and colleagues with access to a wide range of support materials including a COVID-19 toolkit, telephone advice line, counselling sessions etc;
  • regular updates in our weekly leader emails, during leadership calls and through other channels to reinforce importance of leaders supporting colleagues during these challenging times;
  • regular promotion of our HR Leader Advice Team to leaders so they can seek immediate advice and support if they have a team member with difficulties;
  • launch of our series of new interactive wellbeing webinars for leaders and colleagues to focus on mental health tips and this is directly related to current difficult times to provide support;
  • robust focus on Mental Health Week (18/05) with activities for colleagues;
  • launch of the Bee Community buddy system for all colleagues, particularly focused on those who might live alone to ensure they have strong support;
  • strengthened wellbeing intranet site with range of support materials; and
  • monitoring wellbeing of colleagues who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, including regular contact with their line manager and Teams, supportive conversations to assist their wellbeing, physical health and personal security.
  • Daily text message is in place to allow colleagues to report changes to their status (working status and physical health/absence). Colleagues are required to respond to the text message to allow appropriate data collection. Text messaging was an initial control to provide early warning of spread which will be superseded from 18 May by reporting through HR system.
  • Collation of any colleagues who are at high risk physically or mentally from continuing to work at home long term e.g. domestic abuse or mental health.
1 x 4 = 4 All colleagues
Access / egress to premises 3 x 4 = 12
  • Restricted access to all non essential visitors.
  • Branches manage customer footfall through limiting the numbers of customers permitted access at one time. This reduces disease transmission.
  • Steps taken to review work schedules including start and finish times/shift patterns, working from home etc. to reduce number of colleagues on site at any one time.
  • Site access points are monitored to enable social distancing.
  • Entry systems that require skin contact are cleaned on a regular basis.
1 x 4 = 4 All colleagues
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health – Cleaning Materials 3 x 3 = 9
  • COSHH risk assessments have been carried out for all cleaning materials used as part of routine and extended cleaning.
  • COSHH risk assessments are available via the Health and Safety Team/intranet.
  • All requirements that are considered as part of the COSHH assessment (that come from the Data Sheet) are brought to the attention of the user e.g. PPE requirement, storage of chemicals, usage of chemicals etc.
1 x 3 = 3 All colleagues

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