Coronavirus guidance for workplace risk assessments

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has issued risk assessment guidance and a tool for staff across all industries. It should be used by employers to support staff and for managers to understand and carry out effective risk assessments. 

This guidance is particularly relevant for staff that are: 

  • returning to work after shielding
  • returning to normal duties after COVID-19 related restrictions
  • returning to the workplace after working from home 
  • concerned about a particular vulnerability to COVID-19

After a workplace risk assessment has been undertaken, you will need to put in measures to reduce the risk of transmission. Once this has been done, staff and their managers should use the risk assessment tool to identify the individual’s vulnerability level.

Good infection, prevention and control practice is key to minimising the risk of staff contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. This includes: 

  • symptom vigilance
  • hand hygiene
  • increased environmental cleaning and physical distancing

The occupational risk assessment guidance takes into account the latest prevalence data and public health advice, relevant information for employers on measures that can be in put in place to make the workplace secure, and the latest evidence on known individual vulnerability factors.

There are 3 things to consider when assessing an individual’s occupational health risk from COVID-19:

  • Workplace Risks and Mitigations - what can be put in place to protect staff from COVID-19
  • Personal characteristics that could affect their response to COVID-19
  • Local Prevalence of COVID-19: the amount of COVID-19 circulating in your local area

By using all three sections of the guidance, you can create a unique approach to returning to work for each employee. It takes into account an individual’s clinical risk to coronavirus, the nature of the work, the local prevalence of the virus, and steps taken to reduce the risk of infection.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

This is for all staff and employers in Scotland. 

Important information

Employers have a legal responsibility to conduct a workplace risk assessment. They must put in place measures to reduce the risk of transmission for all staff and others who may be at risk.

Employers also have important duties under equalities legislation, and should make reasonable adjustments to support workers with disabilities.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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