COVID-19 Risk Assessment

COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT

Dehns takes the health and safety of our personnel and of visitors to our offices, very seriously. We have carried out an assessment to identify and manage the risks of COVID-19 to Dehns personnel from working in, and to others when visiting, a Dehns office/workplace. The assessment also looks at the risks to Dehns Personnel of visiting an alternative workplace (e.g. the offices of a client). The principal objective is to mitigate and control any unavoidable risk down to the lowest reasonably practicable level.

All Dehns Personnel were consulted during this process and contributions were taken from this consultation to feature within the finalised assessment. The full risk assessment, which has been incorporated within a Dehns Covid Secure Policy (DCSP), has been shared with all Dehns personnel and published on the firm’s Intranet.

The DCSP will be regularly reviewed and updated to take account of changes in government guidance and any other relevant matters.

The DCSP concentrates on the following areas below and examples are shown of risk mitigation procedures in each area:

  • Commuting and travelling to/from a Dehns/Alternative Workplace – examples:
  • At the current time, all Dehns Personnel who are Extremely Vulnerable People should only work from home. All other Dehns Personnel should work from home unless, at any time, they are unable to do so effectively, in which case, they should work at a Dehns Workplace but only if other government guidance and the requirements of this DCSP are closely followed. In all cases, this is subject to such working at a Dehns Workplace being specifically reviewed by Dehns Management as part of a personal risk assessment and agreed in advance, with such safety conditions included as are appropriate.
     
  • Public transport should be avoided if possible;
     
  • Where it is not possible to avoid the use of public transport then journeys should, if possible, be made off-peak.

 

  • Use of common parts of building housing a Dehns Workplace – examples:
  • Hands should be sanitised on arrival at the building at the first possible opportunity;
     
  • When using a lift, sole occupancy of it should be ensured (or otherwise a different lift or the stairs should be used).

 

  • Working within a Dehns Workplace – examples:
  • Files worked on or handled, should not be passed on to others; electronic files should be used wherever possible;
     
  • Social distancing should be practised at all times when in the office in line with the latest government, and more restrictive Dehns local, advice in order to avoid close contact with others;
     
  • Departments may be asked to stagger office working days or times or organise personnel into “teams” or “bubbles” to restrict the number of regular contacts.

 

  • Visitors to a Dehns Workplace – see full extract below

 

  • Cleaning contractors within a Dehns Workplace – examples:
  • Risk assessments will be obtained from and agreed with the cleaning contractors for performance of their services within a Dehns Workplace including time of visits and the wearing of PPE whilst carrying out their services;
     
  • All products used on site, should be of an appropriate nature in relation to Covid-19 prevention.

 

  • Handling goods received into a Dehns Workplace – examples:
  • All goods (except paper/plastic envelopes or other immediately disposable coverings) should be sanitized all over using sanitising wipes or other suitable sanitising techniques before moving on to recipient department.;
     
  • Items in paper/plastic envelopes (or other immediately disposable coverings) should be opened and the coverings immediately disposed of; hands should be sanitised after post opening is completed.

 

  • Working at an Alternative Workplace – examples:
  • Working at an Alternative Workplace (including secondments to client offices) should be avoided, unless essential, at the current time;
     
  • Where possible, a Risk Assessment for the Alternative Workplace should be requested and reviewed prior to work commencing.

 

  • Health and wellbeing – examples:
  • Specific “DCSP Champions” have been appointed at each Dehns Workplace to monitor and encourage compliance by all Dehns Personnel with this DCSP and to provide a local source of information to Dehns Personnel at the Dehns Workplace who require it or to report concerns over the policy or local compliance with it;
     
  • Coloured armbands or lanyards will be provided to those who would like others in the Dehns Workplace to know that they have a high level of concern over Covid-19 and that additional care should be taken when dealing with them e.g. increasing the distance between them when holding a conversation;
     
  • Regular contact should continue to be made by relevant Dehns Personnel with those Dehns Personnel who are continuing to work from their temporary/permanent residence (with their return to the Dehns Workplace being deferred) to monitor the wellbeing of such Dehns Personnel.
     

The following is an extract from the DCSP in relation to Visitors to a Dehns Workplace:

Visitors to a Dehns Workplace

Hazard: Dehns Personnel (DP) can be infected with Coronavirus from infected third parties visiting the Dehns Workplace (DW). Visitors can be infected with Coronavirus from infected DP or other third parties visiting the DW.

Principal Risks:

  • Airborne droplets from an infected person i.e. visitors or DP (by sneezing, coughing, exhaling, talking etc) can enter eyes, nose or mouth of another person i.e. DP, the visitor or other visitors during their visit to the DW.
  • An infected visitor can touch and contaminate a surface in the DW during their visit which is then touched by a DP or another visitor who then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Similarly a visitor can touch a surface in the DW during their visit, previously contaminated by an infected DP.

 

Control procedures:

  • All visits to the DW should be discouraged and no meetings with external parties should be arranged, if possible, at the current time – telephone/video conferencing should be used instead.
  • Where visits are unavoidable – such as essential visits by service contractors etc., then the following guidance should be followed.
  • A risk assessment and method statement should be sought from the contractor in advance of their visit;
     
  • No unannounced visits are to be allowed except in the case of an emergency;
     
  • All contractors are to provide their own PPE, and are not allowed to use any Dehns equipment unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Any equipment used should be sanitised before and after use.
  • Visitors should be made aware of any Covid-19 precautions in place by the Dehns contact, including use of toilet facilities, and directed to relevant signage.
  • It should be ensured, as far as possible, that all visitors should practice good hygiene techniques including sanitising their hands prior to entering the DW; most offices will have easy access hand sanitiser in lift lobbies which should be utilised.
  • Where applicable, a visitor to Dehns should report to the landlord reception desk initially in order that their arrival can be announced. If this is not possible then a visitor should be requested to call their contact within Dehns announcing their imminent arrival in order to organise them entering the building and DW.
  • All visitors should be asked whether they currently have any symptoms (even minor ones) of, or similar to those of, Covid-19 and, if so, a polite request for them to immediately leave the premises should be made.
  • Social distancing, with the possible use of floor distance markers for assistance with visitors making deliveries or collections, should be strictly enforced and, if necessary, the use of face coverings considered including the provision of a covering by Dehns where necessary.
  • Visits by multiple visitors at the same time should be avoided if possible. Where this is not possible, as much social distancing as possible should be used (which should not be less than 2m). Visitors should be asked if they wish to use face coverings whilst awaiting the DP and a disposable covering should be supplied to them (for retaining by them) if they do not have their own.
  • No drinks or catering should ordinarily be offered to visitors as visits are expected to be minimal and brief at the current time. Where visitors need to be in a DW for longer than a brief visit, catering arrangements should be specifically planned with General Office staff. Visitors should not be allowed in kitchen/breakout areas.
  • Touch points should be sanitised immediately after the visit.