Health and safety
In aligning with the above principles and planning, this guidance does not supersede existing health and safety legislation and colleges will continue to abide by these obligations, including the legal duty on employers to conduct risk assessments and engage with health and safety committees (SRSC).
Specifically on COVID-19, and through all phases of emerging from lockdown, colleges will have regard to general health and safety guidance and to the requirements for reporting cases.
The Health and Safety Executive’s short guide can help to support employers with what they need to do to comply with the law.
Employers must ensure that the risks are controlled so far as is reasonably practicable. All employers need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, as they would for other health and safety-related hazards. This is a risk-led approach to identify and implement sensible measures to control the risks. The assessment should consider what measures need to be implemented to protect the health and safety of all staff, students, visitors and contractors. These will be influenced by site-specific factors.
Risk assessments will underpin general protocols describing how people can access and use a college building. These will address questions regarding safely entering the building, moving around within it and using facilities such as offices, networked printers, canteens, toilets, etc. These will apply to everyone on the site and be drawn up by college management in consultation with relevant interested parties.
Controls should be considered following the hierarchy of control approach. Outcomes should explain to others what they are required to do and help staff with planning and monitoring to ensure the controls are implemented and remain effective and are updated in the light of emerging evidence or changes in public health advice.