Employers must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect staff, children, young people and others from COVID-19 within the setting. Managers must ensure that risk assessments take place on a setting by setting and individual basis where required. These are expected to consider all risks identified in respect of COVID-19 and must take account of the relevant guidance from Health Protection Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive. The assessment should directly address risks associated with coronavirus, so that appropriate measures can be put in place to control those risks for everyone.
All risk assessments should be reviewed regularly and as circumstances change. Settings should ensure that they implement pragmatic and proportionate control measures which reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practical level. They should have active arrangements in place to monitor that the controls are:
- working as planned; and
- updated appropriately considering any issues identified and changes in public health advice.
Staff, staff representatives and trade unions should be consulted in the development of risk assessments. Plans and risk assessments should be communicated to parents and all staff. This must include staff who are employed within the service but do not provide direct care to children such as catering or cleaning staff. Support staff have a key role to play in reducing the risk from COVID-19 and it is important that they understand and follow the changes to procedures required to reduce the risk of the spread of infection.
If premises have been closed for many weeks or if parts of the building have been out of use for a long period, the provider must undertake a health and safety check of the building concerned prior to reopening, including water quality sampling for legionella and other bacteria.