New tool to calculate COVID-19 risk.
People returning to work after coming out of shielding are to benefit from new risk assessment guidance.
The advice provides a framework which supports managers to have constructive and supportive conversations with staff to identify individual risks and take appropriate action to make the workplace safer.
The guidance includes a tool which helps the wider workforce to identify how seriously they might be affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), using information about their sex, ethnicity, age and underlying health conditions.
At this stage in the pandemic, employers should continue to follow public health and sector-specific advice, and wherever possible, home working should continue. However, in cases where this is not an option, employers should carry out a full workplace risk assessment and use the new tool to discuss appropriate measures to help individuals return to their workplace safely.
The easy-to follow guidance was developed using the latest clinical evidence which sets out best practice on risk assessment for COVID-19. It will be kept under constant review.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“At this stage in our fight against the pandemic we encourage people to work from home where possible but when staff are returning to the workplace we want them to feel safe.
“This risk assessment guidance is relevant to all staff, but will be particularly so to those who are returning to work after shielding, those who are returning to normal duties after COVID-19 related restrictions or anyone who has a concern about a particular risk from COVID-19.
“Employers have a legal responsibility to keep their staff safe and promote their wellbeing. After a workplace risk assessment has been done and measures to reduce the risk of transmission have been put in place, managers and their staff should use the tool to identify the individual risk level.
“A conversation can then take place about how best to manage each person’s situation.
“Of course, everyone should continue to follow the guidance and remember the FACTS, as it is our collective behaviour which will keep us all safe.”
Police Scotland’s Head of Rewards and Employee Relations Nicky Page said:
"This is a very useful tool as it is intersectional, provides an objective measure, can be self-administered and provides sufficient and timely information for an individual to consider and take relevant action on a personal basis. It also supports informed discussions in the workplace with line managers."
In a joint statement, The Faculty of Occupational Medicine President Dr Anne de Bono and The Society of Occupational Medicine President Professor Anne Harriss said:
“This guidance will support managers and staff to work together to implement practical control measures based around a helpful, evidence-based, easy to use framework, with the key message being the achievement of mutually agreed control measures to ensure staff feel as safe as reasonably practicable. The Faculty and the Society are delighted to welcome this guidance.”