As Bruce Stevenson’s Risk Consultant, I have been liaising with a wide variety of clients about the steps they have taken to reopen for work. Advising on their legal requirements to adjust their organisation to effectively manage the extra risks brought by COVID-19. Many organisations have been able to work from home effectively, however, certain industries are unable to easily change their processes.
It is a recurring theme in risk management to meet with organisations that have never really grasped the need for documenting their risk procedures. Faced with the need to have a Covid-19 risk assessment, combined with the fact that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Scottish Government have been very clear they are going to police this, a lot of people have been very eager to get their required risk assessments in place.
When I meet a client and talk through their Covid-19 risk assessment, the next thing I ask to see is their fire risk assessment. Most organisations I meet for the first time do not have a current fire risk assessment in place. When you are open for work, you are allowing the HSE to visit your premises at their discretion. After the HSE has reviewed your Covid-19 risk assessment, they will want to see all your other risk procedures.
A fire risk assessment is a requirement, and not having this in place makes it very easy for the HSE to present you with a fine, produce a potentially costly fire risk assessment on your behalf or, in some circumstances, take you to court. In many cases, a Covid-19 risk assessment can lead to other workplace risk assessments and a review of the health and safety policy.
Due to changing processes brought on from social distancing, or changes to their number of personnel, a lot of our clients have sought a review of their procedures and risk assessments. Changes in legislation have been particularly challenging, with some people confused as to which guidelines they should heed above others.
The commercial sector has seen a lot of changes, and the catering and hospitality industries have seen a great deal of new legislation required to conduct business.
Like a lot of us, I have become adept at video conferencing, which led me to host training webinars for businesses from all types of industries. Through these, our Charities Account Executive, Michael Hashim, introduced me to Inspire Scotland. Inspire Scotland represent a network of charity and third sector organisations in Scotland and I agreed to host webinars for them.
The response from the webinars was unbelievable, but it also meant there was a lot of people that needed help. These became over-subscribed and led to me working with several organisations. Inspire Scotland secured a grant from the Scottish Government to allow for risk assessments so their members could continue providing care to those who needed it.
It is all about having an expert opinion on changes in the workplace. Some organisations do not have the luxury of referring their situation to someone.
If I can act as the referral point, that re-assurance and second pair of eyes, I can confirm what they have is what they need.
Roadmap to Reopening