BOHS calls for an update to Covid-19 risk assessments in public facing settings

The British Occupational Hygiene Society, a Scientific Charity and the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection is urging employers to remain vigilant and update their Covid-19 risk assessments, especially for those who work in public facing settings.

With schools and universities now open and Covid-19 cases and deaths remaining high, the Society is conscious that the relaxation of public health precautions may result in enhanced risk, particularly to those who work within 2m distance of others. As individuals return to normal behaviours with less attention to preventing virus transmission, those who are required to work in the community may be at increased risk. Employers should update their Covid risk assessments to take this change in situation into account.

To help employers and employees BOHS issued in August an Advisory Note on Working in the Community – managing the health risk from Covid.

The guidance brings attention to some additional risk considerations for public-facing workers, those working in the community and front-line workers in the NHS and other public services and aims to further support them in updating their Covid risk assessments.

BOHS CEO, Professor Kevin Bampton, commented:

“Employers need to take some time to focus on their risk assessments when sending workers out into public settings this autumn. Some community-based workers in health, social care and the gig economy are facing very high rates of exposure. While Covid-19 is a less impactful risk and likely to adversely affect fewer people, it is still a highly infectious disease that can have long-term health consequences and can damage an organisation’s business continuity.”

The Advisory Note, along with Covid-19 Control Measures Risk Matrix and other free resources on managing the risks of Covid-19 can be found on BOHS Covid-19 hub.