• News
  • 20th May 2020

COVID-19 – Stay alert but can employees stay safe? A personal injury Lawyer’s perspective

Many businesses will have spent a significant amount of time closed during lockdown or with staff working remotely from home. Ideally this time will have been used to think about how they can reopen safely for their employees and customers, preparing updated risk assessments and ordering personal protective equipment (PPE).

Regardless of the unprecedented nature of Covid19, employers continue to have a duty of care to you as an employee, both for your physical safety and your mental health.

To ensure your safety and provide you with peace of mind, your employer should have considered the following before returning to work;

  1. Staggered start/end times for shifts.
  2. Updating their risk assessments and identifying ways to reduce the risk posed by Covid19. If you are concerned about any risk associated with your employment then we would encourage you to discuss this and request a copy of the risk assessment from your employer. Transparency between employer and employee is to be encouraged;
  3. Social Distancing measures. This applies throughout our working day so will include suppliers, customers and your colleagues;
  4. Hot desking and office sharing. This may involve moving desks and offices around so you are not directly facing each other or implementing a stricter cleaning policy between staff changes etc;
  5. PPE. Employers should now be considering whether equipment such as aprons, face masks, visors and gloves are necessary and ensuring that they have a policy in place to make staff aware of the requirement to use the provided PPE.
  6. Enforcement. Writing and implementing policies alone is not sufficient. Steps need to be taken to ensure that the policies are being followed, non-compliance is dealt with and that the policies are working.
  7. Review. Measures must be regularly reviewed as the Covid19 situation remains fluid.

It is also worth keeping in mind that this can be a very fearful and anxious time for many of us. It is also a new learning curve for everyone involved. If you have concerns or suggestions then try and raise these with your employer and keep evidence of these conversations.

* Please do note that this is a general overview and should not be taken as specific advice for your case. For further details or to discuss your personal situation please contact our Personal Injury Department direct.

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