Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Company Risk Assessment

Company Risk Assessment – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. However some will become seriously ill and require medical attention.

Older people and those with underlying conditions are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down transition is to be well informed about the disease and how the virus spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by staying physically apart, wearing masks, washing hands and using alcohol-based rub frequently. Get vaccinated and follow local guidance.

At Simply Conveyancing we wish to protect our colleagues, their families and everyone we work with.

Through the global pandemic Simply has followed Government guidelines including restricted office based working and travelling, and in line with lessening controls we have reviewed risks and opened all offices for colleagues to return to where applicable. However risks of COVID-19 infection remain a concern, therefore the latest guidance included in this document is to support ongoing safety measures required to protect us from illness resulting from COVID-19 infection and reduce transmission of infection in Simply Conveyancing and all associated companies.

This risk assessment will be reviewed at regular intervals and any updated versions will be communicated to all colleagues.

If you have any questions, then contact Sarah Fawsitt sfawsitt@simplypropertylawyers.co.uk and Andrew Warren ajwarren@simplypropertylawyers.co.uk

Version 1.4 - Published November 2021

Risk Management

Hazards Identified Consideration to potential harm What protective measures have been implemented What communication has been given following risk assessment
Exposure to COVID-19 infection from others in the office with symptoms or asymptomatic All colleagues/ clients/ agents
  •  Follow government guidelines of self-isolation
  •  Implement social distancing
  •  Follow NHS hygiene measures
  •  Regular COVID-19 infection testing for office based colleagues
  •  Reducing any travel or office based work if symptoms are experienced
  •  Do not travel if you have been confirmed to be infected COVID-19
  •  Adequate ventilation
  •  Sufficient cleaning, deep cleaning when needed
  •  Alcohol based hand sanitisers and wipes to be on all desks / reception and communal areas
  •  Staff wipe down their workstations before and after shifts
  •  Sufficient rubbish bins for hand towels with regular disposal
  •  Handheld temperature gauge provided
  •  Removal of communal food items / charity box
  •  Unless unable to do so, all employees wearing face masks when away from their desk
  •  Providing disposable face masks in each office
  •  Installment of protective plexiglass shield guards between desks
  •  Highlight to colleagues their responsibilities in relation to the control of COVID-19
  •  Display COVID-19 certificate
  •  Risk assessment made available to all staff to explain the steps in place to help protect them and what they must do to follow these guidelines, along with social distancing
  •  Testing kits provided – results collated centrally
    Lateral flow test instructions
  •  Clear signage to be displayed around the building reminding colleagues of health and safety guidance
  •  Information about hygiene products shared with all colleagues
Exposure from others-living with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19

Coming into contact with a confirmed case or being advised by public health that contact with a diagnosed case has occurred
All staff/ clients/ agents
  •  Following government guidelines of self-isolation
  •  Following NHS hygiene measures
  •  Reducing travel to offices and work appointments to essential trips only if you are exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  •  Keep communication between business and colleagues a priority
Colleagues contracting Covid-19 while working with or without symptoms All colleagues
  •  Staff informing Line managers and People team of sickness

Advising to:
  •  Return home immediately if office based
  •  Avoid physical contact
  •  Cough/ sneeze into a tissue, or crook of elbow
  •  Follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work until their period of self-isolation has been completed
  •  People team to be informed via existing company absence reporting procedure- colleagues to inform line managers of sickness before 9am. If Coronavirus symptoms then not to attend the office confirmed by phone.
General travel including foreign travel could expose colleagues to a greater risk of infection and transfer of the virus to colleagues in the office All colleagues/ clients/ visitors/ agents
  •  Restricting travel if symptoms are experienced
  •  Following Government guidance for testing
  •  Where colleagues have travelled abroad they are following government advise – self-isolate if recommended
  •  Encourage communication between line managers and employees
Access to site by visitors and colleagues could transfer virus through proximity All colleagues/ visitors
  •  Cleaning common contact surfaces in reception, office, communal areas (kitchen and washrooms) scanners, and phones. Deep clean after any confirmed case of infection
  •  Following one way systems around the office when enforced to control the flow of colleagues, enabling social distancing compliance (where possible)
  •  Maintaining 2m distance wherever possible around the office
  •  Not approaching delivery staff – packages to be left at the door or reception (where applicable)
  •  Display Covid-19 certificate
Poor hygiene could result in transfer of the virus All colleagues
  •  Washing hands thoroughly and regularly
  •  Avoiding touching your face/eyes/nose/ mouth with unwashed hands
Colleagues handling post and packages could transfer virus from touching surfaces Mailroom colleagues
  •  Protective gloves being used while handling the mail
  •  Hand sanitiser / gel available
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.
Office based colleagues working in close proximity to each other could transfer virus through proximity All office based colleagues
  •  Desks have barriers between them
  •  Hand sanitiser / gel available
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.
Physical contact with office & kitchen equipment could transfer virus from touching surfaces All office based colleagues
  •  Washing hands thoroughly and regularly and provide sanitiser
  •  Supply of alcohol wipes to allow clean and wipe down of shared equipment.
  •  Gloves are also available for people should they choose to wear them.
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.
Keypad entry system on front door could transfer virus from touching surfaces All colleagues & visitors
  •  Hand sanitiser station in the reception area with clear signage.
  •  Hand sanitiser to contain alcohol based gel
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.
Passing on the stairs could transfer virus from walking close by one another All colleagues & visitors
  •  Operating a ‘one up one down’ policy to limit the number of people passing each other on the stairs.
  •  Clear signage identifying 2m distance.
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.
Toilet areas could transfer virus from walking close by one another and less ventilated small areas All colleagues & visitors
  •  Restricting the number of people using the toilet facilities at any one time.
  •  Closing off the corridor to the toilets from general use as a cut through and install a one way system to control the flow of staff round the building.
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.
Smoking area could transfer virus from standing close by one another All colleagues & visitors
  •  Social distancing rules to apply staff must stay 2m apart at all time when using the smoking area.
  •  Clear signage identifying 2m distance.
  •  Reminder of ways to protect ourselves. Guidance issued to colleagues.