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Working safely - living with COVID-19

Latest information and guidance.

As we learn to live safely with coronavirus (COVID-19), the following information will help employers and workplace managers to understand how to reduce the spread of respiratory infections such as COVID-19 and flu in the workplace. This is especially important if there are people in the workplace whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

While there is no longer a requirement for all employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their statutory health and safety risk assessments, it is important that as a business, organisation, or an employer you continue to comply with your legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment and equality duties.

Know which symptoms to look out for

It is important for staff and employers to be aware of symptoms so they can take actions to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people.

What to do if a member of staff has symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19

If a member of staff is unwell with symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and has a high temperature or does not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, they are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They should follow the guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection such as COVID-19.

Employers, in accordance with their legal obligations, may wish to consider how best to support and enable their workforce to follow this guidance as far as possible.

Actions to reduce the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19

  • Encourage and enable vaccination – vaccinations are very effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19, flu, and other diseases.
  • Support staff to stay at home if they are unwell
  • Let fresh air in - Bringing in fresh air to occupied spaces can help to reduce the concentration of respiratory particles, lowering the risk of airborne transmission of respiratory viruses. The risk of airborne transmission is increased in enclosed, crowded, poorly ventilated spaces and/or when occupants in a space are participating in energetic activity, such as exercising, shouting, singing or talking loudly.
  • Maintain a clean workplace - Keeping workplaces clean reduces the risk of infection and can reduce sickness in a workforce. It’s especially important to clean surfaces that people touch a lot. Cleaning checklists can help with this.
  • Promote good respiratory and hand hygiene
  • Outbreaks in the workplace - if you experience high levels of people with respiratory symptoms in your workplace the actions detailed above will help to reduce the spread, so they should be promoted and applied more rigorously.

Further Guidance can be found in the workplace infection prevention resource 'Ready for Anything'

Risk assessment

While there is no longer a requirement for all employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their statutory health and safety risk assessments, it is important that as a business, organisation, or an employer you continue to comply with your legal obligations relating to health and safety

Further Guidance and support

If you have any concerns regarding an increase in staff with respiratory symptoms in your setting or workplace or would like further advice or support please email us at trackandtrace@torbay.gov.uk

Contact Public Health