Risk reduction framework
BCC has designed a Risk Reduction Framework and Sample Risk Assessment with input from Health & Safety, Occupational Health, Building Management, Public Health, Human Resources, Workforce Equalities and Trade Unions.
The Risk Reduction Framework outlines that there are 3 elements that should be considered:
- The Work Environment
- The General Risk Assessment
- The Person
Higher risk (Vulnerable) staff
The virus that causes COVID-19 infects people of all ages.
The NHS state that the following factors should be considered as these groups are more vulnerable to getting severe COVID-19 disease:
- Age - People who are 70 years old or over;
- Gender – males are at greater risk;
- Clinically vulnerable People - with underlying medical conditions/long-term health conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and those who are immune compromised);
- Pregnancy; particularly those who are over 28 weeks or have underlying health conditions
- Ethnicity: Those within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups appear to be at increased risk, particularly aged above 55 or have comorbidities/underlying health conditions
- Disabilities identified which may be the subject of reasonable adjustments
Clinically vulnerable staff – generally those who are eligible for the season flu jab.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) emphasizes that all people must protect themselves from COVID-19, through regular hand washing for 20 seconds and respiratory hygiene (catch it, bin it, kill it), which will also help to protect others within these vulnerable groups.
The council is supporting the most vulnerable based on their working situation and the level of clinical risk. If able, staff should notify managers of their existing health conditions/concerns, so managers can ensure these staff are supported, and prioritised to assure social distancing, by working from home where possible, otherwise by changing working practices/responsibilities and/or redeployment. Staff with pre-existing conditions can email Occupational Health Occupational.Health@birmingham.gov.uk to seek advice.
Further guidance on extremely clinically vulnerable (shielded) people
Where staff are in the ‘shielded group’ that have been contacted by the NHS and instructed to self-isolate due to the very high level of risk for this group, staff must stay at home until 31 July 2020, and this absence should be recorded as self-isolating (no symptoms) including an end date, in line with staff guidance. These staff must have an individual risk assessment completed with management looking at all the risk factors, and should be supported to work from home. Only where a workplace is COVID-19 secure, and strict social distancing can be maintained, should there be any discussion about the potential for these staff returning to work.
The council will review the situation following national guidance, as it is released.
Disease specific advice is available on the national disease charity websites e.g. British Lung Foundation, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Generic home visit risk assessment
A sample generic risk assessment for home visits is provided on the next page – managers should work with staff to develop a specific risk assessment relevant to the service area, roles and client groups.
|What are Hazards?||Who might be harmed and how?||What are you already doing to control risks?||
What further action do you need to take to control the risks?
|Who needs to carry out the action?|
|Exposure to symptomatic individuals (COVID-19) in home/third party environment (e.g. non-healthcare setting, healthcare setting)||
BCC staff/Volunteers, e.g. students
Assess Business Continuity Plan whether critical for staff to attend, e.g. safeguarding, statutory duty to fulfil
Map out number of providers to attend to allocate capacity to meet demand, especially if staff reduced due to self-isolation
Managers to communicate and discuss with staff latest BCC HR guidance & FAQ’s
Limit non-essential travel by staff
|Discuss with operational staff viability of control measures to put in place||Manager|
Call setting/provider beforehand to identify if anyone is symptomatic or whether anyone has been symptomatic in the setting within the last 72 hours.
Allied questions may relate to cleaning schedule in place.Is setting/provider accepting visitors?
If visit & symptomatic people are present:
have they contacted NHS 111 online/telephone?
keep 2 metres apart
wash hands onsite
use hand sanitiser if available
adhere to respiratory control measures, e.g. cough/sneeze in arm/tissue (catch it, bin it, kill it)
consider if PPE necessary
limit touching high contact points
ask symptomatic person to remain in separate room behind closed door
advise anyone with you not to enter the room
obtain travel or clinical history by calling person in roomReview with manager
|Consider the need to draw upon other agency services or community services to support||Manager|
|If not critical, can alternative intervention be carried out, e.g. telephone, assessment from other service provider who has visited, video calling, etc||Staff|