Helping you return to work safely
Introducing the NEW COVID-19 Assurance
We are here to help
COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the global economy and local communities. The virus continues to present all business sectors with severe challenges both commercially and ethically.
We place the health and wellbeing of staff and stakeholders as the primary concern, and we consider it important to provide technical support to clients and members.
Over the past 2 years, a significant number of organisations and businesses have had to endure lockdowns and restrictions. These measures were primarily introduced to slow and suppress the spread of Covid-19 allowing medical services to cope with the expected influx of seriously ill people to hospitals.
The varied success of inoculation programs and easing of the restrictions has been successfully supported in places by the publication of the British Safety Council’s framework workplace guidance for organisations to adopt as part of their Covid-19 management protocols.
REVISED: British Safety Council Guidance
With the successful uptake of our assurance service during the last 2 years, we have taken the lessons learnt to update our general Covid-19 Management guide which has become very popular across all sectors. The framework seeks to enable organisations in the UK and globally to develop robust protocols and arrangements, designed to effectively manage the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as far as is reasonably possible within their workplace.
We realise that many organisations are under extreme pressure to return to operational normality and looking for credible and reliable sources of support. The guidelines are aligned with ISO/PAS45005, the 2021 General Guidelines for Safe Working during the COVID-19 Pandemic and takes account of current good practice, as well as health and safety guidance issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Do you want to learn more about the guidance? We hosted a free webinar, COVID-19 Workplace Management and Resilience on Tuesday 16 March. Watch the recording.
COVID-19: Assurance Assessment Service
We have successfully undertaken assurance assessment services to clients across the globe that focuses on five elements of business recovery and will help support the stabilisation and future growth of organisations.
We offer professional support, guidance and independent assurance to enable organisations to develop and implement suitable protocols and arrangements within the workplace.
Our technical support can provide you with both the independent assurance that your COVID-19 workplace safety, health and environmental arrangements are in accordance with current best practice as well the ability to share with you solutions other organisations have successfully implemented.
We can also support you as the guidelines, requirements and stakeholder expectations change to ensure your workplace remains as safe and healthy as is reasonably practicable.
The following five factors provide the framework for the consultancy services:
1. Organisational context and stakeholder profile (risk management)
2. Operational processes (risk assessment, safe operating procedures, etc)
3. Health and wellbeing
4. Stakeholder engagement
5. Facilities and workplace health and safety (workplace adjustments, etc).
Our technical support includes:
• Risk assessment reviews
• Support for workplace procedure development and reviews (including social distancing, health surveillance, workplace control measures, emergency planning, PPE, etc)
• Health and wellbeing guidance (including mental health factors)
• Communication and information
• Leadership and behavioural factors
• Assurance auditing.
Our COVID-19 Consultancy Services
Risk Management and Organisational Context
Focus on the priority operational activities, stakeholder groups and the decision-making process for who to bring back into the workplace, remote-based working and mapping the level of risk to their health, safety and wellbeing together with the wider business risks. Business continuity planning protocols would also be inclusive of this element.
Typical support would include risk profiling, reviewing roles and responsibilities, establishing suitable objectives, operational planning, etc.
Typical outputs would include a summary report with recommendations, top management briefings, guidance, post-operational return reviews.
Operational Processes and Risk Assessment
Primarily concerned with risk assessment, aspects / impacts evaluation, control measures (planning and implementing), safe operating policies and procedures, crisis management plans, training needs analysis, etc
Typical support would include review and/or development of COVID -19 specific risk assessments, provision of risk assessment templates, development and/or review of safe operating policies and procedures (in accordance with current governmental and/or sector guidelines and practice), monitoring and review processes. Communication with, and participation of, key stakeholders (management, staff, etc) would be an integral part of this service.
Health and Wellbeing
An area of great concern for all organisations. Employees will undoubtedly have been impacted by the pandemic, some more directly than others either as recovering patients or bereaved individuals. Many experts have also identified that those in enforced isolation, or those who have adapted their lives to staying at home, may suffer from increased levels of anxiety and possibly panic attacks. This is a critical area for employers and an obvious area for “Mates in Mind” to offer support.
Organisations will also need to consider longer-term health surveillance provision for staff as identifying people who may be infected with Covid-19, or who have been in close personal contact with an infected person, and then isolating them from work for a period until they are clear of infection is considered to be a key control measure.
Typical support would include risk assessment reviews / development, identification of vulnerable staff, development of return to work confidential health assessments, mental health training for managers and other designated staff, information and guidance, etc.
In the same way as wellbeing is critical to recovery, then stakeholder engagement is equally important. Employees may well be anxious and cautious about returning to the workplace. Sharing information and ensuring understanding/compliance of the controls selected and of the underlying rationale, is essential in ensuring sustainability and, most importantly it goes a long way to reassuring employees, visitors, and other stakeholders.
Typical support would be the development of a communications plan, staff briefings, revised induction process for return to the workplace, etc.
Facilities and Workplace Adjustments
Perhaps the most critical aspect of a return to the workplace. Compliance with statutory regulations has not been removed during the pandemic, therefore we can provide guidance in respect to this matter for clients who are seeking to cautiously re-open offices, factories or warehouses.
Revised procedures and arrangements may well require physical adjustments within the workplace in respect of access, egress, emergency event management, use of equipment, PPE, cleaning regimes, use of elevators, waste management, welfare and hygiene controls, etc
Typical support would include review and/or development of workplace controls, processes, based upon relevant risk assessment outcomes and relevant national and sector guidelines.
Assurance Statement and COVID-19 Assured Logo
Whether you have already established COVID-19 policies, protocols and workplace controls or you are just getting started, there is considerable benefit in undertaking an independent third-party review (audit) of these arrangements. We can provide such an assurance audit / review against the current government and sector guidelines and provide an Assurance Statement, together with a summary report, with recommendations for improved controls if appropriate.
If you are successful in achieving an Assurance Statement, we will provide this to you in the form of a pdf file along with a COVID-19 Assured logo. You can display the statement in its entirety or the COVID-19 Assured logo on your website, social media, email or other literature.
Example statements and logo can be found below.
This is new territory for all of us, but for more than sixty years we’ve been a trusted guide to excellent health, safety, and environmental management. Our experience will help you achieve the very highest health, safety, and wellbeing standards, so you can protect your people, your reputation, and your bottom line.
To find out more about how we can help you plan for your return to work, please request a callback and we will be in touch to discuss your situation further.