How Business has changed the HSE focus in a Covid-19 world 

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How Business has changed the HSE focus in a Covid-19 world 

Covid-19 has changed our behaviours and mindset quite significantly around health and safety.   In terms of how this affecting people in the workplace, this has been probably one of the most impactful shifts.   A lot of people are still not allowed back into the workplace as the country looks to protect people against the spread of the virus. In addition to this, the ones that have returned will no doubt have been subject to new rules and regulations. Here are some examples of this.

Testing

One of the most effective ways to ensure you minimise spread of Covid-19 in the workplace is through testing employees.  Some employers have now implemented this as standard proactive where employees will require testing on a frequent basis which could include daily in extreme events. The results process has improved significantly in the past few months and as a result, people can get tested and results of this test are produced very quickly. Some employers have now mandated this as a requirement before people are allowed into the confines of the workplace.

Awareness

As people are now more aware of Covid-19, they are looking to get more aware of the wider health and safety regulations and how this could affect it. Employers have a duty of care to make sure there are people in their organisation with the appropriate skills and training to help support compliance.   It is common for employers to place some employees on a health and safety awareness course such as event courses where they can learn any new skills and procedures.  This also supports regulatory requirements but also some pro-active tools and techniques to help avoid accidents in the workplace happening in the first place. These types of courses are also adapted on occasion depending on the industry sector the employees are involved in.

Social Distancing

Some companies have had to implement a level of social distancing in order to comply with the government safety recommendations.   In some industries this is clearly not achievable therefore it is important that these companies then look to see what else they can do.   This could be things such as additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Most companies now have the floors marked out where they are asking for social distancing compliance. It will be very interesting to see that in a world where Covid-19 is not as much as a threat than it is now if the social distancing element disappears.  It is unlikely to change for some time as whilst we are still vaccinating people at pace, there are still a lot of risks around us now.

Summary

In order to survive and stay operational, a lot of business have had to change their approach quite significantly in relation to health and safety.  Unfortunately, a lot of companies (especially in retail and travel industry) have not survived this as the costs are just too much.

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