The British Safety Council has today launched a new COVID-19 Assurance Assessment Service to support organisations returning to work. A detailed return to work guide can be used across all sectors and will enable organisations around the world to develop robust new processes and protocols to keep employers and their customers safe. The service is designed to ensure that employers manage the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as far as is possible within their workplace.
The British Safety Council’s technical experts can provide organisations with independent assurance that a workplace has in place safety, health and environmental standards in accordance with current best practice and government guidelines.
The British Safety Council is also offering workplace assurance audits to organisations that have remained open throughout, those that have put new practices in place and those that are just getting back to work. Once the audit is completed, auditors will provide an Assurance Statement, summary report and recommendations for improved controls. This will provide health and safety managers and business leaders with external verification that they are taking the necessary measures to keep workers safe.
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council said, “as the lockdown eases and more and more people start returning to work it is right that workers and employers want to have confidence that every possible step has been taken to keep workplaces safe. We realise that many organisations are under extreme pressure to return to operational activity and looking for credible and reliable sources of support. From the start of this crisis our health and safety experts have been working with members and customers to ensure that they are fulfilling their duty – and their legal obligation – to control health and safety risks. We have brought this work together as one comprehensive service for employers that so that they can assess the new risks posed by COVD-19 and to put into place measures to make workplaces safe.
“There is no doubt that this pandemic is going to have a profound effect on the way we work. But the principles of health and safety management remain the same: it is a clear requirement for employers to put in place arrangements that control health and safety risks. And the approach is the same to plan, do, check, act. The British Safety Council has been the first on the scene to advise on health and safety best practice as new technology, guidance and policy emerge for over sixty years. In 2020 we are again stepping up in the face of a new health and safety challenge, ready to help our members and customers ensure that no-one is made ill or injured through their work.”
The British Safety Council guidance for organisations planning the return to work covers risk assessment and new control measures, including social distancing, office cleaning and ventilation. Through sister charity, Mates in Mind, auditors can also advise on the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce.