Living with COVID-19 and managing risks in the workplace
COVID-19 restrictions have been replaced by public health advice and some COVID-19 control measures are no longer required. This page explains the safety measures that departments must consider.
The UK government has set out how it will support the removal of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions while maintaining resilience and contingency to respond to future developments. This page gives guidance on the reasonable steps that departments should take to manage COVID-19 in the workplace.
Departments should continue to take a risk based approach and take sensible steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 entering and spreading within the work area.
To support this, Safety Services has created a number of generic risk assessments in riskNET to cover the key risks for departments to use and adapt locally to suit their specific activities. These assessments are subject to further updates when UCL advice changes.
To ensure that UCL remains a COVID-19 secure workplace, we still need to monitor control measures through routine workplace inspections.
The following COVID-19 risk control measures must be included in departmental routine inspection checklists.
- Where possible, windows are opened to increase ventilation
- Mechanical ventilation systems are operational
- Hand sanitising facilities are available and being used when entering a building and throughout the building especially where equipment may be shared
- Students and staff continue to wear face coverings in teaching settings and are advised to continue wearing face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces
The inspection template AT0093 will not be removed should departments want to continue using it to monitor their COVID-19 control measures. Safety Services is still required to provide assurance that the above COVID-19 control measures are being adhered to and will be requesting evidence from departments that the risk control measures above are being routinely inspected.
If there are changes to staffing levels, departments will need to ensure there is sufficient first aid cover for the number of staff on-site and the activities being undertaken.
- Review departmental first aid needs assessment and decide the number of first aiders required for the number of staff who will be present and the activities that they are doing. This could be by a sharing agreement with another department
- Determine whether returning first aider(s) are still comfortable with and agree to provide first aid. Names of First Aiders must be entered into the Department’s Responsible Persons Register in riskNET as a formal record if they have not already been entered. Those who no longer want to undertake the role must be removed from the register
- Where there are no first aiders departments can designate an “Appointed person (first aid)” to take charge of first aid arrangements
- Departments must inform everyone about the first aid arrangements including any shared first aiders, e.g. how to contact them and how to get help directly via 222 or 999 and the arrangement for receiving medical personnel when they arrive at the scene
- Departments must not carry out high risk activities without adequate first aid provision
Fire evacuation marshals (FEM)
Departments should ensure there are sufficient numbers of FEMs available in occupied working spaces to successfully implement the fire evacuation arrangements and to assist all persons evacuating the building safely. Fire marshals will be required for all workspaces, even in areas of reduced occupancy.
To achieve a suitable number of FEMs, departments may need to consider implementing a rota/schedule for their work areas to ensure suitable FEM coverage throughout the working day.
It is important to follow the principles for a good DSE workstation both when on campus or working remotely. You should complete a DSE assessment on riskNET for your contracted place of work.
Good ventilation can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in enclosed workplaces and UCL continues to monitor and manage the standard of ventilation in its buildings.
- In rooms with mechanical ventilation, the systems have been set to supply as much fresh air as possible and recirculation modes turned off where appropriate
- In spaces without mechanical ventilation, a fresh supply of air will be provided by leaving windows and doors open where appropriate
Staff are reminded that maintenance or service requests and other requests to address building issues should be made via the Estates Customer Helpdesk.
Contacting the Estates Customer Helpdesk
> Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/customer-helpdesk/raise-service-request
> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Tel: 020 7679 0000 or extension 30000
Last updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2022
> Coronavirus (COVID-19) information pages
> Keeping safe on campus
> Cornavius (COVID-10) - Advice for workplaces (HSE)
> Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19 (gov.uk)
> Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace (gov.uk)