The Continued Need for COVID Secure Workplaces
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure their staff and visitors are protected from harm in the workplace.
While many of the general COVID restrictions have been lifted in recent weeks, it is still vital that we keep our places of work safe and minimise the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have updated their guidance on Keeping workplaces safe as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are removed. Featuring the latest information on health and safety requirements during the pandemic, the guidance also provides extra details and good practice from public health bodies.
While face coverings are no longer mandatory in many settings, the following COVID-related workplace controls still remain in place:
- Adequate ventilation
- Hand hygiene
- Sufficient cleaning
It’s also important to remember that RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment) may still be essential in your workplace to protect against certain hazards.
When required, it is vital that RPE is adequate, suitable and used correctly. Tight-fitting RPE will only protect the wearer if a good seal is formed, the correct filter combination is used and if the wearer is clean shaven. When used for protection against respiratory viruses, such as COVID, or for the protection of sterile environments – valveless RPE should be used to avoid cross contamination from the wearer.
Before RPE can be used in your workplace, the following steps should be taken. Please speak with your Health & Safety Manager for more information, or get in touch with our team of Fit2Fit Accredited Experts.
- Assess the respiratory risks
- Acquire RPE and filters appropriate for the hazards and staff
- Fit Test all staff requiring tight-fitting respirators
- Keep records of cleaning and maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Train staff to don their respirators correctly, including pre-use wearer-seal checks.
For more information on RPE, fit testing and respiratory hazards, click here.