Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Code: HS-0004
Version: V1.10
Approved by: Tim Sell
Last approved: 04th June 2021
Confidentiality level: PUBLIC


Covid-19 is a new illness that can affect human lungs and airways.

It is caused by a virus called Coronavirus.

Symptoms can be mild, moderate, severe, or fatal.


What is the hazard we have identified?

The spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus in or around the workplace.


Who might be harmed?

• XpertRule (XR) Staff
• Visitors to XR premises
• Contractors
• Anyone else who physically encounters XR in relation to business


The XR Covid-19 Response team

• Tim Sell
• Jane Platt
• Haider Attar

Supported by Bruntwood on behalf of Salford Council (Landlords)


Key findings

  • Staff working together in the workplace inevitably raises the risk of virus transmission. Hot desking and the sharing of equipment present hazards that raise the risk of virus transmission further.
  • Effective social distancing is a key element in reducing the transmission of COVID-19.
  • Some areas of the workplace may present a higher risk than others – these include areas such as toilets, kitchens, and breakout rooms.
  • Staff may get sick with coronavirus infection. People becoming unwell or symptomatic on-site presents a high risk of transmission.
  • Some staff may have pre-existing medical conditions which render them more vulnerable to the dangers of coronavirus infection
  • Travel to and from work may lead to greater risk of virus transmission. Access to building may create a virus transmission risk if staff all seek entrance at once or are channeled through single points of entry.
  • Cyber-security threats often accompany a crisis, including computer viruses, phishing and scam emails and coronavirus related “ransomware”.


Control Measures

Homeworking and Equipment Sharing

Homeworking has been adopted by XR until further notice. This applies to all team members.
If you are asked to attend and/or plan to visit XR premises (Salford Innovation Forum) please follow the control measures detailed in this risk assessment. If you are unsure please contact the XR Covid-19 response team so you can be advised on the latest procedures.

The following working arrangements will be put in place to support homeworking:

  • XR to provide software and hardware to stay connected
  • Staff can request additional equipment if they need it (equipment should not be shared between staff)
  • Line Managers will monitor the wellbeing of staff with an open-door policy for staff who need support
  • Replace all face-to-face meetings (team and customer) with video calls
  • Only minimum number of people will be required on site


Infection Prevention, Cleaning and Staff Safety in the workplace

XR Covid-19 Response Team to reinforce key public health messages to all staff when in the workplace:

  • Hands – Face – Space – Fresh Air (wash hands when you arrive and regularly, use a face Mask, maintain social distancing, keep windows open)
  • Catch it — Bin it — Kill it (when coughing and sneezing)
  • Stay Alert to the Symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste and/or smell)

XR Covid-19 Response Team will implement Public Health England (PHE) guidance for Employers and Businesses on Coronavirus, including the following key safety precautions:

• Make any adjustments to the workspace to facilitate social distancing
• Prioritise natural ventilation
• Provide hand sanitizer at entrances and exits and throughout workplace
• Increase environmental / communal cleaning / spot cleaning
• Display public health posters and notices around the workplace


Workplace Social Distancing

Staff are required to practice effective social distancing while in and around the workplace, while involved in work activities and when travelling to and from work, whenever possible, by:

  • Avoiding nonessential contact with others (e.g. handshakes, hugs etc)
  • Only sit at marked desks or marked spaces
  • Keep a safe distance of at least 2 metres from others whenever possible – observe floor markings
  • Observe 2-meter distancing in all communal areas (e.g. lifts, corridors)
  • Do not exceed meeting room capacity and do not rearrange chairs
  • Do not use communal kitchens – bring your own hot drinks and food
  • Do not use communal shower rooms

Adaptations to the premises to support social distancing will include:

  • Office space to be set up to support social distancing e.g. layout changes, erecting screens, and floor markings to denote safe distances, etc
  • Desks to be arranged with a minimum separation between them
  • Establishing maximum occupancy limits for offices and work areas
  • Reducing the need for staff to move around within the workplace
  • Restrict access to high risk areas

Adaptations to work processes to support social distancing will include:

  • Keep meetings virtual (team and customer), rather than face to face
  • Cancel nonessential training
  • Carry out any essential training with video calls


High Risk areas of the workplace

XR Covid-19 Response Team will be making regular checks to ensure:

  • High-traffic areas are regulated as necessary
  • Hand sanitiser is placed at entrances/exits (main reception and XR office)
  • Environmental cleaning is increased, especially in and around toilets and kitchens; with special attention paid to frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, toilet flush handles, light switches, etc
  • Toilet inspections are increased to check for cleanliness/adequate stock of soap/toilet paper, etc
  • Handwashing instructions are displayed throughout workplace
  • Lift occupancy is limited


Staff Health & On-site infections

The following safety precautions are now in place and should be followed:

  • Staff who are considered extremely vulnerable or high-risk as defined by PHE should not attend the workplace – they will be supported to work from home
  • All staff will be considered on a case by case basis. Staff members should speak to their Line Manger about any concerns they have for themselves, close family members or household.
  • Staff who are sick, feel unwell, have Covid-19 symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate should inform their line manager – under no circumstances should they attend work premises.
  • Staff must report hazards immediately

If a member of staff becomes unwell in the workplace with coronavirus symptoms, they will be sent home and advised to follow government advice to self-isolate, and phone 111 or use online serves to seek medical advice and book a test.

The following actions will be taken within the workplace:

  • All surfaces that a symptomatic person has come into contact with will be cleaned and disinfected
  • Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, will be cleaned
  • Cleaning staff will use appropriate detergent / disinfectant
  • Cleaning staff must wear appropriate PPE


Site Access and Travel

The following safety arrangements apply to workplace access and travel arrangements:

  • Do not congregate at entrances and exits
  • Please use hand sanitiser at entrances and exits (reception)
  • Follow floor markings and signage at entrances, exits
  • Avoid travelling at peak times and/or arriving or leaving at the same time
  • Do not car share
  • Please consider walking or cycling to work wherever possible
  • If at all possible, please avoid public transport. If essential please conform with all requirements, e.g. wearing face coverings, social distancing, etc

In all cases non-essential travel for work purposes should be minimised


Cyber Security

The following safety arrangements should be applied to mitigate cyber risks:

  • Be aware of cyber threats, especially scam emails and text messages
  • Ensure remote working systems are covered by cyber-risk protections
  • Ensure any homeworking arrangements maintain standards of data protection and IT security
  • Assess cyber risks to new supply chain connections developed during the crisis


Review Frequency

This Risk Assessment and associated control measures will be reviewed frequently and/or kept in line with the latest advice from Government and PHE.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the control measures in place, please speak to a member of the XR Covid-19 Response team immediately.


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