5 June 2020 Zoom meeting


Carol Stearne CFIOSH, BAE Systems, Preston and

James Woolgrove FIIRSM ICIOB, Director, Heritage Health & Safety, Warton

Gary McAteer, Chair, South Cumbria & North Lancashire IOSH Branch, welcomed members to South Cumbria & North Lancashire IOSH Branch and South Cumbria Occupational Health & Safety Group’s third joint Zoom meeting. He explained that Carol and James would each make short presentations focusing on the key requirements of returning to the workplace and then Elsa would put questions from attendees to the speakers and coordinate the subsequent discussion.

Carol’s presentation gave a general overview of:

  • Creating a Covid-19 compliant and safe workplace: workplace adaptation, Covid-19 Risk Assessment, staff wellbeing and anxieties and managing home working.
  • Communication and training: before returning (summary of workplace proposals, personal checklist to help employer make suitable adaptations), Corvid-19 training sessions.
  • Covid-19 Risk Assessments: hazard, people, control measures, home risk assessments.
  • Control measures for the ‘new normal’: temperature checks, enhanced cleaning regimes, one-way systems, extra wash stations, training needs etc…
  • Communication: posters, newsletters e-mails etc…
  • Physical distancing: stagger shifts, stagger breaks, screens floor markings, remove excess furniture etc…
  • Risk assessing tasks that need to break the 2 m distancing rule: barriers, PPE (choice and donning and doffing), training and waste disposal.
  • Cleaning regimes: contact surfaces, touch points, hand washing facilities, ventilation etc…
  • Other restart risks: legionella controls, fire practice, statutory inspections (pressure systems, lifting equipment), and management of contractors.
  • Individual wellbeing needs
  • Sources of reliable Covid-19 advice.

A copy of Carol’s presentation can be found here: 5 June 2020 CS Covid 19 workplace requirements

James then focussed on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the construction industry. He explained that he planned to focus on the more difficult aspects of managing Corvid-19 requirements on construction sites because there was already a lot of good guidance available from Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and HSE

Key points from James’s presentation:

  • The importance of providing adequate welfare facilities that are Corvid-19 compliant: toilets, hand washing, should workers bring their own towels?
  • Workers wellbeing: physical and mental health, management communication, training in Corvid-19 procedures etc…
  • Concept of physical distancing rather than social distancing: man is a social animal – it is physical distancing that is important to combat the spread of Corvid-19; workers should be encouraged to communicate with one another.
  • Hand washing and the use of sanitizers: excessive hand washing can lead to severe dermatitis, use of hand sanitizer.
  • Health and Safety Regulations: still apply therefore Corvid-19 controls need to take account of these.

A copy of James’s presentation can be found here: 5 Jun 2020 JW Covid 19 welfare wellbeing on construction sites

A copy of James’s Mentimeter question results can be found here: 5 Jun 2020 JW Mentimeter questions results NB James apologises that he made a typing error when setting up the third Mentimeter answer page. The correct answer is 20, not 16!

Sources of further information recommended by James:

An article on hand washing and dermatitis by Chris Packham: https://www.hsimagazine.com/press-release/covid-19/

An article on ventilation systems: https://www.cibsejournal.com/technical/cleaning-the-air/

HSE have also produced some excellent Corvid-19 advice and guidance: https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_content=home-page-banner

Gary then thanked Carol and James for giving members such helpful presentations and generating some useful discussions on the use of masks and hand sanitizers as well as the suitability of air conditioning systems during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19: Returning to the workplace