This guidance intends to walk you through returning to deliver services safely for clients. Please also refer to the official health and safety advice at Government guidance and Health and Safety England.
Our Resource Database will also help you to complete the steps, as it offers links to specific advice in each of these areas.
As an organisation providing services you have a responsibility to protect staff, volunteers and clients from harm. This includes taking steps to protect against COVID-19. Before returning to normal service delivery, consider the risks posed to all those involved.
You will need a risk assessment for the venue and facilities where services will be delivered, and people involved such as staff, volunteers, clients and contractors. The assessment must cover hygiene practices and social distancing measures. We have set out the key steps below.
Refugee Action's how-to guide on prioritising clients and services will help you to look at what services you provide and how you deliver them.
Follow a risk assessment template which will help you to:
Share the results of the risk assessment
Display a copy of the risk assessment in the workplace
Regularly review and update the controls
Are any of your staff, volunteers or clients considered vulnerable due to COVID-19?
Plan how to handle ‘medium’ and ‘high’ risk clients arriving at a session. Approach with sensitivity, confidentiality, boundaries and data protection in mind.
Mental and emotional risks
For example, moving to face-to-face provision could impact on team wellbeing, such as concerns about catching the virus.
Risks associated with public transport
One of our partner organisations has considered reducing risk for staff and volunteers by paying taxi expenses. Other forms of lower risk transport such as walking, running or cycling could be encouraged, for example with a bike to work scheme or cycle racks.
The national and local COVID-19 situation
You should consider your local R-rating for your area and any local advice in addition to national government guidance.
Missed safety and maintenance work during COVID-19
You should check:
• Fire safety and other equipment
• For Legionella, e.g. the hot and cold water or air conditioning
• Building maintenance and safety with your landlord
• Your plans with your insurance company
This should include guidance on self-isolation and steps that facilitate contact tracing. If the individual is on your premises, consider designating an isolation room. The NHS provides information on recognising the symptoms and what to do.
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