Like most businesses at the moment, we are continuing to work from home and will continue to do so until the current restrictions are lifted.
Like all of you, the health and wellbeing of our family, staff, friends and colleagues are the most important things and we will continue to follow Government guidelines until it is safe to re-open.
Our staff are completely set up for homeworking and will be available via emails / calls / video conferencing when needed.
Our office phones are on divert however, they can only be serviced to one mobile number, therefore you may receive an engaged dial tone at times. Please use email as your first method of contact and if you would like a call, we can ring you. Otherwise, please see key contact numbers below:
Upon request, and where deemed essential, we can undertake external consultancy support services and each request will be considered and risk assessed to ensure it can be undertaken in accordance with government guidelines.
We are also looking at innovate and exciting ways in which we can undertake training remotely, such as Zoom.
We wish you all the best with the continuing success of your business during these challenging times and hope we can be of assistance with this were possible.
The new coronavirus disease, officially named COVID-19, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the virus continues to spread extensively, it’s posing a significant challenge to many organisations.
This page provides an overview of the current coronavirus situation. It explains what the virus is and gives advice on how employers should respond to the threat and support employees by being prepared, particularly looking after employees’ health and safety and developing flexible resourcing plans.
We’re working hard to keep this page updated to ensure it reflects Government advice as this evolves.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. The official name for this new disease, not previously seen in humans, is COVID-19. It was first identified in Wuhan City, in Hubei province, China.
COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu, where there is close contact between people. If someone with the virus coughs or exhales and is within a metre of someone else, the other person could catch it by breathing in droplets of infected fluid. People can also catch it by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.
Most people infected with the virus have mild symptoms and recover, but some experience more serious illness and may need hospital care. People over 40 seem to be more vulnerable, as are those with weakened immune systems or an underlying health condition such as diabetes, cancer and lung disease.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. Common signs of infection include a fever, a cough and difficulty in breathing.
In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a public health emergency of international concern. As it’s spreading around the world, and spreading quickly, on 11 March the WHO categorised it as a ‘pandemic’ which, in WHO terms, is ‘the worldwide spread of a disease’.
On 12 March the Government announced that the UK is moving from the ‘contain’ into the ‘delay’ stage of the outbreak, and the risk to the public has now been raised from moderate to high by the UK Chief Medical Officers.
Use the basic but effective ways to help prevent the infection’s spread, including:
On 7 April, the Government issued sector guidance with tailored advice on how employers should implement social distancing measures for different workplace scenarios.
Employees’ health, safety and well-being during this pandemic should be paramount. Employers have a statutory duty of care for people’s health and safety, and to provide a safe place to work, but there’s also a strong moral responsibility to ensure that employees feel safe and secure in their employment. Employers need to be proactive to protect their people and minimise the risk of the virus spreading. The Government has now advised that anyone who is able to should work from home. Employers’ duty of care for the health and safety of their employees includes anyone who is working remotely.
Many people will be concerned about the risk of infection and will need reassurance. Communicate clearly to employees that they need to take basic hygiene precautions, such as effective hand-washing, and avoid all non-essential travel and social contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. Follow official public health and medical advice closely and advise them on what to do if they think they may have caught the virus, or are at risk of contracting it. If you’ve shifted your workforce to home working, make sure you keep in touch with people and look out for their well-being as it can be an isolating experience. Encourage managers to have one-to-ones with people and set up virtual team meetings.
The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.
These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
IOSH is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to share latest information and guidance on the coronavirus and how to stay healthy at
Respiratory protective equipment
Tight-fitting respirators (such as disposable FFP3 masks and reusable half masks) rely on having a good seal with the wearer’s face. A face fit test should be carried out to ensure the respiratory protective equipment (RPE) can protect the wearer.
To ensure you put on tight-fitting RPE correctly, use a mirror or ask a colleague. Fit-testers should follow government advice on social distancing, as they can make observations from this distance and deliver any instructions verbally.
The user should then carry out a pre-use seal check or fit check. The following poster gives guidance how to put on disposable respirators and how to do a pre-use seal check or fit check.
Minimise the risk of transmission
People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are isolating in accordance with government guidance should not attend a face fit test.
To minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during face-fit testing the following additional measures should be taken:
fit-testers should follow government advice on social distancing, as they can make observations from this distance and deliver any instructions verbally
those being fitted should keep their respirators on if closer observation is required to minimise risk to testers
both the fit tester and those being fit tested should wash their hands before and after the test in accordance with NHS Guidelines
those being fit tested with non-disposable masks should clean the mask themselves before and immediately after the test using a suitable disinfectant cleaning wipe (check with manufacturer to avoid damaging the mask)
test facepieces that cannot be adequately disinfected (e.g. disposable half masks) should not be used by more than one individual.
fit testers should wear disposable gloves when undertaking cleaning of the tubes, hoods etc and ensure they remove gloves following the correct procedure (PDF) – Portable Document Format
immediately dispose of used gloves, disposable masks, cleaning wipes etc in a waste bin
You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:
an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
If something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of coronavirus you must report this as a dangerous occurrence. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.
Cases of disease: exposure to a biological agent
If there is reasonable evidence that someone diagnosed with COVID-19 was likely exposed because of their work you must report this as an exposure to a biological agent using the case of disease report. An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a health care professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.
Work related fatalities
If someone dies as a result of a work related exposure to coronavirus and this is confirmed as the likely cause of death by a registered medical practitioner then you must report this as soon as is practical and within 10 days of the death.