Supporting your business through the pandemic

What has changed

22nd September 2020

Following the latest announcements made yesterday by the Prime Minister, we wanted to inform all our clients that Rawlings will continue to be providing our wide range of safety support services to assist and support you with your safety and training needs, which includes;


  • Safety retained services
  • CDM support services and the principal designer role
  • Health and Safety Consultancy Support Services, including on-site inspections, audits
  • Training (both classroom style and remote/Zoom etc)
  • Fire safety support, fire risk assessments etc


The health and well being of our staff, their families and that of our clients is paramount and you can be assured that we will continue to provide our services in a Covid secure way.


In accordance with government guidelines some staff will be working from home but are fully functioning and contactable on the usual head office number, mobile number, and emails.

Steve Rawlings              07899 751 685    
Kevin Colleran               07876 634 618      
John Caulfield               07881 721 864      
Stuart Allen                    07825 506 174      
Anthony Walker           07939 298 487     

Pete Walsh                   07775 420 125      
Alex Thorpe                 07815 492 490      
Jamie Gormley            07717 837 856      
Adam Peers                  07762 297 089    
Tony Baker                    07899 924 438    

External services will be provided in the same Covid secure way and in accordance with our own risk assessments and procedures.  

Our training division is fully open fotr business and we are now offering course delivery in classrooms and remotely via Zoom / Teams.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at any-time for any H&S or training requirements.

We would also strongly recommend you check the following websites for further advice and the latest guidance relevant to your business.

We have also put together a pack of key documents and procedures that will assist your business become COVID19 Secure and ensure you remain compliant with the requirements of the latest UK Government Guidelines / Laws. 

  • Click here to download our pack Contractors and Principal Contractors Pack.
  • Click here to download our General Workplace Pack

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.

Stay healthy, stay safe and take care.

Steve, Kevin and all the team at Rawlings


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:

  • Making sure your workplace is clean and hygienic.
  • Promoting regular and thorough hand-washing by everyone.
  • Providing all employees with an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Encouraging people to use and bin tissues.

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.

  1. Construction and other outdoor work
  2. Factories, plants and warehouses
  3. Labs and research facilities.
  4. Offices and contact centres
  5. Other peoples homes
  6. Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
  7. Shops and branches
  8. Vehicles

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviors:

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

Face Coverings

  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings (from 23 September).
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September).
  • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

Working from home

To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.

Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.


  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).

Businesses (cont’d)

  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
    • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
    • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
    • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

Meeting people safely

  • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people (from 24 September).
  • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people (from 24 September).
  • There will be a new exemption in those areas of local intervention where household mixing is not allowed to permit friends and family to provide informal childcare for children under 14 (from 24 September).
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people (down from 30). Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, except funerals (from 28 September).

The government’s expectation is the measures described above will need to remain in place until March.

These measures apply to England – but there may be different rules if you live in an area under local lockdown: and you should check local lockdown rules. If you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, different rules may apply.


Further Information

Latest News on COVID-19

CoronaVirus FAQ’s

1. When am I allowed to leave the house? You should only leave or be away from your home for very limited purposes: shopping for

Read More »

Fit testing face masks

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

RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

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.


What to report

Dangerous occurrences

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.

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