GENERAL WORKPLACE RISK ASSESSMENT
Area/Unit/Department: QIBCompleted by:  R H WilsonDate:  15th May 2020
Activity: Returning to work from COVID LockdownApproved by: S.ListerReview date:  1st June 2020 or earlier if a change affects the assessment
Hazards

 

Who might be harmed and how?

 

What is already being done to control the risk?Are further controls needed?Additional Actions

 

Priority
Risk of staff or visitors such as contractors contracting COVID 19 from colleagues whilst undertaking normal activities in QI offices or laboratories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All staff and visitors such as contractors

 

Staff and visitors such as contractors may contract COVID19 with life threatening consequences

Staff with pre-existing underlying conditions; clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable are most at risk

QIB COVID-19 organisational risk assessment completed. 2m social distancing and hand and face hygiene and general cleanliness measures are required. Reminders are given and signs displayed.

 

Any individual who is clinically extremely vulnerable is strongly advised not to work outside the home.

 

All staff are working at home. Only exceptions are critical laboratory support staff and staff working on COVID 19 Projects

 

Any workers at particular risk would have an individual risk assessment conducted with their Line Manager and Health and Safety and additional control measures put in place as necessary, these workers would be advised to take extra care.

 

To access QIB, staff must be a designated ‘Essential Worker’ and in possession of authority to access.

 

QIB to access via rear door only.

 

Access to communal areas of QI is not encouraged

 

No work-related travel permitted

 

Instruction given that in an emergency dial 2222 on an internal phone for help.

 

 

Yes for Phase 1 return to workPhase 1 return to work only permitted for:

 

  • COVID 19
  • Critical building/lab operations
  • Commercial work
  • Fixed-term projects
  • Urgent student practical work
  • Scientific support required by above.

Return to work in this Phase is voluntary

Additional actions required in this phase are described in attached document: Returning from Lockdown: Phase 1 social distancing rules

 

Phase 2 (week commencing 1 June) will expand work to all work with exception of:

·       Work requiring CRF

·       Long-term experiments (until threat of second lockdown eliminated)

 

At implementation of phase 2 the Returning from Lockdown: Phase 1 social distancing document will be revised

 

High
Risk of staff and visitors such as contractors contracting COVID 19 from other QIB tenants, particularly NHS workers and patients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All staff and visitors such as contractors

 

Staff and visitors such as contractors may contract COVID19 with life threatening consequences

Staff with pre-existing underlying conditions; clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable are most at risk

QIB COVID-19 organisational risk assessment completed.

 

All staff are working at home. Only exceptions are critical laboratory support staff and staff working on COVID 19 Projects

 

Any workers at particular risk would have an individual risk assessment conducted and additional control measures put in place as necessary, they would be advised to take extra care.

 

To access QIB, staff must be a designated ‘Essential Worker’ and in possession of authority to access.

 

QIB to access via rear door only. No access through doors used by NHS/public

 

Access to communal areas of QI is not encouraged

 

No work-related travel permitted

YesQI meeting rooms to be closed

 

Café to be used for takeaway service only

 

Social distancing to be required if using café or transiting communal areas.

 

Human trials suspended

 

Surgical face masks available for worker comfort and reassurance in communal areas

High

Returning from Lockdown: Phase 1 social distancing rules

Phase 1 return to work rules will commence from: Wednesday 13th May 2020

During this phase staff will be expected to follow the rules given in this document. Any breach of these rules could result in the withdrawal of permission to work and/or disciplinary action. These rules are necessary because:

  • The health and safety of staff and their families is of primary importance.
  • The Institute is in a unique position in that the building is shared with the NHS and patients and, therefore, the risk of infection to our staff is higher than for other institutes on the NRP.
  • The use of the communal space by the NHS for emergency training and staff relocation limits the use of QI space for QIB’s normal activities.
  • QIB has an open-plan environment for both laboratory and office space.
  • QIB has to consider government guidelines and the bigger picture.

Who can work during Phase 1 (Important note: Working during this phase will be voluntary)

Only workers classified as ‘essential’ will be permitted to work but the definition of ‘essential’ will be expanded to staff that require access to the building to work on:>

  • COVID 19
  • Critical building/lab operations
  • Commercial work
  • Fixed-term projects
  • Urgent student practical work
  • Scientific support required by above.

We estimate about 25% of staff will be given permission to work during this phase and all must be in possession of a letter from the Director of Operations giving permission to access. A line manager needs to complete a form for this to cover themselves and/or any of their staff.

Staff who can work from home will be expected to do so during this period. A skeleton administration service will be provided. Please remember If you don’t need to be in QIB, don’t go there!

Staff who are considered in a vulnerable category should remain at home

Working hours

  • Working day will be 8am to 8pm. Staff can adjust their working pattern to reduce contact. Access should be spread throughout this working day.
  • Laboratory space will be re-allocated and marked out to optimise distancing. Staff may find themselves moved to another bench.
  • Out of hours regulations apply and Lab Manager support may not be available for the whole day. You must sign in and out and there may be staff temperature monitoring.

Distancing at work

NOTE: The following list of rules is not exhaustive and staff will need to adapt their behaviour to the circumstances they find themselves in. There is potentially quite a lot to remember but the main principle is to maintain a 2m gap between people at all times and must wash hand frequently throughout the day and always when moving from one part of QIB/QI to another.

  • Staff should keep to their allotted bench/working space. Safety cabinets and fume cupboards will be demarcated as working areas and for single use
  • Regularly clean and disinfect your work surfaces, local touchpoints, lab equipment, fridge handles, computer, phone and objects that you touch. You can use Bioguard disinfectant spray on hard surfaces (Stores: 03001316) or Distel antimicrobial wipes on electrical equipment (Stores: 03004890 for 100 wipes, or 03004880 for individual wipes).
  • Minimise the sharing of equipment and tools where possible.
  • Ante rooms and other non-open plans areas will have set maximum occupancy numbers that will be displayed on the door. These may capacities may be increased by 1 person where training is taking place in which case two staff may be present but they must maintain a safe working distance. Staff should consider how to enter/exit this rooms while maintaining a 2m separation.
  • Meeting rooms will be limited to single occupancy (for private teleconference/video meetings).
  • Crowding around communal facilities/equipment is not allowed.
  • Crowding around screens etc to look at results etc. is not allowed if 2m spacing cannot be maintained.
  • Staff must enter and leave QIB through the back door and sign in and out (out of hours rules apply).
  • QI café should only be used for takeaway purchases for consumption in QIB (NB social distancing is not always maintained in the area and staff should exercise caution).
  • Staff food preparation area in Café will be closed.
  • Each Kitchenette (levels 1 and 2) will be set up as two bays. Only one person is permitted in each bay at a time
  • One bay in each kitchenette will be for the use of a microwave. Hot food can be prepared here and consumed at desks or soft seating areas (please don’t prepare smelly food and avoid spills).
  • Only one person in any toilet at a time.
  • Meeting rooms may only be used by one person at a time for confidential Zoom/ Skype/Teams meetings. Meetings must be held in open plan areas and social distancing must be observed.
  • Internal meetings via Skype/Zoom/Teams is encouraged.
  • When not working in lab, staff are encouraged to go home and work.
  • When working at desks, a minimum of one vacant desk space must exist between occupants. Staff may move to other desks, soft spaces or change their working hours to accommodate this.
  • Group Leader offices must only be occupied by one individual. No meetings are to be held in GL offices.
  • Staff should regularly wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds regularly throughout the day and always when entering QIB space from outside or from visiting another part of QI e.g. café.
  • Avoid using the lifts where possible. These are confined, poorly ventilated spaces. Restrict lift usage to dirty lift only when transporting lab items, and only one person at a time

Personal Protection Equipment

  • QIB will provide surgical masks for workers for their personal comfort and re-assurance. These will be provided free.
  • The wearing of face masks is not compulsory, it is a personal choice. Face masks will be available for collection from QIB on-floor stores.
  • Wear the usual PPE in the lab areas; lab coat, gloves and safety glasses as required by the work.
  • Gloves should only be worn when you require protection from hazardous chemicals and biological materials that you are working with. Gloves should not be worn when opening doors or operating switches or contacting other touchpoints in corridors or other general areas as gloves can become as easily contaminated, this can then be passed to the face. Effective hand hygiene should be sufficient to protect against hand contamination.

If you become ill

  • Staff showing symptoms of COVID-19 virus should not come in to work. If they demonstrate symptoms at work they must inform their line manager and a Lab Manager or, in their absence, the Director of Operations. They must then go home and follow NHS guidance. Areas occupied by individuals reporting ill at work will be subject to deep cleaning.
  • COVID-19 Testing is available for QIB workers who start showing COVID-19 symptoms.Please note: testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing. Testing is available at the testing station on site in the car park near the Centrum, also at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and the James Paget in Gorleston. The testing team respond to requests within 24hrs, and a test will usually be booked for the following day. Results are communicated by phone.  If you have any difficulties organising testing contact health.safety@nbi.ac.uk for assistance.

Travel

  • No travel in the UK or internationally will be permitted during phase 1. No visitors will be accepted during this phase except engineers.
  • Staff car parking will remain free during this phase but is likely to be reintroduced from July
  • If staff do travel internationally for private reasons during this period they should note that any quarantine time required by foreign or UK governments must be taken as annual, or unpaid, leave.
  • Institute vehicles should not be used during Phase 1 or 2. If this becomes necessary the Director of Operations should be consulted for guidance.

If you have any questions or concerns please speak to a Laboratory Manager or the Director of Operations,