The health and safety of our species has never been more important than it is now, and whilst some of my clients have suspended or significantly reduced activity, others are continuing, and I have been helping them wherever possible.
I have always been based from home, so have not had to set up a new home office like many. I have helped several clients with homeworker risk assessments. The home is the new workplace, and employers need to ensure a safe workplace. Every home is different, but we don’t want people sat on the end of their bed using a dressing table as a desk (which I have seen).
Whilst a full proper desk set up may not always be possible, I have been helping people ensure that their set up is as good as it can be. I even did a video on my website of some basic exercises you can do at your home office desk (https://www.kshsafety.com/post/home-office-exercises).
I am continuing to help clients update their policies and procedures, and have even done a health and safety inspection via Zoom, where a client walked around his premises with his phone. I have helped several with Coronavirus specific risk assessments, particularly where those clients provide essential emergency repair services in people's homes.
I have set up a Coronavirus web page (https://www.kshsafety.com/coronavirus), which as well as providing links to official guidance, also includes other resources for those still working or those staying safe at home. I am also prevalent on Social Media ( LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter ), promoting ideas, positivity and support.
I can now deliver face to face training via Zoom, and continue to have almost 100 e-learning courses available (https://www.kshsafety/com/online).
I recently assisted one client to achieve CHAS (Contractor Health and Safety Scheme) status, which was completed after the stay at home measures were introduced.
So while many businesses are in a down period, for me, to a certain extent it’s business as usual, with adaptions. Should the Stay at Home policy continue for a longer period, businesses will need to start thinking about when they restart again, or return to their premises.
As people have got used to being at home, it will be a culture shock to many, a bit like when a long term sick person returns to work. Maybe some form of gradual or phased return will work best. Or maybe many businesses will realise that home working continues to have benefits. Whatever happens, I don’t think business will return to the same normal we had.
A new normal will happen.
Health and safety is in the forefront of people’s minds, and hopefully this will continue with a more proactive outlook for health and safety in business in this new normal.
It is people like me and other health and safety professionals that need to take the lead in promoting this proactive approach to businesses moving forwards.
But for now, remember, Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.