Covid-19

Covid-19 has made an unavoidable impact on all our lives. We have found ourselves in the midst of a global crisis, unprecedented in living memory. As the dust settles after the initial shock of life changing almost beyond all recognition, we are trying to settle into a sensible, sustainable routine of living and working.

Contact us for help with Covid-19

 


What is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a type of virus called a coronavirus.

There are lots of coronaviruses, which can cause cold symptoms. Some coronaviruses are more serious than others. This novel (new) coronavirus became apparent in 2019, and the disease it causes has been named Covid-19 (COrona VIrus Disease 2019).

How might Covid-19 affect me?

Most people (around 80%) who contract Covid-19 recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Many people suffer only mild symptoms, similar to a cold. Statistics currently tell us that around 1 in 5 people infected with Covid-19 becomes seriously ill and develops severe breathing difficulties. You are at greater risk of developing serious illness if you are older (over 70) or have underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes or cancer.

But anyone can catch it and become seriously ill. If you are young and in general good health, statistics suggest that you are at a lower risk, but you must not assume that you will not become ill.

What should I be doing?

Government guidance tells us that if you think you have Covid-19 symptoms, you should stay at home (self-isolate). If you are elderly or vulnerable, you must stay at home to shield yourself from the virus.

Otherwise you must practice social distancing, that is, stay at home, except:

  • shopping for basic necessities
  • exercising once a day
  • medical need
  • travelling for work, but only where you cannot work from home.

Common misconceptions

A number of misconceptions regarding the guidance have arisen:

1. Only "essential" work may continue.

This is NOT true. With the exception of the closure of certain businesses and venues, the government has not required any other business to close. It is important for business to carry on. If the work can be carried out from home, then it should be, and employers must support this, by providing suitable equipment and IT for homeworking.

The government has issued sector-specific guidance for workplace safety with regard to Covid-19. You may find that this is not completely applicable to your business, or doesn't answer all your questions. Please do call us if you have any specific concerns.

2. You can't travel to work unless you are a "key worker" or your work is "essential".

If your work cannot be carried out from home, then you may still travel for work purposes, as long as neither you nor anyone in your household is self-isolating. While travelling you must follow Public Health England (PHE) guidelines on social distancing. At work, your employer must ensure that you are able to follow PHE guidelines, including, where possible, maintaining a 2m distance from others and providing hand washing facilities.

3. I can't carry out work in people's homes

If you are well and show no symptoms, and the occupants of the household are not shielding, you may carry out work in people's homes. You must ensure that you can follow Public Health England guidelines to ensure everyone's safety.

What must my business do?

If your business is not one which has been temporarily closed by the Government, you should continue to operate.

You have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of your workers, and others who may be affected by your activities.

In the event that a prosecution or employee civil case arises, you must be able to prove that you took reasonably practicable steps to protect your workforce and others.

Safety Concepts has all the tools to help you with your arrangements for managing the Covid-19 risk.

Click here for more information about how we can help you.

Contact us for help with Covid-19