As the world-wide spread of Coronavirus continues to make headlines, it paves the way for new areas of risk in the workplace.
Whilst we have seen the obvious trend of employers failing to implement social distancing measures, a lack of available PPE and a lack of risk assessments, more surprisingly, we are seeing cases where Coronavirus has had an unexpected or unintended consequence. For example:
- Collision injuries where employees’ masks or glasses have fogged up
- Slipping injuries caused by one-way system signs on the floor which do not conform to anti-slip ratings.
Employers have a legal duty to do what is reasonable to protect the health and well-being of their employees. Given that Coronavirus is newly discovered, the government have released guidance to assist along the way.
Put simply, the practical actions for businesses to take have been condensed into 5 main steps:
- Carry out and publish a COVID19 risk assessment
- Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures
- Help people to work from home
- Maintain 2 metre social distancing, where possible
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
Whilst employees try to grapple with the rapidly changing new normal caused by coronavirus, employers are striving to adapt the workplace in order to protect their employees.
This is something which isn’t easy in the best of times, never mind in the middle of a global pandemic, but even so, employers must ensure that they are putting measures in place to protect their employees from the risks of coronavirus.
Express Solicitors have had to work hard to assess these risks in line with the government guidance and put the necessary measures in place not only to protect employees, but to allow for ‘business as usual’.
Regrettably however, sometimes things do go wrong and we are coming across situations whereby employers have failed to follow the advice of the government effectively.
Express Solicitors have been instructed by a number of clients who have sadly suffered with the effects of coronavirus due to the apparent failing on behalf of their employer, for which compensation should rightly be available.
For those unfortunate individuals who have sadly suffered with the effects of coronavirus due to the apparent failing on behalf of their employer (such as those above or similar), somebody other than their employer or within a healthcare setting, our various Employers Liability, Public Liability and Clinical Negligence teams are on hand to offer expert advice.