Since the launch of our Covid-19 Night Aware Accreditation Scheme, we have had over 60 venues across Nottingham sign up to take part and we are just about to launch the scheme with 50 venues in St Helen’s. As documented in our last blog, the accreditation covers four themes: Risk Assessment, Staff Training, Visibility of messaging and Customer Experience. To ensure all four themes have been addressed, various modes of assessment are being used.
The first step for all enrolled venues is the submission of a thorough risk assessment alongside their staff training records. Venues are expected to have fully consulted and included current government guidelines when doing so and undertake these two tasks in correspondence with their venue type and Covid-19 hygiene safety requirements. Across the last two months, we have received and reviewed many risk assessments and staff training records from a variety of different venues.
This post aims to highlight two common oversights we have encountered within the venue documentation we have received. We hope this will help guide and inform new sign ups and venues who have yet to submit their risk assessments and staff training records what they need to include and why it is important.
- All risk assessments and staff training records should include a detailed section on Customer Toilets at the venue and how they will mitigate risk.
Considered a potential site of transmission within venues, maintaining excellent Covid-19 hygiene and safety standards in customer toilets is essential for all businesses. It is also essential that this is thoroughly documented in both the risk assessment and staff training records. Using our internal assessment template and common oversights from the risk assessments we have already reviewed we suggest venues consider and detail the following.
Firstly, venues should use signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing techniques, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face, to cough or sneeze in to a tissue which is binned safely or in to your arm if a tissue is not available. Secondly, venues should consider social distancing marking in areas where queues usually form. In addition to this, venues should add limited entry approaches to their customer toilets such as one in one out. To enable good hand hygiene venues should consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe, practical, and accessible. Additionally, venues must ensure there are suitable handwashing facilities available. This should encompass staff carrying out regular checks for running water, liquid soap, and drying methods. The needs of disabled customers and those with protected characteristics must be catered for. Another measure venues should implement is setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Venues should use normal cleaning products paying attention to the frequency of hand touched surfaces and use disposable cloths/ paper roll to clean hard surfaces. It is also of vital importance that venues keep these facilities well ventilated by ensuring extractor fans work effectively and by opening windows and vents where possible. If any venues have portable toilets or large toilet blocks, special care should be taken when cleaning them. Vitally, all venues should put up a visible cleaning schedule that is always kept up to date and visible. This can be submitted as part of your visual evidence. Finally, venues should provide more waste facilities within their customer toilets and increase frequency of rubbish collection.
We hope the above discussion will aid all venues in the completion of their risk assessment and staff training records and the detailing of customer toilet focussed safety measures.
2. All risk assessments and staff training records should include a detailed section on what to do in the case of positive test results or virus outbreaks. This should be included in the workers and the workplace section.
Whilst by now the protocol regarding Covid-19 and its contraction are widely known, it is essential that venues provide this information within their risk assessments and staff training records and have a plan in place should their staff test positive. Using our internal assessment template and common oversights from the risk assessments we have already reviewed we suggest venues consider and detail the following.
Firstly, venues should ensure they are up to date with guidance for employers and employees relating to statutory sick pay due to coronavirus. Secondly, venues must Ensure any workers with symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, self-isolate immediately and continue to do so for 10 days. Additionally, any workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate immediately and continue to do so for 10 days. Venues must also be aware that any worker that has tested positive without symptoms but develops symptoms during the isolation period must start the 10-day isolation period from the day the symptoms started. In addition, venues should ensure that any workers who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 self-isolate for a 10 day period. Any workers who have been informed by NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact of a person who has had a positive test for COVID-19 follows the requirement to self-isolate. When planning for all the above risks venues must understand and consider the particular circumstances of those with different protected characteristics. Venues must involve and communicate appropriately with workers whose protected characteristics might expose them to a different degree of risk or might make any steps you think are challenging or inappropriate for them. You should also consider whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation. Finally, venues should make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage and assess the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.
We hope that this post provides important insight in to the essential sections that must be considered within a venue’s documentation and provide guidance in to the specificities of each risk and related measure.
If you would like to launch the Covid Aware Accreditation Scheme in your area please get in touch with us to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
By Alicia Souter: Covid Aware Accreditation Scheme Project Manager