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Back to work, don't feel safe, risk assessment

(68 Posts)
Back2WorkForMe Sun 31-May-20 11:44:11

We have been working from home and going into the office on a rota basis, so only minimal people in the office at one time so we are able to social distance.

Anyway, manager has said we are all back in next week. When we are all in there are 15 people packed into our office. We are squashed and there is no way a safe distance between us. We are facing each other. If who I am facing coughs or sneezes it will be on to me.

What can I do about this, I don't feel safe but don't want to make a big fuss about it sadany advice?

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PseudoBadger Sun 31-May-20 11:45:31

Have you seen a risk assessment?

Back2WorkForMe Sun 31-May-20 11:48:24

@PseudoBadger I don't think a risk assessment has been done

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PseudoBadger Sun 31-May-20 12:07:39

Ok so they must do one, and share it with employees. Have you raised your concerns with your employer, and what did they say?

Useruseruserusee Sun 31-May-20 12:10:59

Whenever teachers say they don’t feel safe being in an enclosed room with 15 others and no social distancing, they are told to just get on with it.

Could you contact your employer and ask to see the risk assessment? Are you in a union or able to join one? I know you probably don’t want to be seen as difficult, but this is an important issue.

Back2WorkForMe Sun 31-May-20 12:13:23

I don't want to be seen as difficult but I am also worried. I have not been back yet, with all staff in; this starts tomorrow. I am hoping I will not be the only one with concerns

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Useruseruserusee Sun 31-May-20 12:18:37

Could you express your concerns in a way that offers solutions? Could your office be rearranged so that you aren’t all facing each other, or could perspex screens be fitted?

If your colleagues feel the same way, this might help.

MRex Sun 31-May-20 12:18:57

You can ask what measures have been taken to help you all stay safe and you can contact HSE if you feel those aren't reasonable. Keep distance yourself, unless you've had risk assessment and PPE.
This is what the employer is supposed to do: www.hse.gov.uk/news/working-safely-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm.
Here is where you call if they are taking unnecessary risks:
www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm.

PseudoBadger Sun 31-May-20 12:21:55

If you are an office environment please contact your local environmental health department not the hse

bigchris Sun 31-May-20 12:22:06

Well you'll have to make a fuss I'm afraid if you are concerned

bigchris Sun 31-May-20 12:22:58

Or your HR department , or your work health and safety group , are you local government or private sector ?

Cookiecrisps Sun 31-May-20 12:26:16

Definitely ask to see the risk assessment. An office environment should be putting in Perspex screens if people are facing each other or moving desks side by side 2 metres distance.

pfrench Sun 31-May-20 12:42:48

How come the advice for this person is so different to the response teachers get?

Buck up OP, your risk assessment won't be worth the paper it's written on because nothing can be guaranteed to be safe. No one knows what safe really is in this situation. But you know, it'll be fine. Or not.

MarcsLover Sun 31-May-20 12:44:11

Did you feel safe in your last day in the office? Because it was a lot more "dangerous" then than it is now.

MarcsLover Sun 31-May-20 12:45:44

How old are you? Why are you scared of contracting a virus with such a low mortality rate? You are more likely to die in your way to the office of a non-corona related cause.

itsgettingweird Sun 31-May-20 12:46:34

There are guidelines and workplaces have to be Covid secure.

Things like screens. Hand santiser. 2m distancing. Cleaning computers and desks. One way systems and if necessary staggered start time's.

Have a look on gov.uk for Covid secure workplace information and ask for works risk assessment.

If you're in a union then contact them.

Judiwench Sun 31-May-20 12:47:29

@MarcsLover perhaps because the world has stopped for the past 12 weeks?

Uhoh2020 Sun 31-May-20 12:47:50

If you haven't been back in the office how do you know no precautions have been taken?

NatashaAlianovaRomanova Sun 31-May-20 13:08:51

I'm afraid you'll have to make a fuss if you're not happy about the return to work plan.

I spent a week going back & forward with my employer pointing out the flaws in their plan - at one point his answer to not being able to socially distance in the staff break room/kitchen was to close it & make everyone leave the premises at lunchtime I had to point out that we work in an industrial estate with nothing open nearby & some members of staff don't drive!

Thankfully I've handed in my notice due to another issue & am working my notice period at home but if I was staying I'd still be making a fuss as the risk assessment has been carried out by a colleague who openly admits that she knows nothing about COVID & doesn't keep up with the news, guidance etc & my boss thinks coronavirus has been eradicated in our county as there had been no news cases for 3 days.

Some employers just don't have a clue.

StatisticalSense Sun 31-May-20 13:29:37

@pfrench
Because people believe this posters work can be done from home. Expecting people back into the office when the work can just as easily be done from home is a completely different matter than expecting people who can't work from home (or can't do most of their usual job from home) to go to work.

Back2WorkForMe Sun 31-May-20 16:31:44

@MarcsLover it doesn't matter how old I am and asking why I am scared of getting a virus really isn't helpful. I am not so much concerned about myself getting it but rather passing into DH who has underlying illness or passing to anyone else, including colleagues in my office.

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Back2WorkForMe Sun 31-May-20 16:33:29

@Uhoh2020 I have been back in the office. We have been working from home and going into office one day a week, on a rota basis so office has not been full. Starting tomorrow everyone will be working in the office

I work in public sector if that makes any difference.

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Back2WorkForMe Sun 31-May-20 16:34:40

Thank you everyone else for the advise. In the first instance I am going to ask to see the risk assessment tomorrow morning.

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Noextremes2017 Sun 31-May-20 17:00:06

Unfortunately Government propaganda has made many people so scared this reaction won't be uncommon.

Herbie0987 Sun 31-May-20 17:17:31

I work in the public sector and no way are we going back into the office anytime soon. I understand a risk assessment has to be carried out and all staff informed of new procedures before going back.

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