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Our Health & Safety provisions COVID-19
A message from our CEOs May 2020
The health and safety of our staff is extremely important to us. All employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, they protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees.
During this unprecedented time, COVID-19 has forced us to review and change the way in which we work in order to continue delivering services that deaf people need, whilst ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues.
Deaf people still need access to advice, information (including COVID-19 related), communication, emotional & wellbeing services and support to continue living independently. This cannot stop – in some ways the pandemic has only increased the need for services, particularly information and advice where unsurprisingly we have seen an increase in demand.
What have we done?
- Continually worked with colleagues across the organisation to assess and review our working practices. Our Co-CEO and Health & Safety representative leads a working group that includes representatives from all areas of our organisation
- Reviewed government guidance as it changes and provided BSL updates internally and externally
- Worked collaboratively with other charities to discuss challenges, adaptations and communications
- Provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) along with government guidance including fitting/removal instructions
- Updated our standard risk assessment tools to include additional risks and control measures associated with COVID-19
- Reviewed and updated our employee privacy notice
- Enabled home working for colleagues and conducted supervisions and team catch-ups/meetings remotely
- Maintained open channels of communication with our board of trustees; providing pandemic related updates through our reporting processes and video meetings
- Engaged with our local authority partners to ensure the continued safety of our clients
- Introduced a live-chat feature on our website that includes video access
- Adapted the way in which we deliver services, including:
– Remote access (video-call, live-chat, email, SMS, Skype)
– Doorstep welfare checks
– Shop-drops, including medications
– Social distancing where we cannot deliver a service remotely or via a doorstep service
- Established a new, open channel of communication by encouraging colleagues to ask their CEOs a question, no matter what that the topic
Some of the people who we support rely on our services. They have nobody else and no one to turn to at this incredibly worrying time. Our job as a charity is to do all that we can to ensure services continue, whilst ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues. It is not easy – but we are doing our best.
Amanda, Lesley and Sue – Joint Chief Executives
You can also see the pdf version of the statement here.