Information on carrying out workplace risk assessments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
A risk assessment is a systematic method of looking at how work activities could increase the risk of your employees being exposed to or spreading COVID-19 while at work and deciding on suitable control measures.
These control measures should seek to eliminate, reduce or control the risks of transmission to employees and others.
You should involve employees in the risk assessment process and consult them to reach joint solutions for managing COVID-19 risks in the workplace.
To assess these risks you need to follow the same steps on the links below.
To help you decide between precautions you should use this hierarchy of controls and
Scottish Government guidance.
Personal protective equipment should be your last choice for managing the risk of transmission. Priority should be given to measures that will protect more than just one person.
Eliminating the risk altogether should be your first option. These are some measures that you can take
When elimination of the risk is not possible then you should reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace. Here are some measures that you can take
Once you have considered whether it was possible to eliminate or reduce the risk you might need to implement strict measures to manage any remaining risk.
We have developed a number of examples covering key areas to help you complete your assessment. These are some examples of control measures that you might want to consider in your workplace. You should consult with your employees while deciding the implementation of control measures.
Click on the links to see these examples risk assessments
The implementation of safe systems of work will be very important to manage the risk of transmission and you need staff to follow a strict process, with additional supervision (for example the creation of work groups or cohorts to carry out tasks).
You should clearly explain rules and processes that employees need to follow to reduce the risk of transmission. This might be done by safety rules, processes and procedures, method statements, permits to work and so on.
Find out more about method statements or permits to work on our
main risk assessment section.
The legal requirements to wear a face mask have been removed from legislation, however we recommend that you encourage staff and others (unless exempt or under 12) to continue to wear a face coverings in indoor public places and on public transport. This is particularly important where your risk assessment identifies crowded, poorly ventilated spaces and where it is not possible to maintain a safe distance. You might come across other organisations or venues that may require the use of face coverings; you should follow their guidance.
Face coverings do not mean surgical or other medical grade mask, but a facial covering of the mouth and nose, made of cloth or other textiles, for example a scarf. For more about information about face covering go to the
Scottish Government website.
This advice is different for organisations providing health care, find out more from Public Health Scotland about
PPE requirements in a health care setting.
PPE should be your last resort for managing the risk of transmission and you shouldn’t use PPE as a substitute for social distancing, hand, cough and sneeze hygiene, environmental cleaning or ventilation, in the workplace.
The type of PPE that you or your employees need will depend on the type of work that you do, the people you are working with and the work environment where the task takes place.
You can also find more information on the use of
PPE in our PPE and COVID-19 page.
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For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team