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biker1  
#641 Posted : 09 October 2020 11:53:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Re the effect of Trump's infection on the polls, I remain sceptical about this. Trump is now saying he feels wonderful, it's a miracle. After all he has done, or not done as the case may be, his nastiness on social media, his constant stream of lies, his attempts to subvert democracy, and so on, I cannot imagine why any sane nation would re-elect him. However, nothing would surprise me about the people in the USA, and I harbour this premonition that he will be successful next month, despite everything. I really hope I'm wrong - it's one thing I wouldn't mind being wrong about.

achrn  
#642 Posted : 09 October 2020 14:33:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

After all he has done...


As was observed on HIGNFY last week, people in the UK should be cautious about throwing stones in the 'you get the leaders you elect' glass house.

However, arguably Trump has done the world a favour in accelerating the collapse of the USA - while a large proportion of the world used to despise the USA, or fear the USA, or distrust the USA, I think now the predominant global response is pity. That can only hasten the decline, which may well be painful, but is not necesarily a bad thing.

Edited by user 09 October 2020 14:34:24(UTC)  | Reason: spalling

aud  
#643 Posted : 10 October 2020 18:48:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
aud

"survival of the virus on surface, there was something on NHS about this, I believ it can survive for up to 72 hours on hard surfaces and 3 on fabrics/soft surfaces. Not sure if this helps, tbh it worries me that the survival rate is so unpredicatable."

Recent research says yes, in theory, the virus CAN survive under lab test conditions for various lengths of time, but in real life is unlikely to be viable for more than minutes rather than hours / days. This is where hand hygiene is important, and within the control of each individual. In theory there is a potential for someone to touch an object and collect enough viable virus which CAN then transferred by hand to mouth or nose and so infection COULD result. This potential for transfer is interrupted by hand cleansing.

However, as research knowledge improves, it is now being demonstrated that air transmission is more important than surface transmission, and that the mantra should really be 'space - face cover - wash hands' in that order. Whether that is more reassuring or not I don't know. 

On the other hand I had a visit from a council officer last week, all social distance outside, no problem. When I asked how long processing my particular form would take, the officer cited their '7 day quarantine' for mail. According to her, all post sits in a room for a week before it is touched or posted outwards. I had her repeat this, as I was astonished, having never heard anything suggesting this, certainly not for 7 days. That's council's for you. 

I just wash or sanitise after handling objects, face covering, shopping, mail or parcels. Mail seems to be delivered pretty quickly, obviously with no 7 days in a special room!


thanks 2 users thanked aud for this useful post.
biker1 on 12/10/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 12/10/2020(UTC)
biker1  
#644 Posted : 12 October 2020 09:08:15(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Well, the impending imposition of further restrictions in parts of the north has prompted the young people to hit the town en masse to have one more go at spreading the virus, not to mention mass gatherings in London. Saw pictures of one anti-lockdown protest with the usual nutcase holding a banner declaring that 'COVID is a hoax'. What is wrong with these people? As someone whose daughter was very ill with COVID back in April, I take this as a personal insult, and an insult to all those, public and NHS staff, who have died because of the virus, and the grieving families they left behind.

Yes, we have a government who have been spectactularly inept at dealing with the crisis, but this doesn't excuse the thousands of people whose selfish and grossly irresponsible behaviour has kept the virus spreading.

A Kurdziel  
#645 Posted : 12 October 2020 09:27:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Microbiology and especially virology is very odd, speaking, as an ex-microbiologist myself. Imagine if you were a zoologist who could never see an animal in its native habit. The best you could manage is seeing it in some sort of cage and were never sure if what you were looking at was an actually live specimen or some sort of stuffed creature. Finally, you were only interested in animals that bite, meaning that that 99% of things that were harmless but may interact with the environment in some subtle way are really unknown.

When people say that they have detected a virus and that it is “still alive” it really meaningless. A virus is not alive anyway: it is an obligate intracellular parasite and is only “alive “inside a host cell. Whether this reflects what happens during an infection is hard to tell. Simply detecting virus days later does not mean that it is infection and establishing viability is tricky. The only way to do for properly would be to take a swab and stick it up a person’s nose to see what happened but that is unethical. So, we are left with guessing and assuming. Some people assume the worst and others assume the best. We have to make policy on the basis of that.   

thanks 6 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 12/10/2020(UTC), Kate on 12/10/2020(UTC), aud on 12/10/2020(UTC), RVThompson on 13/10/2020(UTC), stevedm on 13/10/2020(UTC), nic168 on 13/10/2020(UTC)
aud  
#646 Posted : 12 October 2020 15:02:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
aud

For anyone interested in face covering arguments, I recommend an short essay by Nassim Taleb "Incompetence and errors in reasoning around face coverings". 

If you want to listen to a review and discussion of this, start with Todd Conklin 'Pre Accident Investigation' podcast #289 (June). Tip: Although I like his podcasts, I find the US drawl works better for me at 1.1 speed!

Holliday42333  
#647 Posted : 12 October 2020 16:17:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

For anyone interested in the views of large swathes of the population you could log onto the Governments Facebook account and look at the comments on Johnson's statement to the Commons.

Personally I wish I hadn't and won't be doing so again.  There is no greater body of evidence as to why the current restrictions have not been working and won't work in the immediate future!

In the sage words of Private Frazer "we're doomed, doomed I tell thee!"

biker1  
#648 Posted : 13 October 2020 11:50:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Usual dithering from the government, now a three tier system for alert levels, making the whole thing even more confusing, and how will people be told that further restrictions are coming in? Newspapers, TV news, social media? Contrary to what they seem to think, we are not all glued to the media. And why do they have such a time delay in bringing in the restrictions? Whilst I appreciate that councils etc need some warning, having the imposition days ahead just encourages idiots to go wild while they can, so the whole point of the restrictions is somewhat lost. If they are depending on the trace and test app, sorry to point out that a lot of people haven't got this, and won't be able to access it.

Why don't we just have a two week 'circuit break' - national total lockdown? Oh, sorry, forgot that thousands of people will just ignore it.

The latest figures indicate that deaths from COVID are three times that of flu and pneumonia combined, and if deaths where COVID is mentioned on the death certificate are counted, the figure goes up from 42 thousand to 57 thousand. Figures for a roughly ten mile radius of where I live are that 120 people have died from it since the start, and we are in a relatively 'safe' area. These kinds of statistics seem to be lost on a lot of people.

achrn  
#649 Posted : 13 October 2020 12:32:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

how will people be told that further restrictions are coming in? Newspapers, TV news, social media? Contrary to what they seem to think, we are not all glued to the media. And why do they have such a time delay in bringing in the restrictions?

Errrm, perhaps because they realise people are not all glued to the media?
thanks 1 user thanked achrn for this useful post.
Kate on 13/10/2020(UTC)
biker1  
#650 Posted : 14 October 2020 09:48:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

how will people be told that further restrictions are coming in? Newspapers, TV news, social media? Contrary to what they seem to think, we are not all glued to the media. And why do they have such a time delay in bringing in the restrictions?

Errrm, perhaps because they realise people are not all glued to the media?

Fair enough, but it would have been nice if the government made clear how they will communicate with their adoring public. When councils are complaining that they get no effective warning about restrictions, it doesn't bode well for informing the public. Perhaps we could have the speaker cars that used to come around before elections- 'stay at home, don't go out, don't go to work, lock your doors and windows, help is on the way'
peter gotch  
#651 Posted : 14 October 2020 10:52:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Biker - that's the message designed to keep the %age vote down?!?! 

Something that Trump supporters have been trying hard though usually by legal trickery. Make it as difficult as practical for those unlikely to vote for him to register and then promise that if they do got out to vote, they may be intimidated.

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
biker1 on 14/10/2020(UTC)
Cheeky Me  
#652 Posted : 14 October 2020 14:20:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Cheeky Me

This new 3-tier area alert thing is confusing me. Anyone want to help unscramble my brain? 

Situation - Our employees work away from home Monday to Friday, some living in rented property and others stay in hotels. We have formed working “team bubbles” on all of our sites which “paired” workers in conjunction with their living arrangements. No probs identified and so far, we have had no issues.  Then came the new rules.

I appreciate that many of the rules do not apply in a work place setting and workers are exempt from a number of restrictions, but what about when they leave work and head back to their accommodation. They are no longer “at work” so are they no longer covered by the exemptions?

Example, the new rules state: You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.  So, given employees sharing a rented property do not live together and are not able to form support bubbles, are they now breaking the law by sharing a rented property? I looked at the rules for students living in student accommodation which says: “you must not move backward and forward between your permanent home and term time address during term time” but there’s nothing covering workers. Are they not allowed to return home on a weekend?

In addition, what about the guys who stay in hotels during the week. Are they now breaking the law if they don’t sit alone when going for their evening meal and a beer?  Even though they spend all day working in a paired bubble and both travel to the hotel in a shared vehicle?

I am clearly missing something here…. Not just the will to live.

biker1  
#653 Posted : 14 October 2020 15:28:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

According to the news today, there is thought to be an 80% chance that we will go into a national 2 week lockdown at half term. 

Roundtuit  
#654 Posted : 14 October 2020 15:32:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

To fry your brain even further do they travel to Wales or Scotland both of whom seem intent on having no one from a high risk area travelling in to their country?

The ban for Wales starts on Friday: ​​​​​​​https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-54540764

Roundtuit  
#655 Posted : 14 October 2020 15:32:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

To fry your brain even further do they travel to Wales or Scotland both of whom seem intent on having no one from a high risk area travelling in to their country?

The ban for Wales starts on Friday: ​​​​​​​https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-54540764

Roundtuit  
#656 Posted : 14 October 2020 15:36:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post
there is thought to be an 80% chance that we will go into a national 2 week lockdown at half term. 

Unlike the fixed dates of Christmas or Easter "half term" really depends upon where you are in the country.

Roundtuit  
#657 Posted : 14 October 2020 15:36:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post
there is thought to be an 80% chance that we will go into a national 2 week lockdown at half term. 

Unlike the fixed dates of Christmas or Easter "half term" really depends upon where you are in the country.

Holliday42333  
#658 Posted : 14 October 2020 15:44:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

According to the news today, there is thought to be an 80% chance that we will go into a national 2 week lockdown at half term. 


That didn't appear to be the case at PMQ's today.  Starmer openly asked for this and Johnson actively defended not doing it (although still saying he wasn't ruling anything out)

achrn  
#659 Posted : 14 October 2020 21:12:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: Holliday42333 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

According to the news today, there is thought to be an 80% chance that we will go into a national 2 week lockdown at half term. 


That didn't appear to be the case at PMQ's today.  Starmer openly asked for this and Johnson actively defended not doing it (although still saying he wasn't ruling anything out)


Presumably your argument is that if Boris says it's not going to happen, the chances must be much higher than 80%?

thanks 2 users thanked achrn for this useful post.
Kate on 15/10/2020(UTC), CptBeaky on 15/10/2020(UTC)
Holliday42333  
#660 Posted : 15 October 2020 07:36:53(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Holliday42333 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post

According to the news today, there is thought to be an 80% chance that we will go into a national 2 week lockdown at half term. 


That didn't appear to be the case at PMQ's today.  Starmer openly asked for this and Johnson actively defended not doing it (although still saying he wasn't ruling anything out)


Presumably your argument is that if Boris says it's not going to happen, the chances must be much higher than 80%?

Probably!

Trouble is that 80% of all the media speculation based on 'sources close to the Government' have turned out to be hogwash, throughout this pandemic.

(For what its worth I would absolutely support this type of curcuitbreaker lockdown)

Brian Hagyard  
#661 Posted : 15 October 2020 07:45:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Originally Posted by: Cheeky Me Go to Quoted Post

This new 3-tier area alert thing is confusing me. Anyone want to help unscramble my brain? 

Situation - Our employees work away from home Monday to Friday, some living in rented property and others stay in hotels. We have formed working “team bubbles” on all of our sites which “paired” workers in conjunction with their living arrangements. No probs identified and so far, we have had no issues.  Then came the new rules.

I appreciate that many of the rules do not apply in a work place setting and workers are exempt from a number of restrictions, but what about when they leave work and head back to their accommodation. They are no longer “at work” so are they no longer covered by the exemptions?

Example, the new rules state: You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.  So, given employees sharing a rented property do not live together and are not able to form support bubbles, are they now breaking the law by sharing a rented property? I looked at the rules for students living in student accommodation which says: “you must not move backward and forward between your permanent home and term time address during term time” but there’s nothing covering workers. Are they not allowed to return home on a weekend?

In addition, what about the guys who stay in hotels during the week. Are they now breaking the law if they don’t sit alone when going for their evening meal and a beer?  Even though they spend all day working in a paired bubble and both travel to the hotel in a shared vehicle?

I am clearly missing something here…. Not just the will to live.

Cheeky Me.

Your right yet another area where the guidance is poor. Cannot help with the "rented" question - have looked at the Hotels and other guest accommodation guidance but it does not cover your situation as far as i can see.

As for part 2 - yes if they sit toegther in the Bar I belive they are breaching the guidance/regs (cannot keep trcak of which is which at the moment!) We have the same situation we have fixed teams using vehicles - but when they get back to base to use the rest area - they have to sit 2m appart! Very hard to exdplain why to them - as it makes no sence!

thanks 2 users thanked Brian Hagyard for this useful post.
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Holliday42333  
#662 Posted : 15 October 2020 10:29:15(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: Brian Hagyard Go to Quoted Post
We have the same situation we have fixed teams using vehicles - but when they get back to base to use the rest area - they have to sit 2m appart! Very hard to exdplain why to them - as it makes no sence!

Is it not a simple case of reducing risk by reducing close contact time?

It wouldn't make sense if we were in a catch it / don't catch it (safe/unsafe) scenario.

Admittedly if the guys are spending most of their time in close contact, the risk reduction will be slight, but its a risk reduction none the less and also demonstrates consistency across situations so there isn't one rule for the fixed teams and one rule for everyone else.  Multiple and ever changing rules for multiple scenarios is one of the things that we are all struggling with, are we not?

thanks 2 users thanked Holliday42333 for this useful post.
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Brian Hagyard  
#663 Posted : 15 October 2020 12:17:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Holliday - your right. They spend all day toghether so the Risk Reduction is very small - my response to then is sorry its in the guidance this is what we all do in the rest areas to help with this Public Health Pandemic (or similar)

Roundtuit  
#664 Posted : 15 October 2020 14:56:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Wasn't the governments stated drive to cut red tape and minimise regulation?

Having noticed that there were a number of regulations published that do not appear on the quick link a search for titles including "Covid" returned: UK 217, Scotland 76, Wales 80, N.I. 91

No wonder we (and they) can't keep up.

Roundtuit  
#665 Posted : 15 October 2020 14:56:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Wasn't the governments stated drive to cut red tape and minimise regulation?

Having noticed that there were a number of regulations published that do not appear on the quick link a search for titles including "Covid" returned: UK 217, Scotland 76, Wales 80, N.I. 91

No wonder we (and they) can't keep up.

stevedm  
#666 Posted : 15 October 2020 17:33:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

Originally Posted by: Cheeky Me Go to Quoted Post

This new 3-tier area alert thing is confusing me. Anyone want to help unscramble my brain? 

Situation - Our employees work away from home Monday to Friday, some living in rented property and others stay in hotels. We have formed working “team bubbles” on all of our sites which “paired” workers in conjunction with their living arrangements. No probs identified and so far, we have had no issues.  Then came the new rules.

I appreciate that many of the rules do not apply in a work place setting and workers are exempt from a number of restrictions, but what about when they leave work and head back to their accommodation. They are no longer “at work” so are they no longer covered by the exemptions?

Example, the new rules state: You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.  So, given employees sharing a rented property do not live together and are not able to form support bubbles, are they now breaking the law by sharing a rented property? I looked at the rules for students living in student accommodation which says: “you must not move backward and forward between your permanent home and term time address during term time” but there’s nothing covering workers. Are they not allowed to return home on a weekend?

In addition, what about the guys who stay in hotels during the week. Are they now breaking the law if they don’t sit alone when going for their evening meal and a beer?  Even though they spend all day working in a paired bubble and both travel to the hotel in a shared vehicle?

I am clearly missing something here…. Not just the will to live.


Exception 3: gatherings necessary for certain purposes

(4) Exception 3 is that the gathering is reasonably necessary—

(a)for work purposes or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services;

Cheeky Me  
#667 Posted : 16 October 2020 08:53:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Cheeky Me

Thanks, Stevedm, but having looked at the legislation, some of the “Exceptions” leave me more confused than ever.

Exception 9: wedding and civil partnership receptions

(10) Exception 9 is that the gathering is a wedding reception, a reception following the formation of a civil partnership or a reception following the conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage and—

(a)it consists of no more than 15 persons,
(b)it takes place at premises other than a private dwelling, and (c)the gathering organiser takes the required precautions in relation to the gathering 

But how does the above fit with the guidance issues by Gov.uk? i.e:

Local COVID alert level: very high

weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding receptions are not allowed

So, which one is correct? When is a wedding reception not a wedding reception?  Clear as mud.

A Parfrey  
#668 Posted : 16 October 2020 10:11:31(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
A Parfrey

Hi All,

First post on this forumn and posiibly (probably!) missed the specific issue in th eerlier conversations, so appologies if Im resurecting an "old" discussion / debate.... 

Background:

I'm the SHEQ Manager for a specialist engineering company serving the water industry. As such we are classed as "Key Workers" as we serve the National Infrastructure and have remained open for businees throughout..  We have a production area and offices where our designers, managers etc (approx 30% of staff ).  Our age profile is promarily in more vulnerable groups.  Where possible, office based staff had been enabled to work from home, then as things eased we started to get people back into the offices.. We've now reverted back to having more working from home.  An outbreak within the business could be catastropic for individuals and the business.

Controls - Individual COVID-19 RA's, Visitor vetting, Social distancing, Split break time, created "work bubbles", hand sanitisers outside every room, daily temperature monitoring etc surgical style face coverings, and FFP style masks (for a better fit to reduce spectacles steaming up), permitted staff to wear their own face coverings (as a way of encouraging them to do the right thing) and, where staff have an issue with wearing face coverings, face shields where staff are unable to maintain a 2m distance.  For site work staff have FFP3 masks and faceshields.

Due to the recent increasse (and 2 staff being tested positive  this month - thankfully people who had not been in the office, so a "near Miss" - they are first in the company,) we've increased the control measures.

We have now required staff to wear a face covering when moving about inside the buildings.  In doing so we've followed what is happening in most other settings.  If staff are at their "workstation" (office or production) they are not required to wear a face covering unless working within 2m ..

The crux of all this is that we are now being challenged (from one member of staff and our HR) on whether we can insist on the wearing of face coverings (or the alternative face shield) if the person is "exempt".  Signs saying that a person is "exempt" are freely downloadable from the internet.  No medical professional advice is required to sign this off..

- and whether we do not have a right to question or ask for medical sign off for such an exemption .. I appreciate that there are also psychological reasons why some people may not want to wear a mask (hence the provision of face shields as an alternative..)

I have quoted company policy (i.e. wear the face coverings / shields in specified circumstances) and s7 of HASAWA ..

We curently have really good compliance with what we have asked from staff, but this could undermine what we have achived so far.. 

Thoughts please  ...

Many Thanks :-)

Alan

CptBeaky  
#669 Posted : 16 October 2020 11:02:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

We did briefly touch on this before with no clear outcome.

Personally I think you can, as the equality act has exemptions for matters of public safety. This means you can discriminate against disabilities, faith, belief systems, gender etc if it protects public health. (There are other exceptions, such as for public decency, whatever that means).

It is hard as "face coverings" or not PPE, and therefore it can be argued that that there is no basis under H&S legislation to send someone home for failure to wear one. This combined with there being no current law requiring them to be worn in a work place, would mean you are on shakey ground. If you did send someone home for failure to wear one, you would probably have to pay them.

So, even given me thinking it is a posibility, I still wouldn't enforce them under discipline. I think that is a battle that it is not worth fighting until the government has relevant legislation in place (like Scotland appears to be doing)

I am sure many people will disagree with me on this though.

thanks 1 user thanked CptBeaky for this useful post.
A Parfrey on 16/10/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#670 Posted : 16 October 2020 11:06:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Quite clear in the English regs and the newly advised Scottish regs for workplaces - you cannot force someone who is exempt to wear a face covering, and whilst you may enquire as to the reason they believe themselves exempt you cannot insist upon knowing nor demand any form of doctors letter or certificate as proof.

Scattered across the posts are links to the relevant legislation much of which is collated here

 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/coronavirus

Scottish regs https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/325/contents/made

BTW a visor is not considered to be a face covering north of the border

Edited by user 16 October 2020 11:12:20(UTC)  | Reason: added specific link - thanks Kate

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Roundtuit  
#671 Posted : 16 October 2020 11:06:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Quite clear in the English regs and the newly advised Scottish regs for workplaces - you cannot force someone who is exempt to wear a face covering, and whilst you may enquire as to the reason they believe themselves exempt you cannot insist upon knowing nor demand any form of doctors letter or certificate as proof.

Scattered across the posts are links to the relevant legislation much of which is collated here

 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/coronavirus

Scottish regs https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/325/contents/made

BTW a visor is not considered to be a face covering north of the border

Edited by user 16 October 2020 11:12:20(UTC)  | Reason: added specific link - thanks Kate

thanks 6 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
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A Parfrey  
#672 Posted : 16 October 2020 11:26:34(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
A Parfrey

.... forgot to add - we've also had a vast reduction in face to face communications/ meetings - MS "Teams" has become the main way of conducting meetings ...

stevedm  
#673 Posted : 16 October 2020 11:28:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

you can in the same way you can make people comply with your control measures in COSHH...so long as you have it in your risk assessment...if the basis for the objection is not based on any medical facts then you can ask and indeed enforce your safety rules...the question is whether you would want to....:)

A Parfrey  
#674 Posted : 16 October 2020 11:56:05(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
A Parfrey

Thanks for your thoughts,

Part of the objection raised was that we were "not medically qualified and should not question the opinion of medical professionals.."

I'm not about to question a medical professional - the ones that I talk to have the opinion that if you have a medical condition (e.g. asthma), then there is GREATER reason to wear a mask, not a reduced one... Ive been advisd by a friend whos a partner at a local GP practice that they dont and wont issue exemptions...  

In the case in point we dont have an opinion from a medical professional - just the word of the member of staff .. I'm not questioning a medical professional, I'm questioning the validity of such an "exemption"

My concern is that, as an employer we are required to reduce the risk ALARP and that anyone can claim to have an "exemption" if they simply dont want to wear a face covering  - which then potentialy impacts upon the health of other staff as well as the individual ...

The wearing of facce coverings when moving around the building is included as one of the control measures in our COVID-19 Risk Assessment...

Aside from undermining adherance to rules, the risk to colleagues and their famiies, subsequent risk to the business and staff livelihoods, if we can't challenge an employee who fails to abide by the rules that the company has resonably put into place for the H&S of its staff,  can the company be held liable for any negative health impact on its staff .. ??

Roundtuit  
#675 Posted : 16 October 2020 13:22:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

COSHH - see post 641 in this thread.

Can you demonstrate an adequate level of protection from your devices that would stand up in a court of law in the event of a claim? There are no standards for face coverings, some have exhaust vents actually blowing exhaled air on to others and that is if they actually get them covering nose and mouth simultaneously.

When you read the regulations you will see that exemptions do not require a medical opinion - this was very deliberate not only in protection of the rights of the individual but recognising accessing medical appointments for critical care was already an issue without adding unecessary administration to overloaded systems.

A recent TV article on juvenille mental health showed people waiting nearly two years to get their first assessment, long before some jobsworth started incorrectly demanding a doctors note so they can board a bus.

Even if someone catches Covid at your workplace you would be hard pressed to definitvley prove the source as a particular employee not wearing a mask. Your assumption forgets all the interactions every employee can have outside of working hours any of which can inflict the termoil described.

ALARP can include employees not wearing masks - you have reasonably requested and they have reasonably refused - document it as a consideration of the employees mental well being and move on.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Kate on 16/10/2020(UTC), Kate on 16/10/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#676 Posted : 16 October 2020 13:22:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

COSHH - see post 641 in this thread.

Can you demonstrate an adequate level of protection from your devices that would stand up in a court of law in the event of a claim? There are no standards for face coverings, some have exhaust vents actually blowing exhaled air on to others and that is if they actually get them covering nose and mouth simultaneously.

When you read the regulations you will see that exemptions do not require a medical opinion - this was very deliberate not only in protection of the rights of the individual but recognising accessing medical appointments for critical care was already an issue without adding unecessary administration to overloaded systems.

A recent TV article on juvenille mental health showed people waiting nearly two years to get their first assessment, long before some jobsworth started incorrectly demanding a doctors note so they can board a bus.

Even if someone catches Covid at your workplace you would be hard pressed to definitvley prove the source as a particular employee not wearing a mask. Your assumption forgets all the interactions every employee can have outside of working hours any of which can inflict the termoil described.

ALARP can include employees not wearing masks - you have reasonably requested and they have reasonably refused - document it as a consideration of the employees mental well being and move on.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Kate on 16/10/2020(UTC), Kate on 16/10/2020(UTC)
biker1  
#677 Posted : 16 October 2020 13:41:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Surely this whole subject of exemptions from mask wearing is a bit of a nonsense? If it was on the basis of advice from a medical practitioner, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but the government have taken this out of the equation. So, anyone can claim an exemption, they don't have to prove it, and we can't question it.

As for requiring a mask be worn, wouldn't this come under sections 7 and 8 of HASAWA, if nowhere else? If the need for face masks was determined through a risk assessment, which gave rise to the safety and health control measure that masks must be worn, then any employee refusing to so so without a sound reason would be in breach of section 7 or 8. Whether it is classed as PPE in the normal sense is irrelevant.

Just my thoughts, and I am prepared to be shot down on them.

thanks 1 user thanked biker1 for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 19/10/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#678 Posted : 16 October 2020 14:38:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

ERICPD - can't see face coverings in the heirachy of controls under HASAW as there are NO applicable standards for construction or protection. What regulation has been published permits exemption.

WE need to remember that the employees we are advising to protect are NOT identical drones and that consideration must be made of the individuals that comprise our business when assessing and controlling risk.

Instead of insisting on a face covering "mask" typical of the one size fits all mantra effort should be directed to consultation rather than trying to find a legislative hammer to beat non-conformists in to submission.

Given the modern day numbers of children diagnosed along various psychological spectra perhaps that old classmate and now work colleague was not just "a disruptive pupil" but had, and likely still has today a degree of undiagnosed mental health issue meaning they find themselves unable to comply.

Roundtuit  
#679 Posted : 16 October 2020 14:38:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

ERICPD - can't see face coverings in the heirachy of controls under HASAW as there are NO applicable standards for construction or protection. What regulation has been published permits exemption.

WE need to remember that the employees we are advising to protect are NOT identical drones and that consideration must be made of the individuals that comprise our business when assessing and controlling risk.

Instead of insisting on a face covering "mask" typical of the one size fits all mantra effort should be directed to consultation rather than trying to find a legislative hammer to beat non-conformists in to submission.

Given the modern day numbers of children diagnosed along various psychological spectra perhaps that old classmate and now work colleague was not just "a disruptive pupil" but had, and likely still has today a degree of undiagnosed mental health issue meaning they find themselves unable to comply.

chris.packham  
#680 Posted : 16 October 2020 14:56:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

We are considering facial coverings to protect others which some claim they cannot wear for a whole variety of reasons.  If we have a policy that requires in certain areas facial coverings (of course provided and maintained by us to ensure a suitable standard) are worn why should we treat this differently than when we have a policy that a specific respirator should be worn given the presence of a chemical vapour or dust. After all, Covid-19 can be lethal. 

Roundtuit  
#681 Posted : 16 October 2020 15:30:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: chris.packham Go to Quoted Post
why should we treat this differently than when we have a policy that a specific respirator should be worn given the presence of a chemical vapour or dust.

A specific respirator is to protect the wearer where we have exhausted other control measures and for business reasons continue to work with the vapour or dust.

A face covering is to protect others so is a different use of an entirely different product.

Roundtuit  
#682 Posted : 16 October 2020 15:30:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: chris.packham Go to Quoted Post
why should we treat this differently than when we have a policy that a specific respirator should be worn given the presence of a chemical vapour or dust.

A specific respirator is to protect the wearer where we have exhausted other control measures and for business reasons continue to work with the vapour or dust.

A face covering is to protect others so is a different use of an entirely different product.

A Parfrey  
#683 Posted : 16 October 2020 17:39:14(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
A Parfrey

I'm probably sounding like a bit of a tyrant, trying to enforce rules..  Its not the case we've worked collaboratively with staff in all aspects of our H&S gaining OHSAS18001 and ISO 45001 in the last 10 months in th process .. 

.and in Scotland the latest is that they are "mandatory" in workplaces when moving around inside buildings ... Unless there's an exemption ..

No doubt the same will follow in the rest of the UK ..

Is there a duty upon employees to assit the employer in the execution of their duties or not ?.. and that both their acts and ommissions are to be considered  s7 HASAWA..

I get it that face coverings are not designated as PPE a the grounds of not being manufacturered to CE standards and the principles of ERICPD.  Although lower down in the hiearchy, face coverings are still one of our control measures...

If someone has a legitimate reason for not wearing a mask, then they ought to be liasiing with their employer about it so that an optimum solution can be agreed.. 

What should the employer do to protect the rest of the workforce and our customers ?? 

What happens when other members of the workforce complain about the individual who is refusing to wear a face covering or face shield..??

Roundtuit  
#684 Posted : 16 October 2020 19:44:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

So acknowledging exemptions exist in regulation what is your "optimum negotiated solution"? You have started from the French stance of free fishing access so can only be embarrassed by any back track that considers the individuals. I do not legally need to do anything that makes me exposed to danger or risk and you may not ask me to. Look a bit further back in this thread A Kurdziel makes an interesting comment regarding universities. When the others complain simples - the employee goes home on full pay until such time as they can safely return, after all you are the one stipulating a control measure they cannot personally deploy. Then you see the domino effect when the complainers see a benefit to noncompliance.
Roundtuit  
#685 Posted : 16 October 2020 19:44:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

So acknowledging exemptions exist in regulation what is your "optimum negotiated solution"? You have started from the French stance of free fishing access so can only be embarrassed by any back track that considers the individuals. I do not legally need to do anything that makes me exposed to danger or risk and you may not ask me to. Look a bit further back in this thread A Kurdziel makes an interesting comment regarding universities. When the others complain simples - the employee goes home on full pay until such time as they can safely return, after all you are the one stipulating a control measure they cannot personally deploy. Then you see the domino effect when the complainers see a benefit to noncompliance.
John Murray  
#686 Posted : 17 October 2020 11:23:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

"I'm not about to question a medical professional - the ones that I talk to have the opinion that if you have a medical condition (e.g. asthma), then there is GREATER reason to wear a mask, not a reduced one... Ive been advisd by a friend whos a partner at a local GP practice that they dont and wont issue exemptions...  "

Are you serious?

3 million in the UK with COPD, 4 million + with asthma. All have a valid reason to not wear the type of crude respiratory protection that is socially accepted as necessary. I wear FFP2 RPE, which is easily available from many sources, as routine when needed (shops/restaurants etc) and is far superior to a doubled-up tee shirt or scarf. I also have asthma and COPD, so have issues with breathing wearing them. No problem for short periods, but longer, or with more effort, I run into breathing difficulties. When at work, I wore RPE daily, but RPE that supplied filtered air from an electrically-powered air pump. I suggest if you cannot provide that, and the person has breathing problems, you look at your companies provisions for accomodating employees with disabilities. Or maybe you are just hawking for a legal way out? Good luck with that. Hopefully, your employee is a union member.

John Murray  
#687 Posted : 17 October 2020 11:39:21(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

Oh....the HSE did a test with various facemasks/RPE, to see which excluded virus best (flu virus).

Folded tee shirts were useless. Surgical masks were little better (active virus was detected behind each mask). FFP3 facemasks were much better (100-fold).

Carry-on wearing your crude masks, which offer the very minimum of protection (if that).

achrn  
#688 Posted : 18 October 2020 11:01:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: John Murray Go to Quoted Post

Carry-on wearing your crude masks, which offer the very minimum of protection (if that).


FFP2 etc. PPE masks are designed and intend to protect the wearer.

Face coverings aren't intended to protect the wearer. Face coverings protect everyone else. Face coverings are supposed to limit the degree to which an infected wearer passes it on to everyone else.

It's no great surprise that something intended to do one job isn't very effective at the opposite.



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