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Herb  
#1 Posted : 16 September 2021 10:16:57(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Herb

I have COVID 19 R/A's in place which also cover CEV and pregnant employess but I wondered how other organisations are addressing the issue around unvaccinated staff (who through personal choice/medical exemption) cannot/will not have the vaccine and what control measures are in place to protect the unvaccinated employees. 

CptBeaky  
#2 Posted : 16 September 2021 10:25:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Beyond our normal "try not to lick each other" controls that apply to everyone, none.

To clarify, I don't feel that we are able to ask whether someone has been vaccinated or not, as it is none of our business. The vast majority are very open about their status, so this isn't much of an issue. As much as I am a very vocal proponent of the vaccine, I don't feel it is fair for me/us to discriminate against those that haven't had it, unless I am told to by the government/legislation.

thanks 3 users thanked CptBeaky for this useful post.
mihai_qa on 18/09/2021(UTC), wobblemouth on 22/09/2021(UTC), aud on 22/09/2021(UTC)
hopeful  
#3 Posted : 16 September 2021 10:48:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
hopeful

We will only be conducting a risk assessment for non vaccinated staff in our care homes going forward but this will be very person specific as they will have a medical or approved exemption. Otherwise I do not believe it is relevant in the rest of our organisation. We have other Covid measures in place to manage risks to assure people.

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Herb on 16/09/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 16 September 2021 11:20:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

What about "vaccinated" staff where the innoculation has not taken e.g. the immunosurpressed or is naturally wearing off over time?

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N Hancock on 23/09/2021(UTC), N Hancock on 23/09/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 16 September 2021 11:20:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

What about "vaccinated" staff where the innoculation has not taken e.g. the immunosurpressed or is naturally wearing off over time?

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
N Hancock on 23/09/2021(UTC), N Hancock on 23/09/2021(UTC)
Lucy D  
#6 Posted : 17 September 2021 09:10:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Lucy D

This is turning into quite a singificant issue for some employees because the latest evidence from the UK Government is that unvaccinated persons are at greater risk of catching COVID (and therefore passing it on) and also that the consequnces if they do catch it is more severe REACT study shows fully vaccinated are three times less likely to be infected - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

I am being asked quite frequently if it is possible to implement diffreent rules for those who are not vaccinated in less well ventilated areas.

A Kurdziel  
#7 Posted : 17 September 2021 09:52:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

And this is why this is not a Health and Safety Issue but a Public Health issue…

As employers we cannot, knock down our buildings and upgrade them to make them covid proof nor can we assess the risk posed by this public healthy issue to each and every employee, and carry out a medically assessment for those people who don’t or can’t get vaccinated.  

 

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RVThompson on 17/09/2021(UTC), mihai_qa on 18/09/2021(UTC), aud on 22/09/2021(UTC)
chris.packham  
#8 Posted : 17 September 2021 11:12:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

Why the concern is only with vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 when we don't consider the influenza vaccine, and others?

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RVThompson on 17/09/2021(UTC)
pseudonym  
#9 Posted : 17 September 2021 14:38:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
pseudonym

I will admit to being more than a little concerned that H&S professionals have been press-ganged into completing RAs for communicable diseases when we would normally run a mile from this sort of thing. Lets be honest - a death from influenza is just as serious for the individual concerned as death from Covid-19 and in a 'bad' year there can be 30,000+ of them - not an insignificant number 

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RVThompson on 17/09/2021(UTC), A Kurdziel on 20/09/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#10 Posted : 20 September 2021 15:11:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

https://www.constructionenquirer.com/2021/09/20/first-contractor-fined-after-316000-hse-covid-spot-checks/

First Covid prosecution?

As usual more about what was not being addressed despite prohibition notice so unfortunatley keep filling in the pieces of paper

Roundtuit  
#11 Posted : 20 September 2021 15:11:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

https://www.constructionenquirer.com/2021/09/20/first-contractor-fined-after-316000-hse-covid-spot-checks/

First Covid prosecution?

As usual more about what was not being addressed despite prohibition notice so unfortunatley keep filling in the pieces of paper

pseudonym  
#12 Posted : 20 September 2021 15:45:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
pseudonym

Only 1 out of 316 000 - seriously! 

Local authority inspectors in my neck of the woods have temporarily closed a few venues over the last year and a bit, so have the HSE been wandering around with one eye closed, so they don't see any problems?

The link to the story tells a tale of a contractor ignoring the prohibition notice and not communicating with the HSE - in truth this story is nothing much to do with COVID risk assessments, that was just one of several failures by the contractor concerned. The Unions will have a field-day when they get hold of this story.

A Kurdziel  
#13 Posted : 21 September 2021 08:23:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

316 000 investigations and only one prosecution; well, that confirms what some of us think: Covid 19 is not a  H&S issue, it’s a public health matter. Go to any workplace and you will see people not applying the covid “guidelines”. If these “rules” were genuine the courts would be full  of people breaching these laws. This case seems to be that a typical pillock who was prosecuted for a whole set of breaches and the HSE  threw in Covid-19 as well. Obviously, the guy was not going to say” I put my hands up for  everything except the covid” so it now looks like someone was prosecuted for Covid-19. I am waiting for someone to be prosecuted SOLELY  for covid 19 breaches. I don’t see that ever happening.

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RVThompson on 21/09/2021(UTC), aud on 22/09/2021(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#14 Posted : 21 September 2021 08:58:45(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Interestingly it does not appear that he was served with any sort of notice regarding COVID

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A Kurdziel on 21/09/2021(UTC)
peter gotch  
#15 Posted : 21 September 2021 10:21:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

....now that the guidance on the requirements has been relaxed (so far to be even more wishy washy than before) I think that it would be very difficult for HSE to make a Covid case stick if the defendant had the audacity to go to trial (which is of course their absolute right!).

"We are being accused of not having enough "social distancing" and not enforcing the use of face coverings. Well, our defence is based on what Cabinet of the UK Government were filmed NOT doing."

The Magistrate (sitting without a jury) might conclude that "The UK Government is not on trial here. I find you guilty." Entirely reasonable judgment but parts of the media would have fun.

A Kurdziel  
#16 Posted : 21 September 2021 11:15:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

If this was pure covid case, it would be VERY difficult for the HSE to try to launch a prosecution. For a start HSE internal guidance is that they don’t start prosecutions simply for legal technicalities eg not having a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. They would only bring that charge if as result of the failure to produce the risk assessment something unfortunate  took place. If someone in a workplace fell ill as result of covid unless the place was somewhere where they are exposed to the risk of covid due to the actual work eg a microbiology or a clinical setting, how would they prove that the person fell ill due to an infection at work?

The employer might carry out the risk assessment and reasonably conclude that was nothing that they could do to prevent  an employee from catching covid as it is in circulation in the community. That sounds reasonably practical to me. To require people to do more is going beyond they law.

pseudonym  
#17 Posted : 21 September 2021 11:33:44(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
pseudonym

It might be possible, surely, for the regualtor to bring a case for not haveing he Covid RA, for instance? 

As for being able to decide if the (endemic) disease was caught at and as a result of actions / inactions at work - been there in a temporary role where we reported a couple of covid cases - but in the vast majority, even looking at the medical type work that was done, most of the managers felt they couldn't be sure the infection was related to work. We had been investigated by the HSE following a report under RIDDOR so we did report some cases though.

As others have said this is a minefield the HSE should have stayed out of for all sorts of reasons - catching a diseaxe of someone in work - except in limited cases* - was never a H&S issue .

*limited cases being working with pathogens, clinical settings, exposure to sewage, animals etc - not a building site or office block!

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A Kurdziel on 21/09/2021(UTC)
chris.packham  
#18 Posted : 21 September 2021 11:47:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

'not a building site or office block' - nor a machine shop, electronics plant, etc., etc.

And risk assessment for SARS-CoV-2 (not Covid-19 as the virus is the 'hazard') is anything but simple. How would you know if the virus is present on site at any one time as the bearer could easily be asymptomatic; and since you would not know who the asymptomatic bearer was how would you decide where the hazard was in your workplace? Keep in mind that there is evidence indicating that a substantial number of negative tests are false.  Is the bearer static in one location or moving around (fork lift operator  or maintenance person comes to mind!)? Also, even if colonised, are they a spreader (not all carriers are)? Given that there are both direct (airborne inhalation) and indirect routes of transmission (fomites) who in the workplace might be exposed and would the exposure be sufficient to meet their particular minimum infective dose? Just a few of the complexities you start to encounter. 

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A Kurdziel on 21/09/2021(UTC)
pseudonym  
#19 Posted : 21 September 2021 12:34:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
pseudonym

Couldn't agree with you more Chris

Which is why prior to this sorry state of affiars H&S practioners used to tell people not to be so silly when asked about infectious disease risk assessments for most workplaces. Plus of course most people spend maybe 8 -10 hours in work and another 14 - 16 hours outside of work. Once a disease becomes endemic then workplace transmission is possibly related to as much to time in work as anything else? Hopelessly simplisitic reasoning, but I'm sure you are getting my (hopefully) pragmatic drift. Asymptomatic carriers, infectious load and alternative routes of transmission mean that most professionals (including medical, clinical and biologists) cannot even begin to figure out where an infection orginated from.                                               And don't even get me started on how all of a sudden every man and his dog is an expert on diagnostic testing accuracy. precision and false positive / negativity rates.                                                                                        Two years ago and most people still didn't know the differences between bacteria and viruses for heavens sake. Far too many technically illiterate people spouting off about things that even 'experts' struggle to convey concisely. Knowing your limits of expertise used to be a sign of competence, but that seems to have been a long time ago now.

   

thanks 3 users thanked pseudonym for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 21/09/2021(UTC), RVThompson on 21/09/2021(UTC), aud on 22/09/2021(UTC)
chris.packham  
#20 Posted : 21 September 2021 12:53:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

It is why I find it irritating when people talk about having a 'covid-19 secure' workplace. The reality is that there is no such thing. 

And I agree with you about the division between work and non-work during the average day, let alone if we then take into the equation week-ends, bank and annual holidays. How can we determine where the infection occurred? It is something I have had to deal with for years when investigating suspected occupational skin problems. How often do I encounter the assumption that it the problem is entirely work related? Particularly with the more common problem, namely irritant contact dermtatitis, this is almost always due to repeated exposures to many different irritants both at work and away from work, the damage accumulating, possibly over considerable time, until the skin finally breaks down. Of course, the employer is looking for a single chemical as the cause when this is simply not the case. 

Just to add to the problem, the hazard, i.e. the virus, has, and almost certainly will continue, to change (mutate). What price then the original risk assessment?

thanks 2 users thanked chris.packham for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 21/09/2021(UTC), RVThompson on 21/09/2021(UTC)
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