Last reviewed 19 January 2021

While making a workplace Covid secure, as far as is reasonably practicable, is the legal responsibility of employers, some have struggled to implement appropriate measures to restrict the potential for occupational exposure to the virus.

In this context, the British Safety Council (BSC) has called for a Government health campaign urging employers to improve workplace controls to help combat the highly transmissible new variant of the virus.

Ministers appear to be focusing primarily on enforcing the lockdown rules in general outdoor spaces such as parks and are not doing enough around workplaces and the second variant, the BSC argues.

It calls for greater focus on having well prepared and effectively implemented Covid-19 management protocols within the workplace, which is about making work environments as safe as possible for people.

This is, the BSC insists, far more likely to reduce the spread of infection than concentrating on individuals who break lockdown rules.

BSC Chairman, Lawrence Waterman, said: “We are being told by experts that we are in the eye of the storm, and workplaces seem to be at the centre of that eye. We should be discussing this much more openly rather than taking our lead from the Government’s short-termism, and then taking more and better action.”

He also urged employers to consider much wider shift working, “even half day, morning and afternoon”, and to look at improving community protection in every workplace, such as requiring the wearing of face masks in indoor workplaces.