All organizations are legally bound by a duty of care to ensure employees are physically and psychologically safe in their working environment.
The development of the COVID-19 crisis is contributing heavily not just to a re-focusing of workplace priorities to physical and psychological safety over career progression and personal growth, but in changing the very nature of the ‘workplace’.
While many businesses have moved almost permanently to a work from home model, changing the day-to-day dynamic of the workforce, there are still many sectors that require employees to be on-site and working with new and changing safety requirements.
Sectors such as food processing, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing have been hit hard, where large clusters of workers have been infected, resulting in recommendations to keep workers six feet apart or provide partitions between them.
Vault Platform: Your solution for tracking safety incidents
To help employers facilitate the quick and easy reporting of potential COVID-19 infections Vault Platform has added a specific reporting feature to its enterprise mobile app. This helps the teams managing the OSHA or HSE requirements, for example, stay on top of the numbers by enabling employees to report directly via the app when showing symptoms or testing for COVID-19.
Due to the delicate nature of the health & safety investigation process, Vault Platform helps businesses establish a trusted line of communication with employees, allowing people to use the direct messaging feature to raise initial concerns anonymously and then reveal themselves as part of the process later.
Businesses can also keep their people up to date with the latest company policies regarding COVID-19 directly via the app, helping preserve and protect workplace culture.
Tracking Coronavirus infections is an urgent requirement
In recognition of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has increased its demands on employers for recording coronavirus-related illness. All employers with more than 10 employees must record work-related employee COVID-19 illnesses.
The guidance sets forth a series of considerations for employers to reference in an investigation in order to make a reasonable assessment of whether the illness was contracted at work. OSHA will consider the reasonableness of the employer’s investigation in terms of the employer’s legal obligations.
- Ask the employee how they believe they contracted the COVID-19 virus
- While respecting employee privacy, discuss with the employee their work and out-of-work activities that may have led to contracting COVID-19
- Review the employee’s work environment for potential vectors for exposure to coronavirus
Similarly in the UK, instances of COVID-19 infections are reportable under the RIDDOR regulations if the disease resulted from occupational exposure.
But the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has warned against complacency and has urged employers not to let COVID-19 blind them to the other dangers present in their workplace that still need to be controlled.
The regulator said: “Whilst monitoring precautions against Covid-19 remains important, employers also need to ensure that monitoring for compliance with precautions aimed at other risks also continues and is not degraded.”
Every employer must regularly review their risk assessment and make duty of care to their employees their top priority and new regulations and requirements are putting more pressure on companies regarding internal reporting and resolution.
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security at the core
Vault Platform’s core application is to facilitate trust between companies and their people and to help to create working environments that are inclusive, diverse, productive and safe. This is why we consider security and data privacy to be critical components of our platform and why both are at the foundation of everything we do.