Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 17.45 Wednesday 23 September

Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Work

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In the shortest space of time, our work life balance, how we work as well as how we live, has changed dramatically.

With more of us working from home, delivering essential services and adjusting to life following the current government guidelines, it's so important that we look after ourselves and each other and continue to provide vital services to the most vulnerable.

Our priority is keeping staff safe and well and making sure that everyone who is still at work is following Government guidelines on social distancing and good hand hygiene in the workplace. We are continually reviewing the latest guidance to ensure we have the right practice in place and will update this section accordingly.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued guidance on the reporting of Coronavirus cases under the requirements of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations and managers and staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the guidance. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations [127KB]

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All staff have access to the PPE kit they require and we are monitoring supply every day. If you have any concerns about PPE please speak with your line manager.

The COVID PPE Working Group meets weekly and will ensure consistency in guidance and how PPE is used across all our teams and also ensure a consistent standard is applied across businesses the Council is responsible for advising and regulating.

Any frontline member of staff undertaking home visits such as care at home, child protection, community meals, community alarm response or emergency repairs, who doesn't feel they have the appropriate PPE should contact their line manager immediately.

Home Visits

Any member of staff who carries out home visits as part of their role should carry out this checklist:

1. Phone ahead to see if everyone in the household is well before visiting as a precautionary measure - and ask the following questions:

  • Are they or a member of a household self-isolating?
  • Has anyone in the household had a dry cough within the last 7 days?
  • Do they have a high temperature?
  • Have they had a shortness of breath, difficulty breathing?
  • If there is a refusal to answer, then treat as a positive response. Please be aware that some people may have difficulty in communicating, so please also treat this as a positive response. If in any doubt please speak to your line manager.

If the answer to any of this is yes, then an explanation should be made as to why the required action cannot be carried out at this stage, or, the need for the household to "Physical Distance" while our employee attends to carry out their work.

2. On arrival at a household, all staff should check/re-check if there is anyone within the household who is unwell or self-isolating
3. If an individual has symptoms of COVID-19 ask them to move to another part of the house and create a minimum two-meter distance for duration of visit
4. You should wash hands when you arrive and before you leave with warm water and soap where possible, or hand sanitiser for a minimum of 20 seconds
5. Encourage residents to follow the Catch it. Bin it. Kill it advice.

If you are unsure at any point, please speak to your line manager for guidance.

The Council's Health and Safety team are working with all relevant Council services to develop risk assessments which reflect PPE requirements. These will be published here when available and will be kept under regular review.

Health Care home visits

All managers and supervisors responsible for employees undertaking home care visits must ensure that appropriate and current information is made available to ensure staff wellbeing and safety.

Appropriate information should be provided in any Service/local risk assessment (including where applicable individuals care plan) ensuring the clients individual care needs are addressed.

NHS guidance on the recommended PPE by care setting can be found here. Recommended PPE by care setting [176KB]

How to put on and safely remove and dispose of PPE

To support colleagues, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has produced a short video clip showing the correct order for putting on (donning) and the safe order for removal (doffing) and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE).

How to put on and safely remove PPE video

The most current Health Protection Scotland's Information and Guidance on COVID-19 for Social, Community and Residential Care Settings should be consulted and includes further guidance on what PPE you require and how to source it on page 11.

If you work in health and social care including residential please print a copy of the attached PPE poster and place in changing/staff areas. PPE in Health and Social Care poster [3MB]

If you are unsure of anything or do not feel you have the appropriate PPE please contact your line manager immediately.

Non-Health Care home visits

If the visit relates to child protection, community meals, community alarm response or emergency repairs please refer to the following guidance around PPE and physical distancing protocols for non-health care settings.

PPE for Non-health care roles [63KB]

Anyone undertaking any home visit or activity, other than personal care, on behalf of Renfrewshire Council should also adhere to the following guidance depending on the situation. 

Attending a property where this IS a known case of COVID-19

Where a COVID 19 case has been confirmed then additional measures should be put in place to protect not only the employee, but also the member of the public receiving the service. The following guidance should be read before   Attending a property where there is a known COVID 19 case [19KB]

Attending a property where this NO known case of COVID-19

Although no known case has been confirmed, you should remain cautious and the following advice and guidance should be consulted before   Attending a property where there is no known COVID 19 cases. [18KB]

Working at a Facility

Although the majority of our buildings are closed, we still have a few bases open on a restricted access basis to support care services and provide welfare for our frontline teams.

To avoid the spread of illness, anyone working in a facility should follow the advice below when at work:

  • Wherever possible keep 2m (6ft apart)
  • Regularly clean and disinfect anything you touch frequently, such as surfaces, telephones, keyboards, door handles, desks and tables
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap, or hand sanitiser. Employers should ensure that hand washing and drying facilities are available for all staff, contractors, service users and visitors (see video/poster below)
  • All items in shared kitchen areas should be cleaned with warm water and detergent and dried thoroughly
  • No food, such as crisps and sandwiches, should be left open for communal sharing unless individually wrapped
  • If required, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment according to local instructions

HandHygienePoster [1MB]

Hand Care Guidance

While the increase use of hand gels, hand washing and drying helps keep the Coronavirus at bay, one downside is the potential to remove natural oils from the skin, which can lead to dermatitis or the risk of infection.

Please read the attached for advice on looking after your hands.  Hand Care Guidance [111KB]

The following documnet provides guidance on when hand sanitiser should be used, and precautions to take while using it.  Hand Hygiene Guidance [322KB]

Physical Distancing at Work poster

The poster below is for managers to display in the workplace as a visual reminder to employees, visitors etc to maintain a safe distance from each other. 

Physical Distancing at work poster [87KB]

First Aiders

During the current situation, managers must ensure adequate first aid cover within their area(s) and, if required, assume the role(s) themselves. 

Although unlikely, the following guidance should be followed by any first aiders if they have been asked to attend to a colleague who was presenting with Covid-19 symptoms.

First Aid advice [158KB]

Fire Wardens

During the current situation, managers must ensure adequate fire warden cover within their area(s) and, if required, assume the role(s) themselves. Local emergency evacuation procedures should outline roles and responsibilities for fire wardens.

Working at Home

With the majority of our staff working from home it can feel more difficult than usual to take care of your health and wellbeing.

This section contains practical guidance on working from home as well as hints and tips on looking after yourself and others during the lockdown.

Setting up your workspace

Staff are encouraged to complete the Digital Screen Equipment (DSE) awareness e-learning course on iLearn however additional advice and guidance on how to set-up your work station and other good practice can be found here.  Digital Screen Equipment (DSE) Guidance [89KB]

If you have any concerns about your equipment in relation to how it fits, not how it works, that is ICT, then please contact Alan Gibson, Health and Safety Officer and he will attempt to resolve any issues you may have.  

Staying connected

It's important we keep in regular contact with our colleagues and line managers.  Our ICT Support team has put together this helpful guide to working from home to support you with the transition. It contains useful instructions on setting up conference calls using Microsoft Teams and Skype platforms and is available here. ICT user Guide for homeworking [608KB]

Please use the ICT self service portal for any ICT support requests or queries. You can access the self service portal here: ICT Self Service Portal

Online Learning - Working Together in Challenging Times

To help support you in your continued development during these unprecedented times, we will be sharing regular online learning guides providing useful information and links to eLearning, websites, webinars and related articles for further reading. There are a range of courses for both managers and staff.

The first issue is available here  Online Learning Guide - Working together in challenging times [944KB]   and covers; online learning to support remote working, managing virtual teams, managing in a crisis situation, working from home and dealing with stress.

The second issue, available now,  Online Learning Guide - Microsoft packages [1MB]  focuses on improving your digital knowledge and skills of Microsoft packages.  With more staff working from home and frontline staff accessing systems and connecting with colleagues, there has been an increase in demand for resources to help you work smarter.  Whether you are a beginner or a little more advanced, this guide will support you to build your skills in using Microsoft packages including Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Skype and Teams. 

Keeping Fit and Healthy

It is really important that you do all you can to stay healthy and well at this time.

To support you with this our Health and Safety team have produced the Health and Wellbeing Guide [168KB]   which includes helpful hints, tips and links to a range of subjects such as: healthy eating, exercises and keeping moving both indoors and out, as well as advice and guidance on how to create the right working environment and add structure to your day.

You'll find further advice and guidance on what exercise you can do, as well as who to turn to for additional support on our Physical Health and Wellbeing page.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is equally as important as your physical wellbeing. We are all dealing with lots of uncertainty and juggling our work and family commitments in very challenging circumstances. Please be assured that we're keen to support as much as we can.

With more of us working from home, delivering essential services and adjusting to life following the current government guidelines, we have put together some advice and tips to help you look after yourself and your family in our new  Mental Health and Wellbeing Guide [117KB]

The coronavirus outbreak has changed daily life for us all in Scotland and has had a real impact on how many of us are feeling. It's ok to not feel yourself right now, and we have some great tips to help get you through it in our in our Staff Wellbeing Guide

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) are providing free online courses throughout September to help people with management responsibilities support the mental wellbeing of their staff. The training covers maintaining wellbeing, building resilience, an introduction to suicide prevention and mental health in the workplace. You can find out more information in the  SAMH course information leaflet [610KB] .

Time for Talking - Employee Counselling Service

Our staff counselling service, Time for Talking, is available 24/7 with free, confidential support from professional counsellors. This is currently available through telephone or digital channels such as Skype. Visit their webpage for more information or call 0800 970 3980 for free support now.

Financial Wellbeing

The coronavirus outbreak has fundamentally changed the way we live and while a primary concern is general health and mental wellbeing, financial wellbeing is also important.

Money worries can have a real impact on people's lives and a detrimental effect on mental health and wellbeing so please read the attached Financial Wellbeing guide [935KB] for advice and guidance on looking after your finances.

For more information visit Benefits, money and debt.

Useful contacts

Human Resources COVID-19 Helpline: call 0141 618 7323, 0141 618 4031 or 0141 618 4505

Occupational Health: call 0141 212 6970

Employee Counselling Service - Time for Talking: website or call 0800 970 3980

Renfrewshire Council - Recorded Covid-19 information line: 0300 300 0333

NHS Inform: website or call 0800 028 2816

Shielding Local Assistance Helpline: 0300 300 0230

Shielding National Helpline: 0800 111 4000

The Scottish Government Clear Your Head website offers practical tips on wellbeing and an extensive list of contacts for further help and support

Visit Renfrewshire Leisure's Wellbeing at Home webpage for more resources and contacts

For a list of emergency contacts go here