Health and Safety Update 20 August 2021

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Anyone looking at images of Government benches during this week’s emergency session of the recalled House of Commons, and hearing of the removal of the hybrid working model meaning all MP’s needing to attend the house, can see very clearly the approach the Government is seeking to take regarding protecting individuals from the ongoing risks of developing COVID-19.

The reality is that the risk of acquiring and transmitting COVID-19 has not reduced, it is for this reason that Officers and Officials are continuing to work on a daily basis answering questions and meeting with the employers to seek to ensure that they are addressing the risks presented by SARS-CoV-2 virus which is still a very real threat to health both in the short and long term. This included the outcome of recent research which has shown that even those who are fully vaccinated are susceptible to developing COVID-19 but with a reduction in the risk of severe illness, unfortunately there does not seem to be a reduction in stopping transmission  

Household contacts who are not required to self-isolate from 16 August

This week there were some changes to the requirements of those identified as close contacts, more information can be found here,

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#exempt

Work within the PS 

In addition to revising the PPE and Safe Working practices documents to take account of the changes in legislation between England and Wales and the development of GRA’s for activities. The issue of ventilation remains a significant factor as recognised by the MOJ instruction for a ventilation audit of all HMPPS buildings to be completed.  It has been identified that some have interpreted the guidance to say that it was still okay to use rooms without ventilation.  It is hoped that this issue will be able to be resolved through a series of meetings next week.

Work within Cafcass

Following the concern raised regarding communication issues in mid-July, we have continued to work with the employer and have now set up regular meetings between the CAFCASS National Health and Safety Advisor and Napo’s National Official for Health and Safety to undertake some development work on future guidance documents prior to formal consolations

Accessing advice

Members are encouraged to raise any health and safety concerns with their local reps in the first instance, you can also contact: hands@napo.org.uk for further advice if required.