Helping our staff work safely during COVID-19

Online news
12 August 2020

The College has carried out an extensive COVID-19 risk assessment on its London office in preparation for a small number of staff returning to work there in September.

RCPsych staff across the UK have been working from home since March following the government's lockdown announcement. Up to 30 staff who have found homeworking especially challenging for various reasons now should be able to return to working from the office, following the risk assessment and with a wide range of new measures in place.

Protecting our staff

A COVID-19 risk assessment involves considering the risks and providing all reasonable control measures to minimise these risks before allowing staff to return to the office environment.

We have put in place the following control measures:

  • Staff are encouraged to continue to work from home if they are able to do so.
  • Social distancing guidelines have been considered throughout the building
  • Staff have been updated and informed of the layout, routes and social distance restrictions including the limited number of desks available for occupation on any one day.
  • Desks are bookable and are strategically located around the floors to ensure social distancing.    One-way routes are marked out to reduce contact with others.
  • Return to work procedures are in place for staff who are struggling to work from home, either because of technical problems or because of the impact on their wellbeing.     Risk assessments are carried out for individuals requesting to return to work, which will include determining if they are vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Increased cleaning schedules are in place.    Specific cleaning of touchpoints i.e. lift buttons, door handles and high risk areas throughout the day.
  • Signage is around the building indicating one-way routes, restricted access, 2m distancing indicators, handwashing directives and sanitisation stations placed at entry and exit points and around the building.
  • There will be no planned face to face meetings or events on College premises until further notice.
  • All RCPsych guidance for common areas has been shared with the 4th floor tenant and their own risk assessment and actions has been received and agreed with RCPsych.
  • Monitoring the wellbeing of staff who are working from home or furloughed
  • Providing equipment and guidance for people to work from home safely and effectively.
  • Providing up to date information and guidance via weekly staff briefings, lunch and learn events and daily keeping in touch meetings.
  • Induction tours for staff returning to work to ensure an understanding of the new regimes and their responsibility to maintain social distancing to protect themselves and their colleagues.

RCPsych is continuing to work with landlords in its other offices around the UK and will re-open these offices only when it is safe to do so.