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COVID-19 risk assessment for the University of Kent – New National RestrictionsThis risk assessment applies to all University of Kent UK sites. The general principles containedwithin also apply to the University’s European sites, although country specific rules take precedence.This risk assessment is being carried out as a requirement of the UK Government Working Safelyduring coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. This guidance is non-statutory. It does not supersedeHealth and Safety, Employment or Equalities legislation. Carrying out and applying the controlsidentified in this risk assessment confers COVID Secure status on the University.Hazard: Spread of COVID-19 through contact and airborne transmissionRisk: COVID-19 transmission is high or rising exponentially, new more transmissible variantwidespread and common in the south-eastThose at Risk: All University Staff and Students; contractors; delivery drivers; visitorsSummary of updates for New National Restrictions Except in the limited number of subjects allowed by government legislation, all teaching is tobe conducted online until the end of February.Teaching spaces used for any continued face-to-face teaching should be set out to provide2m social distancing. Students must wear face coverings in teaching rooms unless exempt.Students who are exempt are encouraged to indicate that by wearing a sunflower lanyard.‘Over-the-shoulder' teaching should not take place.Staff in all student facing roles including teaching should wear face shields and, if it does notinterfere with communication, learning or teaching, also wear a face covering.Unless individuals are exempt, face coverings should be worn in all areas which are accessedby others. This includes multi-occupancy offices even if individuals are working at 2m socialdistancing or there are Perspex screens in place. The rationale for this being that the newvariant is thought likely to cause higher viral loads and have a potential to be moretransmissible through aerosols. Social distancing and Perspex shields may not be soeffective against spread through aerosols. Face coverings prevent the spread of aerosolsand may provide some protection from them.Face coverings should preferably be multi-layered; 3 layers are recommended.While the new National Restrictions are in place, only those whose role is defined as criticalor essential should be working on campus.All those still working on campus must maintain 2m social distancing. This includes inresearch laboratories and facilities.While the new National Restrictions are in place, the extremely clinically vulnerable or thosein receipt of a new shielding notification should work from home. Where their role cannotbe performed at home, they should discuss with their line manager whether there arealternative duties they could perform from home. If not, staff in these categories should notwork on campus even if they cannot work from home.All staff continuing to work on campus should review their Risk Assessment and ConcernConversations with their line managers.Staff and students are eligible for two free COVID tests per week at the UniversityAsymptomatic Test Site. Everyone regularly on campus at this time is strongly encouragedto take up this opportunity or, if attending on an occasional basis, arrange a test for whenthey come in. Where facilities are available close to your place of residence, you may preferto be tested regularly at a local Kent County Council Symptom-free test site.1Covid-19 risk assessment for the University of Kent New National Restrictions/JWB/25Jan2021

Length of self-isolation for close contacts of positive COVID cases reduced to 10 days in linewith change in government guidance.Hierarchy of Control1. Disease controlControl measures to be taken: Anyone who comes to or lives on a University site should stay at home or in theiraccommodation if they feel unwell. If they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms they must takeimmediate steps to self-isolate and book a coronavirus test. If the test result is negative selfisolation can end and the individual can return to work or study as soon as they feel well. Ifit is positive for COVID-19 then the individual must self-isolate for 10 days from the datesymptoms started. They can return to work or study after this if they no longer have a fever.Any member of the University living in the same household as someone who exhibits COVID19 symptoms must also self-isolate until the result of the symptomatic person’s coronavirustest is known. This includes those in campus accommodation. If the test is negative, theycan return to work or study immediately. If it is positive, they must continue to self-isolatefor a total of 10 days. If during that time they contract COVID-19, they will need to selfisolate for a further 10 days from the point when symptoms started, or from the day theyreceived a positive test result.Any instructions received through the NHS Test and Trace programme must be followed.This includes instructions given following a positive test result from an Asymptomatic orSymptom-free Test Centre. If they have a suitable device, members of the University shoulddownload the NHS COVID-19 app.Anyone receiving instructions to self-isolate from the NHS Test and Trace programme shouldinform their line manager as they would any other sickness absence. The formal notificationfrom NHS Test and Trace can be used as evidence that the individual must self-isolate.Anyone who begins to suffer COVID-19 symptoms while on a University site should try tobook a test (there may be the facility to take a test on site immediately) and then returnhome or to their accommodation. If they need to be collected by a member of theirhousehold, if they have a single occupancy office they can wait there, if not they should waitoutside while maintaining social distancing or call Campus Security to be directed to one ofthe designated isolation areas.All members of the University accessing campus after the Christmas break and who are notshowing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested at the University’sAsymptomatic Test Centre when they first return to campus. Ongoing, all staff and studentsare eligible for two tests a week at this site and those attending campus on a continuingbasis should be encouraged to get tested regularly. If coming to campus on an ad-hoc basis,individuals should book a site each time they visit. If there is a local Kent communitySymptom-free test site in the area where they live, members of the University areencouraged to get tested on a weekly basis if they are accessing campus.2. Improved hygieneControl measures to be taken: Estates have placed signs and posters around buildings reminding people of good personalhygiene: washing hands more regularly, proper hand washing technique, use of tissues tocatch coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching of the face, etc. Placing of signage should notcompromise fire safety rules.2Covid-19 risk assessment for the University of Kent New National Restrictions/JWB/25Jan2021

Sufficient toilet facilities are being provided. Signage on toilets will remind users to bemindful of social distancing and to wait or seek out alternative facilities if this is not possible.In addition to normal hand washing facilities in toilets, Estates are providing hand sanitizercontaining 60% ethanol, or an equivalently effective product, at building entrances. Anyrequirement for hand sanitising stations in other places, for example near communalequipment such as photocopiers, is a local decision to be made by Building Managers andshould be limited to areas of higher risk where hand washing facilities are not available. Anylocal hand sanitizer stations should be placed away from all electrical equipment and othercombustible material.Commercial Services are providing increased cleaning of high touch surfaces in communalareas, such as door handles, electronic door openers, banisters, light switches, toilet seatsand flushes, etc.Where possible individuals should leave doors open to reduce hand contact and increaseventilation. This must not apply to any designated fire door unless it is automated.There is a general requirement for high levels of housekeeping within all spaces. This is anindividual responsibility. Areas must be kept tidy with surfaces kept clear as much aspossible. This is particularly important in any communal areas such as break rooms andkitchens, where items used by individuals must be cleaned and removed immediately.Communal cutlery and tea towels should not be used.As a general infection control measure, Estates have set room ventilation according toREVHA guidance. Any rooms that do not meet that standard are not being used. On top ofthis, natural ventilation should be increased where it is safe to do so by individuals openingwindows when rooms are occupied, even if this causes a level of thermal discomfort. Ifthere are high level windows, thermal discomfort can be reduced by preferentially openingthese.3. Determining who should be back working on campusUnder the new National Restriction Stay at Home order, only those individuals defined as criticalworkers, those essential for campus operation, or those who need access to specialist equipment orfacilities to carry out their role should be coming to campus. Universities are to remain open forresident students, the limited number of students who have continuing face-to-face teaching, andfor research in laboratories and other specialised facilities, and so this will include a variety of staff,but this should be kept to a minimum. There are HR processes in place to determine who those staffare. For staff to continue to work on campus the University must meet the Government COVIDSecure standard. By applying the measures described in this risk assessment it achieves thatstandard.Control measures to be taken: Those staff meeting the following criteria can work on campus:o Where staff undertake business critical activities that cannot be performed remotelyo Where the role is business critical and requires specialist facilities or equipment,including software or physical files, that are only available on campuso Where staff might suffer otherwise be at material risk of clinical mental health orphysical harmStaff not meeting these criteria should continue to work from home.While the new National Restrictions are in place any staff who were brought back ontocampus because, although they could carry out their role remotely, there were homeenvironment, personal circumstances, or wellbeing reasons that made it beneficial that they3Covid-19 risk assessment for the University of Kent New National Restrictions/JWB/25Jan2021

did so, should now work from home. Individuals with serious concerns for their welfarebecause of this should raise this with their line managers.All staff who are still required to work on campus must have their Risk Assessment andConcern Conversation reviewed.Any staff who are classified as extremely clinically vulnerable or who have received a newShielding Notification should not be working on campus while the new National Restrictionsapply.4. Make every effort to ensure social distancing can be met.Each School / Building must appoint a ‘building manager’ who is charged with ensuring the socialdistancing measures detailed below are put in place. A list of building managers has been publishedon the Estates website. Walkthrough inspections by the SHE Unit to check the measures areappropriate and to provide advice will continue to take place.Control measures to be taken Capacity in individual staff-occupied rooms, offices and laboratories must be set based on arequirement to maintain 2m social distancing. The number of staff who can return to abuilding in a safe way at any one time being determined by the total capacity of all staffoccupied rooms.Social distancing must be set at 2m in all teaching rooms. Estates will do this for centrallytimetabled space. Building managers will be responsible for this in private teaching areasincluding teaching labs. Enhanced cleaning protocols must be in place in these areas.Teaching rooms with movable furniture should be set up to provide 2m distancing betweenteaching staff and the first row of students. Student seating should be side-by-side.Etiquette rules should be applied in teaching rooms, with seating filled from the far side first.Students must wear face coverings unless exempt. Face shields should be provided forthose teaching staff who wish to wear them, and it is advised that staff do so. If possible,i.e., it does not interfere with student interactions, a face covering should be worn as well.No over-the-shoulder supervision / teaching should take place. In areas where difficult tomove equipment is required to teach, barriers between work areas should be erected.No close contact teaching, i.e., under 2m, is allowed during the period of new NationalRestrictions.Social distancing is also set at 2m in all other areas of buildings, including offices, breakrooms, laboratories, and other research facilities. Individual room occupancies have beendetermined by applying this rule. Each room in use must have occupancy limits indicated onthe door. Single person offices remain by default single occupancy. These measures willensure proper protection for staff and reassurance that every effort is being made to avoidclose contacts between people. This will be re-examined in accordance with any change inCOVID alert status or staffing requirements.If there is a need to have higher levels of staffing than allowed by room occupancy limits,consider whether that can be achieved through shift work. If shifts are implemented, theyshould be made up of fixed teams with no mixing of the members of each shift. It is arequirement to keep a temporary record of staff shift patterns for 21 days. The recordshould include staff name, a contact telephone number and the dates and times staff are atwork. The purpose of this record is purely to assist NHS Test and Trace if necessary.If shifts are being implemented in offices, laboratories or research facilities, staff should beassigned designated workstations. In multi-occupancy offices different shifts must havedifferent patterns of workstation occupation and local managers need to mark these out4Covid-19 risk assessment for the University of Kent New National Restrictions/JWB/25Jan2021

clearly for the separate shifts. Guidance on office layouts is provided in the HR managementguidance. If possible, assign work areas in labs and workshops too. If it is not possible todesignate individual work areas when shifts are implemented, work areas must be sanitizedbetween users.No hot-desking is permitted in general offices without either thorough disinfection inbetween users or the space remaining unoccupied for 72 hours.Where hot-desking takes place at receptions, etc., it should involve the minimum number ofstaff. Wipe down surfaces and equipment with a suitable sanitising product at the start andend of every shift.In open plan offices and other open spaces such as labs and workshops, individuals must notwork face to face. In all spaces work areas must be staggered to provide 2m socialdistancing between individuals, including for access and egress. Access routes aroundoffices, laboratories, studios, workshops, etc., and routes to reach individual workstationsmust be sufficiently wide to ensure social distancing is met. Where necessary managers areresponsible for any additional signage and marking out that is required to ensure socialdistancing rules. If the room has two doors, define one as an entrance and the other as anexit.Reduce periods of overcrowding in public areas by staggering staff arrival and departuretimes.Enable single directions of travel by designating separate building entrance and exits wherepossible. These would be overridden if a fire alarm were to sound. Escape would revert tothe closest safe exit.Where possible initiate marked one-way systems around buildings. These would beoverridden if a fire alarm were to sound. Escape would revert to the closest safe exit.Lift occupancy should be limited, with maximum occupancy based on application of socialdistancing being marked on all lift doors. Preferably their use should be for necessity andnot convenience, i.e., for moving equipment. Lifts can still be used by those with a disability.Where possible, ensure that the equipment that each worker needs is located within theirdefined work area. Aim to avoid communal use of equipment as much as possible and toprevent the need for people to pass close by each other to reach such equipment. Whereequipment is used by multiple people, hand hygiene must be ensured by providing eitherhand sanitizer or, if it will not damage the equipment, a suitable disinfectant product to wipeit down after use.Where items need to be passed between staff, they should not be handed person to person,but left at a designated hand over point. Similarly, deliveries should not be handed personto person, but instead be left in designated secure areas for pick up.Limit numbers accessing communal facilities, such as break rooms or kitchen areas. Postmaximum allowable numbers on entrance doors or in these spaces. Mark 2m socialdistancing where queuing is anticipated except where that will prevent others from meetingsocial distancing guidelines, for example in corridors. In such cases, no queuing should bepermitted, but alternative facilities sought.In break rooms staff must always maintain social distancing. To help with this, localmanagers should mark out a seating plan. No areas near to entrances or exits should beoccupied to allow for continued access and egress.Formal work meetings should continue to be held by MS Teams and not in person. If a faceto-face meeting is considered essential this could take place outside observing socialdistancing rules. If the meeting is confidential, then it can take place indoors, but only in a5Covid-19 risk assessment for the University of Kent New National Restrictions/JWB/25Jan2021

space where 2m social distancing rules can be strictly met and which has the appropriatedesignated level of occupancy.5. If social distancing cannot be followed in full, consider the need for work to take placeThe Working Safely guidance requires that where the social distancing rules cannot be followed inrelation to a specific activity, i.e., close contact under 1m is required, businesses should considerwhether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate. Therefore, only business criticalactivities warrant the breaking of social distancing rules. Exceptions might be where two people arerequired to move a piece of equipment or to undertake a maintenance task. Where this is identifiedas necessary, a specific risk assessment must be undertaken to identify mitigating actions. This mustbe discussed with the SHE Unit prior to implementation.A combination of the additional mitigating control measures detailed below must be put in place toallow safe working.Control measures to be taken: Areas should be subject to increased levels of cleaning.Staff should be instructed to wash their hands frequently.Install barriers between workstations.Work side-by-side or back-to-back.Ensure that any periods of time where social distancing rules are breached are kept to aminimum and certainly to no more than 15 minutes.Reduce the number of contacts with others by working in fixed teams.6. Face coveringsOutside of healthcare settings, the government Working Safely guidance does not recommend theuse of PPE to control COVID-19 infection risk. Increased hand hygiene and social distancingmeasures continue to be the most effective controls. However, the use of face coverings, whichstrictly are not regarded as PPE, is recommended. Transmission of COVID-19 through fine aerosolsthat are produced when breathing and talking is thought to be the least