Midmar Men’s Shed Updated Coronavirus Risk Assessment
- Basic coronavirus legal controls have been relaxed but guidance still recommends
- the need to self-isolate if you have a positive lateral flow test (but now no requirement for this to be confirmed with a PCR test):
- follow any instructions (isolation if contacted by track and trace, comply with current local/regional/national requirements) – note there are now less onerous requirements regarding track and trace for contacts who are fully vaccinated.
- maintain social distancing and where this is difficult or many people are present a face mask should also be worn – note the legal requirement for this has been rescinded in England with Scotland planned to do the same in April but many companies / businesses still require this (e.g. airlines, supermarkets etc);
- clean hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
- The risk is that an individual is unaware that they have Covid and could cause transmission. The most likely means of transmission is through contaminated droplets produced by the carrier as they talk, cough, sneeze and breathe. It is, however, also possible for Covid to survive on surfaces and be collected by touching a contaminated surface.
- Risk needs to be considered in terms of likelihood and impact (very low frequency but high impact could be acceptable as could very high likelihood but limited impact).
- The potential serious impact of coronavirus is well known and a very adverse reaction resulting in hospitalisation and ultimately death is possible; whilst this remains the case the likelihood of death has fallen significantly due to the UK population now having some immunity, the prevalent Covid strain (presently) has significantly lower impact (although it is much more transmissible) and better treatments are available for those seriously affected.
- The likelihood of exposure to an infected person at the MM Shed was considered very low on the basis that the infection rate in Aberdeenshire had been falling and was at a low level of less than 10 cases per 100,000 of population. Furthermore, the MM Shed presently has a small membership (15) and historical attendance at the weekly Tuesday and Friday meetings half this number. Whilst the latter remains valid infection rates are now very high (highly contagious strain) and so the likelihood of exposure to an infected shedder has clearly increased.
- The likelihood of severe impact due to corona virus was previously considered low (due to shed members being either younger with a reduced (low) likelihood of severe impact to coronavirus or have had their first vaccination also reducing the likelihood of severe impact, and this is now reinforced through population immunity, the prevalent Covid strain (presently) has significantly lower impact (although it is much more transmissible) and better treatments now being available.
- Considering these likelihoods; whilst the likelihood of catching coronavirus has increased the likelihood of having a very adverse reaction that cannot be successfully treated is much reduced and very low.
- The conclusion of this risk assessment remains those Midmar Men’s Shed meetings can continue.
- Additional precautions, that aid risk mitigation include:
- ensuring MM Shed members are aware of, and contribute to this risk assessment (please do raise any concerns if appropriate);
- hand sanitiser available to use when entering and leaving the shed
- please do not attend should you feel at all unwell even if it is considered to be just a common cold.
Note: whilst this risk assessment identifies a very low likelihood of having a very adverse reaction, with the possibility of death, resulting from coronavirus infection that does not mean it could not happen. It is possible to be infected by Coronavirus at a shed meeting (and this likelihood has increased) so individuals may choose not to attend meetings.
The Scottish Men’s Shed Association Covid 19 Reopening Guidance was considered during the original risk assessment. Many measures of the 4 page Reopening Checklist were not considered necessary (because of differences in specifics of any particular shed such as larger membership numbers, sheds in areas with higher infection rates etc). One key area of difference that should be recorded relates to deep cleaning which is not planned to be implemented. The justification for that was that the MM Shed is used just twice weekly with sufficient time between each meeting that any coronavirus on surfaces should not survive; however, meetings are more frequent presently, but deep cleaning is still not considered necessary recognising the current very low likelihood of a severe reaction to Covid. Hand sanitisation on entry and on leaving the shed offers further protection and remains available.
Issue 1: Drafted 26/04/2020 for review & comment.
Issue 2: Comments incorporated and re-issued 03/05/2020
Issue 3: Updated 31/03/2021