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COVID-19 age and Personal Risk Assessment

Last update to webpage: 2 March 2021

In the light of the publication of the roadmap out of lockdown, we would like to confirm that there is no change to the Covid-19 age and Personal Risk Assessment process.  The assessment tool already takes into consideration an individual's age and includes additional health questions to ensure that your Covid-19 age is calculated accordingly and your risk factor reflect these if relevant.  If there are any changes to the scoring criteria of the Risk Assessment then we will advise staff, via the Weekly Bulletin, and it will be recommended that the Risk Assessment be completed again.

Following completion of the Covid-age calculator and (if appropriate) the COVID-19 Personal Risk Assessment and Action Plan, unless there has been a change in your health or working environment, there is no need to change the arrangements agreed with your manager regarding on-campus working. Staff should only be working on campus if they have been authorised to do so by their manager. All colleagues are encouraged to complete the Covid-age calculator at least once a term as the tool is updated from time-to-time to take account of the latest research and medical information. If you have any ongoing concerns about your work and health, please speak to your manager.

Personal Risk Assessment

We understand that there may be some colleagues who are more vulnerable than others to the COVID-19 infection and its potential impact.  We also know due to age, underlying health conditions, ethnicity, gender and body mass, that some people are more vulnerable to the infection than others.

To ensure that we can support colleagues to feel safe working on campus, we are asking all colleagues to complete a COVID-19 age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment. The risk assessment will help to identify a COVID-19 age and where this is identified as High or Very high, you will be able to work with your line manager, and Occupational Health if required, to ensure you have the appropriate support.  The details you record on the online assessment tool will be confidential and there will be no requirement to share these details with your line manager or other colleagues - you will only need to share your COVID-19 age or your vulnerability level.

There are two parts to the Personal Risk Assessment process. 

PART ONE: All staff are asked to:

  1. Read the staff guidance form on My safe return to Campus working
  2. Complete the online COVID-19 age Individual Vulnerability Assessment tool (updated 24 September to take account of the latest research) to calculate your COVID-19 age. You also need to complete the five additional health questions at the end of the assessment.
  3. Inform your manager of your COVID-19 age or vulnerability level. You do not need to share your assessment or the details of the scoring if you do not want to.
  4. If you have a low or moderate COVID-19 age and have answered no to the five additional health questions then you do not need to do anything further. You do not need to complete Part Two.

This tool has been developed in the UK and is promoted by BMA. It is subject to updates and the scores may go up or down for particular categories based on the research on COVID health impacts. Therefore, we encourage you to regularly complete the tool. This is especially important if you are on borderline of a higher risk category.

PART TWO: After completing Part One, only staff who have obtained a High or Very High COVID-19 age or have answered 'yes' to one of the five health questions should: 

  1. Complete a COVID-19 Personal Risk Assessment with your manager.  You do not need to share your COVID-19 age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment or the details on the scoring if you do not want to.
  2. Your manager, with your support, should make any necessary adjustments or advise you to continue to work from home at this time. The situation will be reviewed as the COVID-19 national and local situation changes.
  3. If you and your manager agree with outcomes of your discussions then you do not need to do anything further.
  4. If you or your manager can not agree an action plan to minimise risk then you should email your COVID-19 Personal Risk Assessment‌ completed with your manager AND your COVID-19-age individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment to Occupational Health.  Occupational Health will need to have both Assessments and will keep the information confidential.
  5. Occupational Health will review the information you have provided and contact you if any additional information is required.
  6. Occupational Health will advise you and your manager if any further necessary adjustments are recommended and you and your manager may adjust the Risk Assessment and Action Plan as a result of their advice if this is possible.

Studies from the UK show that pregnant women are no more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus but pregnant women have been included in the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) as a precaution. The government guidance for the clinically vulnerable remains in place and you should ensure you continue to follow the latest government guidance for pregnant employees.

Pregnant women should follow the latest government guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing) and avoid anyone who has symptoms suggestive of coronavirus. If you are in your third trimester (more than 28 weeks’ pregnant) you should be particularly attentive to social distancing.  The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists online gives key advice for pregnant women during the pandemic including what to do if you get symptoms, the effects of Covid-19, vaccines and practical advice on antenatal and postnatal care during this time. If you have any additional concerns you should speak to your GP or contact Occupational Health.

You should complete both Parts 1 and 2 of the Personal Risk Assessment process.

The government advice for Clinically extremely vulnerable people was updated on 1 April 2021.  Although the government still advises people to work from home where possible, they no longer advise that clinically extremely people should not attend the workplace.  

The University therefore advises that all clinically extremely vulnerable staff continue to work from home if they are able to do so, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

Where clinically extremely vulnerable staff cannot carry out their role from home, or if their manager requires them to work on campus then the following process should be followed:

  • The individual should complete the Personal Risk Assessment and Action Plan prior to working on campus,
  • They should discuss any concerns that they may have with regards working on campus with their manager.,
  • The manager should review the building risk assessment and workplace risk assessment with reference to any particular needs of the individual putting extra measures in place to keep the person safe;
  • The manager should consider temporarily changing the individuals working patterns if this will reduce contact with others at peak travel times,
  • Occupational Health and/or the Health and Safety team may be contacted if specific health, wellbeing or safety advice is needed by either the manger or the individual,
  • Once working on campus, the individual should ensure that they book twice -weekly COVID-19 tests even if they have already been vaccinated to continue to protect themselves and others.

If you are not clinically extremely vulnerable yourself but are living with someone who is, then you are still able to attend work on campus if you have been requested to do so. You should discuss your individual circumstances with your manager to agree where you should work, with support from Occupational Health if needed.

If, once you have completed the COVID-19-age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment, your personal circumstances change and you think that this may affect your COVID-19-age then it is recommended that you complete the COVID-19 Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment again. If this changes your COVID-19-age or your vulnerability level then please let your manager know.  If you move to a High or Very High COVID-19-age then you should follow the process for completing the Personal Risk Assessment reporting form.

If you do not have access to a computer or you are finding it difficult to use the online forms, there are a number of options open to you:

  • If you work on the Streatham Campus, you can drop in to the Forum atrium and ask the H2H Team Leader to help you complete the form
  • If you work on or near the St Luke’s Campus, you can speak to the ESS Hub who will arrange for one of the H2H Team Leaders to get in touch with you
  • You can telephone the Occupational Health Service on 01392 722666 and leave a voicemail message with your telephone number, requesting support. A member of the OH team will call back and offer an appointment to go through the assessment.
  • You can ask your manager to complete the form for you.

 If you choose the options above, please be assured that information you give about your personal health will be kept confidential.

The person completing the online Covid-age calculator on your behalf will advise you of your Covid-age and “vulnerability level” so that you can advise your manager. They will also remind you that if your “vulnerability level” is “high” or “very high” or you have answered yes to any one of the five additional health questions, then you must complete a Covid-19 Personal Risk Assessment in discussion with your manager. Please ensure that you agree with the outcome recorded on the Covid-19 Personal Risk Assessment following this discussion. If you cannot agree or you have any concerns, you can contact the Occupational Health Service.