In the light of COVID-19, all occupational health (OH) services will need to update previous risk assessments and put in place suitable and sufficient measures to protect both OH staff and service users. This SOM and FOM guidance aims to set out a range of factors to consider in relation to face to face clinical services. It is being provided now, primarily to allow OH providers time to prepare the very best safeguards for its workforce in advance of a future return to more widespread face to face work. There is also an awareness that there may be some exceptional cases where individual employees do need to be seen sooner; where there is a clear justification for this, a detailed risk assessment process will be essential. Equally some very high risk safety critical industry sectors may be required to return to face to face work sooner than others. The aim must be to keep both OH and client workforces as safe as possible. All OH providers' plans must respect any devolved guidance for clinics in the different nations of the United Kingdom. Those providing services to the NHS or MOD should consider any internal guidelines to supersede any aspect of these which conflict. It is important to remember this is a rapidly changing picture in terms of geographical hotspots and clinical knowledge - therefore regular reviews of risk assessments will be needed. For a presentation on this issue click here.
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