COVID-19 – Risk Assessment

COVID-19 secure risk assessment for garden centre and restaurant

Assessment date: July 2021 assessment reference:  RA36
Name of assessor(s):  Rose Burdett & Marc Etheridge
Review date:  August 2021 after self isolation regulations change as per government guidelines


Haskins Garden Centres:

  • Ensures that there are controls in place to protect vulnerable employees / pregnant employees and employees who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Ensures that the covid risk is considered in all existing RA
  • Follows Government Working Safely guidelines and regulation on best practice advice when available


Hazard 01.

Transmission of COVID-19 via person to person contact particularly in crowded indoor settings

Ref No. RA36A

Persons at risk and how they might be harmed:

All persons working and visiting Haskins Garden Centres. People may be at risk of contracting the virus from infected individuals they encounter.

Controls currently in place:

Haskins has done everything reasonably practicable to minimise the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus. Control measures have been put in place to minimise the risks of transmission from person to person.  Haskins is monitoring the Government documents regarding keeping Shops and Branches & Restaurants, Pubs, bars and Takeaway services safe during the pandemic.  The necessary actions are taken based on this updated guidance to keep staff and customers safe.

To prevent overcrowding in indoor public spaces, the number of customers in the garden centres and restaurant is monitored.  If there are too many people inside the centres to allow for a safe shopping, eating  and working environment the centres managers will restrict entry using the traffic light system.  The number of customers in the centre will monitored by customer services and the duty managers using the electronic people counters.

If customers are prevented from entering the garden centre or restaurant a trained member of staff will act as a host & control the queuing customers and the customers entering the centre or restaurant.  This temporary restriction will be communicated to customers affected by it by the host.

In order to protect employees at customer facing counters, including the tills, serveries, information desks and customer service desks, screens are in place.

In order to keep customers safe management will monitor customers queuing at the tills.

Till operators have been instructed on how to serve the customer and process their transaction in a safe manner.

The plant information centres are open with numbers within them monitored.  These centres are well ventilated with windows and doors open where appropriate.


Safe distancing

The number of people permitted in offices, training rooms and other staff facilities is monitored by centre management.

A notice showing the maximum number of people permitted in each office, staff rest area and meeting room is posted on the front of the door.



The HSE guidelines on ventilation are followed

Appropriate ventilation is maintained in Indoor areas, including the restaurant. This may need to be reviewed in the colder winter months.

Duty Managers and Restaurant General Manager make a daily assessment to ascertain which doors, windows and vents can be opened safely to enable better ventilation.

Fire Doors must not be propped open unless fitted with a self-closing mechanism.

Good ventilation will also be aided by increasing the speed of air handling units in restaurants and kitchen areas where possible.

Self-contained AC units that recycle the air in the room must not be used at all in areas where people work. They may be utilised in computer server rooms for example.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal use or disposable, one time use protective equipment is always available and employees are given instructions on the safe use of this.

Employees are made aware that the use of PPE does not mean that other control measures such as safe distancing or hand washing/sanitising may be ignored.  Employees are also made aware that the use of PPE is to minimise the risk of transmission from person to person.

Regular hand washing is encouraged as is the use of correct hand washing techniques. Hands must be washed before eating or drinking and in between doing different tasks.


Face Coverings

Haskins Employees are instructed to wear appropriate face coverings as per the Haskins Face Covering policy (updated July 2021) when working in indoor public areas during trading hours.   When working in the back areas and indoor public areas out of trading hours, safe distancing and hand washing routines must be maintained.

Visitors, suppliers, and contractors are required to wear face coverings when in the Garden Centre’s indoor public areas.

When working in outdoor public areas during trading hours, employees must be equipped with a face covering for use when in close proximity to customers and other team members.

Face covering must be worn by employees working together in enclosed indoor areas such as storage containers.

Signage requests that customers where masks when inside the garden centres.


Event Planning

Prior to any events being held in the Restaurant or Function Rooms a dynamic risk assessment must be completed.  This will take into consideration the number of people involved, the setting (indoor or outdoor), the infection rates of covid in the wider local community etc.


Current risk level

L = 3
S = 5
R = 15

Risk Rating: Medium

Hazard 02.

Transmission of COVID-19 by employees who have recently returned from visiting foreign countries

Ref No. RA36B

Persons at risk and how they might be harmed:

Transmission of COVID-19 by employees who have recently returned from visiting foreign countries.

Current risk level

L = 3
S = 5
R = 15

Risk Rating: Medium

Hazard 03.

Transmission of COVID-19 via hard surfaces and touch points

Ref No. RA36C

Persons at risk and how they might be harmed:

All persons working and visiting Haskins Garden Centres. People may be at risk of contracting the virus from infected hard surfaces they may touch.

Controls currently in place:

To help minimise the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 from contact with the virus on had surfaces, till operators are advised to handle cash as little as possible. They are advised not to touch their face or mouths with unwashed hands and to wash their hands prior to eating or drinking.

Customer changing rooms for clothing are open but increased cleaning regimes have been implemented.

Hand gel is available for employees and customers throughout the centre.  Sanitiser is available for customers to clean trolleys before use if required.

Customers and Employees are advised on best hygiene practices via posters throughout the centres.

Customer and Employee toilet facilities and all hard surfaces in the washroom facilities are monitored and sanitised and cleaned throughout the day.


Cleaning and Sanitising

To help minimise the transmission of the virus, via hard surfaces, appropriate cleaning and sanitising products are always available for cleaning equipment, fixtures and fittings.

Chemicals are provided which are effective against preventing the spread of infection. The company liaises with chemical supplier to ensure adequate supply is available and suitable contact time is advised.

To minimise spread of infection regular two stage cleaning is undertaken in the restaurants particularly on common touch points.

Restaurants undertake a thorough two- stage clean of customer tables and seating after each use. Signage is utilised requesting that tables are not occupied until the sanitising has taken place.

Chip and pin units are wiped with sanitiser regularly.

Wheelchairs are thoroughly sanitised after use and before they are re-issued.

Office equipment, including shared keyboards, phones, PDA units, headsets, photocopy keypads and other touch points are cleaned regularly.

Drink stations in staff areas are cleaned in between each use by employees.

The iPad for employees clocking in and out is cleaned after every use with antibacterial screen wipes.


Reducing Touchpoints in Restaurants

Signage on the restaurant counters instructs customers to only touch their intended purchases.

Customer cutlery is pre-wrapped and issued to customers from behind serveries.

Individually wrapped condiment sachets are issued on request to Restaurant customers.

Drinking glasses are kept behind screens and issued on request to Restaurant customers.

Restaurant Customers are instructed to use the provided bottle openers to prevent employees handling their drinks bottles.


Personal hygiene

Employees are instructed to sanitise their hands on entering the building.

Employees are instructed to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly throughout the day, the recommended frequency of this action is every 20 minutes.

Hand sanitiser is available throughout the garden centres at service areas, staff facility areas and in the offices.  It is also available for customer use.

Employees are instructed to avoid touching their noses or mouths.   Tissues should be used for coughs and sneezes and these must be disposed of after use.

Employees who wish to wear gloves are instructed to wash their hands before putting gloves on and after removing them.


Training & Employee Communication

Covid notice boards are in used to communicate employees with updated information and policy regarding virus control measures.

Haskins utilise a range of communication with employees including:

  • Bulletins on Selima, the company staff payroll and information platform
  • Regular updates at daily briefings prior to opening time
  • Posters and employee noticeboards
  • Team meetings or 1 to 1’s

In addition, employees with concerns about health and safety matters, should report them immediately to their line manager.


Current risk level

L = 3
S = 5
R = 15

Risk Rating: Medium

Hazard 04.

Transmission of COVID-19 from persons with the virus

Ref No. RA36D

Persons at risk and how they might be harmed:

All persons working and visiting Haskins Garden Centres. People may be at risk of contracting the virus from infected individuals they encounter.

Controls currently in place:

All employees are directed to follow all current self-isolation guidance as provided by NHS Test & Trace relating to both positive tests and being a close contact. Failure to follow the requests may result in disciplinary action. This must be reviewed in line with updates due to come into place on 16th August 2021.

Customer notices at the entrance request that customers who are ill or have the virus refrain from entering the garden centre or restaurant.

QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, to support NHS Test and Trace are available at the Restaurant entrance.

Employees are encouraged to download and use the NHS Test & Trace App and are given guidance on its safe and correct usage whilst on duty.

The company enforces the policy preventing employees who are ill or exhibiting signs of the virus to attend work.

Following Government guidelines employees who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 themselves or are living with anyone who is either symptomatic or has the virus is instructed to self-isolate and not to attend work or visit the garden centre until the end of the prescribed isolation period.

From 16th August 2021:  The Government intends to exempt people who have been fully vaccinated and 2 full weeks passed, from the requirement to self-isolate if they are a contact of a positive case, with a similar exemption for under 18s (as above) on completion of a negative PCR test. Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status.

Return to Work Guidelines are available for all managers to follow when conducting the Return to Work Interview with employees.


Health Screening

Visitors and Contractors must complete the Health Questionnaire when entering the Garden Centre.

The following Self-monitoring by employees is advised and reinforced by advisory signage:

Employees are instructed to be aware of the symptoms of Covid19 and to monitor their health.

Self administered temperature checks for all employees entering the premises are completed.  Temperatures are taken using forehead thermometer.

Self administered lateral flow kits are available to all employees who are expected to complete 2 tests a week and log the results on line.  Any positive tests must request a PCR test and immediately self-isolate.

Customers, visitors & staff who have tested positive for the virus will be asked not to enter the Haskins building until their isolation period has passed and they are symptom free.


Current risk level

L = 2
S = 5
R = 10

Risk Rating: Low

Hazard 05.

Severe Illness caused by Covid 19 amongst the clinically extremely vulnerable and pregnant employees from 28 weeks

Ref No. RA36E

Persons at risk and how they might be harmed:

Employees identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable by their Health Care Professional. Pregnant Employees who have reached 28 weeks gestation.

Controls currently in place:

We continue to follow all current Government and PHE guidance relating to additional risks and measures for these groups.

The control measures in this RA must be reviewed with each Clinically Extremely Vulnerable employee to assess any further mitigation required.

Pregnant Employee RA should be completed for each individual affected.  After 28 Weeks gestation, employees would normally be required to work from home where possible and may be placed on paid suspension if required.


Current risk level

L = 3
S = 6
R = 18

Risk Rating: High


Further Controls

Individual Risk Assessment for affected employee.

Revised 3,5,15 Medium Risk