UCU would expect that all staff should by now have had access to suitable and sufficient risk assessments that cover an individual’s working environment and the duties of their job role. In addition your employer should also have provided you with a Personal Risk Assessment document and asked you to complete it.
UCU guidance is that line managers, or a suitable alternative if you do not feel comfortable talking to your line manager about this, should provide you with an opportunity to meet with them to discuss your personal risk assessment, consider your situation and agree additional mitigations that you may personally require which of course must include working from home. UCU know many departments have been particularly lax about this process and that many staff have not completed such a process and remain very anxious. The level of personal risk is very much related to you as an individual taking into account health and social factors but when considering overall risk and mitigation the context of the employers local risk assessments and expectations and the changing external environment must also be taken into account.
In the following link, Y H Region Personal Risk Assessment Pro Forma (3), is a template personal risk assessment based upon NHS Trusts documentation which we would encourage you to use if you have not undertaken a personal risk assessment. It only takes a few minutes to complete and once you add up your score there is a very simple analysis tool which is an indicator of COVID risk to your personally and the type of mitigations your employer should be considering. There is further guidance on how to use the information and next steps on the last page of the template.
BMI is a known risk factor for COVID and here is a link on how to calculate your BMI. https://patient.info/doctor/bmi-calculator-calculator
If you encounter any problems in relation to the employer responding to you about your risk assessment or the approach they are taking with you, you can access a range of template letters that head office have produced for you to use as an individual if you feel unsafe.
Please contact Jon Fanning (firstname.lastname@example.org) branch H&S officer for further advice or if you require further help or support.
University of York UCU Executive