COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Business Continuity

Updated 3 March 2022

Staying Covid-19 Secure in 2020 COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Business Continuity

The Materials Processing Institute recognises that our employees and their families, as well as our clients, suppliers and partners will be worried about the impact of COVID-19. This page outlines the risk assessment and key activities we are undertaking to minimise disruption to our normal commercial activities and to protect and support our employees and the wider community.

This Risk Assessment is continually reviewed and will be updated in response to the changing nature of the risk and in line with the latest Government advice.

The Materials Processing Institute’s COVID-19 response began in February 2020, based on observation of activity in other countries, particularly the Far East. Throughout the crisis, the Institute has remained focussed on our objectives to:

  1. Keep all staff, visitors and their families safe and well.
  2. Continue the operation of the Institute, in so far as is possible.
  3. Avoid any detrimental impact on the income of colleagues.

Immediate action was taken to protect colleagues and their families and to support home working.

As is usual in the Institute, all of these actions have been taken in full consultation with the staff, trade union and directly elected staff director on the Institute board. There is a COVID-19 planning group, which is chaired by the CEO and includes personnel from key functions, including the trade unions and directly elected staff director. The minutes of this group are detailed and are shared with colleagues and external stakeholders. Where best practice is identified this is shared with the SME tenants at the Institute campus.

Actions have also been taken to support the national effort. We set up a hand sanitiser manufacturing facility in one of our laboratories, which at the height of the pandemic supplied sanitiser free of charge to all of the Marie Curie nurses between York and Scotland. We also registered for the government scheme to manufacture ventilator components. All of our colleagues have been asked to be aware of people in our own community who may be self-isolating for protection and be prepared to offer help and support.

Currently the COVID-19 planning group is working on relaxing control measures in line with government guidance, whilst retaining our duty of care to colleague and visitors. The ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principal of risk management has been adopted with respect to COVID-19, consistent with how risks are managed elsewhere in the business.

Key Messages

The most important immediate ongoing measures to be taken by all people are:

  • Ventilate spaces as much as possible, or meet outdoors.

    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.  Put used tissues in the bin straight away.

    Wash your hands with soap and water often, or use hand sanitiser gel (see hand washing guidance).  Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell and do not come into work if you are unwell.

Further information and government advice can be found here.

Risks and Control Measures


Control Measure

Supporting Colleagues

Sick pay to be extended, such that all staff and all agency contractors receive full pay from day one (details as per email of 19th March 2020).  This also applies to colleagues who are self-isolating and are unable to work from home.

All colleagues to be supported in flexible working in relation to childcare and caring for vulnerable people. This could include support such as shopping for food and medicines.

Control of Incidents

Where an employee, or visitor to the Institute becomes a confirmed case of COVID-19, the management of the Institute will follow the guidance of the Health Protection Team, with regard to risk assessment, cleaning communal areas and colleagues who may have worked in close proximity.

Anyone who develops a persistent cough, or fever, or loss of taste, or smell, or other COVID-19 symptom, or if anyone in their household develops these symptoms, they should go home.  Such colleagues may use this time to work from home, if they are well enough to do so and if this is possible in their role.  If this is not possible then normal sickness arrangements apply.

If a colleague becomes ill whilst at work and symptoms are minor, they should:

  • Inform their manager, preferably by using their own ‘phone.
  • Go home and enter self-isolation as outlined above.
Their manager should determine which areas will require disinfectant and cleaning.

If a colleague becomes ill whilst at work and the symptoms are more serious, they should

  • Move immediately to the medical room.
  • Call 111, preferably by using their own ‘phone.
  • Inform their manager and reception, preferably by using their own ‘phone
  • If they need to use the toilet, they should use the toilet adjacent to the medical room.
  • Reception to ensure that the toilet adjacent to the medical room is not used by any other colleagues, or visitors during this period.
All tissues to be disposed of in the clinical waste bin in the medical room.

Contractor and Engineering Management

Access to site changes to be included in contractor briefings and contractors to be working to the Institute risk assessment as a minimum, plus any additional measures dependent on the specific task. 

Contractors are also expected to report to the Institute any incident of one of their employees who has attended the campus, subsequently falling ill with COVID-19 symptoms.

We are working hard to adapt our businesses as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. We recognise that this crisis presents tremendous challenges for everyone and we as a business are committed to help and support one another to come through this difficult period.

The Institute shares the concerns and worries of our clients, suppliers and partners and our priority is protecting the health of our families, colleagues and anyone else we engage with throughout the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We remain fully operational, as we have throughout the pandemic, and continue to provide all practicable services and support. All measures aim to slow the spread of the virus, minimise disruption to our business and maintain the delivery of projects for our clients and partners. These actions will support business continuity and ensure our business is resilient to unforeseen events and external factors, as well as appropriately protected against risk.

This is an unprecedented situation which will require us to continually review and evaluate how we operate as a business. We will endeavour to share information and advice for everyone’s benefit, and we are committed to remain transparent and to look after all our colleagues and their families and continue to work with and support our clients, partners and suppliers.

We will continue to make every effort to fulfil our commitments to our employees, clients, partners and other stakeholders.

If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch, as by working together we can support each other as effectively as possible during these challenging times.

Members of the public, businesses, employers and employees are being asked to follow Government, NHS and Public Health England guidelines which can be found at

Stay safe and take care of each other.