New COVID-19 return to work guidelines have been published by The Society of Occupational Medicine in collaboration with the University of Glasgow.
With the successful UK vaccination programme roll-out, substantial reductions in community transmission rates, and lockdown measures easing, the challenge now is to get as many workers as possible safely back to work.
The guidelines are aimed at workers, employers and health practitioners to increase understanding of the risks of returning to work and the appropriate work-related control measures that could be implemented. Presenting a simple, stepwise approach, the document outlines the multiple factors needed to be considered in the COVID-19 return to work assessment, such as:
- community infection levels
- workplace and commuting risk
- previous COVID-19 infections, and long-COVID syndrome
- workers' concerns and expectations.
The document also includes an appendix on worker rehabilitation and pragmatic occupational health advice for employees with long COVID syndrome.