We all have a duty to reduce the risk of spreading COVID in the workplace. In order to protect the safety of your colleagues/workers and visitors you must consider all the points below:
- Make sure that anyone who feels unwell does not enter the workplace.
- Encourage increased handwashing and surface cleaning. Have a daily cleaning schedule to make sure employees keep their workspaces clean.
- In order to help contain the virus, office workers that are able to work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Extra consideration should be given to those at higher risk to COVID, and they should work from home unless impossible.
- Businesses should make sure that employees can work at a suitable distance from each other. If this cannot be obtained then you should consider using desk divider screens or back-to-back/side-to-side working rather than face-to-face.
- If people have to work face-to-face for a prolonged time with more than just a small group of the same individuals, the safety of this will need to be assessed and employees must state that they are happy to do so. Nobody should have to work in an unsafe place if it is against their will.
- Considering the maximum number of people who can safely work at the site.
- Making sure that colleagues working from home are well mentally and physically.
- Ensuring those working from home have the right equipment needed to work effectively.
- Making a plan for helping those who can return to work safely.
- Getting the workers in the office and the workers at home to keep in touch to keep the team spirits up. Use video calls or other ways of staying in touch.
- Using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people comply with social distancing
Looking after those at a higher risk.
We need to make sure that we are being extra supportive and protective of those at a higher risk. If those at a higher risk are unable to work from home you should go the extra mile to protect them in the workplace, maintaining social distancing.
Who is at a higher risk?
- Older Males.
- Those with a higher BMI.
- Those with health conditions such as diabetes.
- Those from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds.
Ventilation in the building should be used to help mitigate the transmission risk of COVID.
How can this be done?
- Increase the fan speed .
- Keeping doors and windows open if possible.
- Using ceiling fans to improve the air circulation.
Coming and Going from Work.
Steps that will need to be considered in your workplace:
- Staggering the arrivals and departures to reduce crowding.
- Providing handwashing facilities on entry and exit point and near any touch points.
Meetings at work.
- Use remote working tools to avoid in-person meetings.
- Only absolutely necessary participates should attend.
- Avoid sharing pens, documents or other touch points.
- Provide hand sanitising in the meeting rooms.
- Hold meetings in well ventilated rooms or outdoors if possible.
- Stagger workers lunch and break times to make sure that social distancing can be obtained in work canteens or break areas.
- Using areas outdoors for staff breaks.
- Installing screens in receptions.
- Organising any seating or tables to reduce face-to-face interactions and maintain distancing.
Visitors & customers:
- Make sure to use remote meetings where possible
- Limiting the amount of visitors at one time.
- Keep a record of all visitors if doable.
- Provide hygiene solutions for touch points such as at the sign in at reception.
Cleaning the workplace:
- Make sure you often clean work spaces and equipment between uses.
- Frequently clean door handles, keyboards and other touch points.
- Provide waste bins for staff to dispose of PPE.
Other Hygiene advice:
- Put up hygiene posters, notices and information to encourage good handwashing and sanitising.
- Provide sanitising stations in multiple locations.
Although face coverings aren't mandatory in all office environments, they are highly effective at stopping the spread of COVID. Make sure to:
- Wash or sanitise your hands before putting on your face mask.
- Avoid touching your face as you could contaminate your mask with germs from your hands.
- Change your face covering if it is damp of if you have touched it.
- Wash or change your face covering daily.