How to work safely during COVID-19
On Monday 11 May the Government published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.
Regular hand washing for 20 seconds and maintaining social distancing of 2 metres, where possible, are key to protecting yourself and others.
There are five key practical steps for businesses to follow as outlined below.
Work from home, if you can
All reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been told to close, the message is clear: you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employer about when their workplace will open.
Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
Under current health and safety employment and equalities legislation, employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with their workers or trade unions, to establish what guidelines to put in place. Employers should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website and all businesses with over 50 employees are expected to do this.
Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
Employers should re-design work spaces to maintain 2 metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts in break rooms.
Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
Employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other.
Reinforcing cleaning processes
Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards. Employers should provide hand washing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.
Downloadable secure sign
Employers can download a staying COVID-19 secure notice and display it in their workplaces to show employees, customers and other visitors that you have followed the above guidance.
Sector specific guidance
There are eight sector specific guides outlining advice on how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic that cover:
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Factories, plants and warehouses
- Labs and research facilities
- Office and contact centre
- Other people's homes
- Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
- Shops and branches
The Environmental Health team will continue to support businesses and individuals so if you need any more advice email firstname.lastname@example.org