Richmondshire District Council

How to work safely during COVID-19

The Government has 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.

Use our risk assessment template.

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 fourteen sector specific guides outlining advice on how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic that cover:

  • Close contact services
  • Construction and other outdoor work
  • Factories, plants and warehouses
  • Heritage locations
  • Hotels and other guest accomodation
  • Labs and research facilities
  • Office and contact centre
  • Other people's homes
  • Performing arts
  • Providers of grassroots sport and other sport facilities
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
  • Shops and branches
  • Vehicles
  • The visitor economy


The Environmental Health team will continue to support businesses and individuals so if you need any more advice email

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