Now that many of us have returned to work, and the number of new COVID-19 cases is still high, it is of upmost importance that you and your team stick to the government guidelines of how to stay safe and healthy while back at work.
The first step that needs to be taken to work safely during COVID-19 is carrying out a risk assessment. This includes identifying ways the virus can be transmitted, who may be more at-risk and considering actions that may increase risk or transmission (e.g. touching door handles).
Once the primary and secondary risks have been identified, it is then the task of employers to inform and educate all members of the workforce to stick to social distancing and hygiene rules. Employers should explain the changes that will come into action and make sure the changes will work for that firm. For those working from home, it is crucial to maintain regular contact with them and ensure their wellbeing is discussed.
Make sure your workplace is COVID-secure. You must include clear signage, floor markings and barriers between people in the office. Avoid face-to-face work and instead sit side-by-side. Limit the amount of movement in communal areas and corridors and the shared usage of equipment. There should also be signage around the workplace to act as a continuous reminder to maintain a 2 metre social distance. Staggering shifts and providing handwashing facilities is also important in sticking to safety regulations at work.
While these are just the basic safety standards, extra steps may need to be taken for potentially vulnerable workers. These people may are:
- older males
- have a high body mass index (BMI)
- have health conditions such as diabetes
- are from some black, Asian or minority ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds
Check out our Back to Work video to get some extra information.