Maintain social distancing at work
With the latest guidance coming from the Government, advising those who cannot work from home to return to work; in particular in the construction and manufacturing industry how should you maintain social distancing and ensure other measures in the workplace are met to reduce the spread of the virus?
Travelling to work
You should avoid using public transport and get yourself to work either using your own means or if possible walking. This will reduce your contact with others. Employers should allow flexibility on start and finish times to assist in the travel to and from work.
In the workplace
As an employer you need to consider the following measures;
- Hand washing facilitates
Providing suitable hand washing facilities to include both hand sanitiser and soap and water with the ability to wash hands regularly is a critical preventative measure to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
- Reduce/Restrict visitors to the workplace
Only allow your employees into the workplace; who are aware of your control measures and have clear communication for visitors such as delivery drivers of how they can contact you, and safely deliver items without risking the spread of the virus. Continue to hold meetings with external clients and customers remotely using video calls. If your business means you need to attend other sites to complete your work, ensure that your employees are aware of the control measures in place at each location
- Maintain social distancing rules – look at office layout/workplace stations
Do not allow hot desking, each employee should have their own work station and should sit/work at least 2 metres apart. This may mean utilising office space differently and if using meetings rooms/tables as additional desk a Displace Screen Equipment (DSE) must be completed.
- Allow flexible start and finish times, allowing staff to rotate times of being in the workplace to reduce the number of people in at any one time
This level of flexibility may be required to maintain the 2 metre distancing rule. It will also help to reduce the access to rest room and kitchen facilities and movement of numbers of people around the building/location.
Keep your employees informed of the control measures you are putting in place to assist them in returning to work. Listen to any concerns they have and address them. Document down the procedures you are putting in place and include them in your risk assessment which should be accessible to all.
Going back to work is going to be a gradual process and there are likely to be further announcements that mean we will need to review the way we are working and managing the risks in the workplace. Your COVID-19 risk assessment will be a working document and there will be many revisions as the weeks go on; if you would like assistance in reviewing this document please get in touch.