The easing of lockdown measures up and down the country and the ever-closer prospect of future lockdowns potentially being imposed. Many businesses have returned to the office, but it is very apparent that the workplace is not the place it once was, with increased health and safety measures being introduced. Here are a few ways to help minimize the risk of COVID in your workplace.
Where possible, it has been advised to remain 2 meters apart and where that is not possible to stay 1 meter apart with risk-reducing equipment such as Perspex dividers, or PPE. You can place clear markings to demonstrate the work areas and place signs to remind employees that they are to remain at a distance from one another. By staggering the workday’s start times, you have more space to allow for social distancing if the workforce arrives at different times throughout the morning. It is possible to have some employees working from home to reduce the number of people in the workplace each day.
You need to ensure your workplace is frequently being kept clean; this is an effort that needs to come from employers and employees. By identifying areas that are touched regularly, you can ensure they are routinely cleaned or provide cleaning equipment so that as the site is used, it can be cleaned immediately by the user.
Having a cleaning plan in place that follows very clear guidelines will ensure that employees’ risk of contracting COVID is reduced as much as possible. Providing employees, especially utility staff, with personal protective equipment, such as protective clothing, disposable medical-grade gloves, face shields, masks, and other protective garments, is a must. Utility employees and frontline staff are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus; therefore, they should be provided with greater protection in the form of PPE and be eligible for insurance coverage if they get sick at work.
All employees should be encouraged to wash their hands properly and regularly and have hand sanitizer available at all times. Placing sanitizing stations around the office can make sure that this is easily accessible.
Due to the ever-changing guidance that has come along with Coronavirus, it may be sensible to consult with a company that can help you make the right decisions regarding protecting your employees and reducing the risks of COVID being spread. This article offers a useful starting point – see the full article here for more details. Sometimes a second opinion and an impartial viewpoint can open your eyes to risks you may have unintentionally overlooked previously.
Be Transparent with Workers
You need to have an open communication line with your workforce members and be transparent with them about the steps being taken by the business to manage the COVID risks. You should ensure you are listening to and considering any concerns or suggestions they may have regarding safety. Be transparent with workers who fall into the high-risk groups about the support on offer for them. If your employees have heavy interactions with high-risk groups outside of the workplace, are you able to make some arrangements for them?
When thinking about reducing the risks of COVID, it is up to everyone to do their part and ensure that the risks are minimized. As an employer, it has always been a requirement to maintain high safety standards in the workplace for employees, and the current climate should not be any different.