7 Key Steps to a Healthy Post Lockdown Workplace

7 Key Steps to a Healthy Post Lockdown Workplace

As businesses around the country gradually return to work following the government’s three-step plan, adhering to social distancing measures and maintaining the safety of employees is crucial. In light of this, we’ve compiled a list of considerations for small businesses to help plan for their reopening. 

Read on to help your business re-open safely. 

Download our free checklist to record your progress

Covid-19 Risk Assessment Checklist

Check when your business is allowed to reopen

The government has published a roadmap document detailing when businesses in the various sectors can re-open. Use this guidance to set your return date, using the time beforehand to make necessary provisions at your workplace to maintain safety standards. Find out below when your business will be allowed to open, as per government guidance.

  • Step 1, 12th May: Food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, scientific research in laboratories. 
  • Step 2, 1st June: Fashion outlets, homeware retailers, garden centres, technology business.
  • Step 3, 4th July: Personal care, hospitality, public places, leisure facilities.

For more details on business opening dates, read the government’s three-step plan.

Make your workplace Covid-19 compliant

Government guidelines insist that contact between workers should be minimised, with a 2 metre distance being maintained. Operating using the following steps will help you stay within these guidelines.

  • Lay down markers to highlight safe 2 metre distance
  • Revise seating arrangements
  • In office spaces, suspend hot desking. 

See below for additional examples of reasonable measures businesses can take, set by the government of Wales.

  • Reduce the number of people working on the premises at any one time– increase the space between people by reducing the total number of people in attendance.
  • Increase space between staff, enforcing 2 metre gaps between people and indicating spacing with markings.
  • Implement appropriate provision of rest space, prevent congregation of workers at break time, or stagger breaks.
  • Alter tasks undertaken – make adjustments to the way that work is done, to reduce contact, for example, have virtual meetings.
  • Phase the return of workers- employees should work from home where possible
  • Stagger shifts to minimise people on site and to reduce congestion at the point of shift changes. 

Disinfect your premises 

All areas and facilities should be cleaned using disinfectant before the return of employees. This includes heating, cooking facilities, etc. Hire professional cleaning services if necessary.

See below for recommended cleaning solutions to kill Coronavirus by Consumer Reports

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Diluted Bleach

Government advice, published by WHO states that all surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected, including:

  • Objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • All potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells

Cleaning Reviewed released a list of the 36 best commercial cleaners in the UK, follow the link if you wish to use professional cleaning services.

Enforce cleaning and hygiene procedures

Place hand sanitizing facilities around the premises to ensure employees and visitors have access to hand sanitizer upon entry. Create a procedure to ensure workspaces are disinfected consistently. Ensure that employees wash their hands regularly and effectively. The NHS has released a guide on how to wash hands properly. Make sure all employees are aware of hand sanitizing practices.

 

Implement a safe delivery solution with suppliers

Consult with your suppliers to agree on measures before continuing operations between the two parties. Designate an area for delivery drivers to drop off goods without contact. Where it is impossible to avoid contact. Ensure employees are equipped with appropriate PPE, i.e masks and gloves. 

 

Workplace Covid-19 safety awareness training

New policies and measures should be communicated to all returning staff. Carry out training to ensure safe working practices and good hygiene. Practices should be monitored and updated where necessary for maximum effectiveness. For employers looking to use professional training services, take a look at business training specialists High Speed Training a list of cost-effective, online health and safety training courses for employees. 

Provide PPE to all employees

PPE is equipment that will reduce the risk of the spread of Coronavirus amongst employees in the workplace. This includes equipment such as masks, gloves, etc. According to the Health and Safety Executive, the provision and use of PPE is the employer’s responsibility. The HSE  released the following guidance on selecting and using PPE:

  • Choose products which are CE marked in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 – suppliers can advise you
  • Choose equipment that suits the user – consider the size, fit and weight of the PPE. If the users help choose it, they will be more likely to use it
  • If more than one item of PPE is worn at the same time, make sure they can be used together, eg wearing safety glasses may disturb the seal of a respirator, causing air leaks
  • Instruct and train people how to use it, eg train people to remove gloves without contaminating their skin. Tell them why it is needed, when to use it and what its limitations are

The considerations in this guide will help your business in maintaining a safe workplace. To supplement this, check out the sector-specific guidance published by the government on safe working practices. 

Download our free checklist to record your progress

Covid-19 Risk Assessment Checklist

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