In this blog post we share the government guidance to ensure that workplaces are ‘COVID-19 secure’ for a safe workplace. These are best practices that have been developed after consultation meetings with trade bodies, unions, Public Health England (PHE) as well as Health and Safety Executive (HSE). These COVID-19 government guidelines cover eight workplace settings which can be open under the current measures.
Where Possible, Work From Home
Employers have been asked to take all reasonable steps to enable employees to work from home. However, if you feel your employees are unable to work from home then your business should not close and your employees should return to work.
Complete Risk Assessments for COVID-19
Employers should be conducting COVID-19 risk assessments before employees return to the workplace. These risk assessments should be created and completed in conjunction with workers and trade unions. If you run a business with 50 or more employees you will be expected to publish the results of these risk assessments on your website. If you are an employer of 49 employees or less you are encouraged to publish the results of the risk assessment on your website.
The 2 Metre Social Distancing
Government guidance states that the current 2 metre social distancing measure must be met. Employers are instructed to re-design workplaces to ensure that employees can meet these safe distancing guidelines. You may consider staggering shift times, having more entrances and exits into the workplace or creating a one-way walk through, throughout the workplace.
Transmission Risk Management
There are some businesses where adhering to the 2 metre distancing rule will not be possible. In cases like this it has been recommended that employers put up barriers in all shared spaces. These will help to minimise human contact. As stated earlier, new shift patterns are recommended too, or having fixed teams working set shifts. This will help minimise contact and possible spread.
New Cleaning Procedures
Extra attention needs to be paid to the cleaning methods in the workplace. All workplaces and work surfaces need to be as hygienic as possible. Contact objects such as door handles and keyboards need to be regularly cleaned. Providing hand washing and sanitising facilities for employees is highly recommended too. These would be well placed in entrances and exits of your workplace.
If you are unsure of the government guidance for your business or are unsure how to meet certain measures, please contact our HR team. We will happily talk about the COVID-19 government guidance for your industry and business. Our professional team will help ensure you have a safe workplace for your employees.
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