What does it mean to have a COVID secure workplace for businesses?
The roadmap to ease the coronavirus lockdown has been released, but what exactly does this mean for businesses like you?
The focus is to continue to control the virus and manage the reproduction rate of the disease.
This will continue to protect the NHS but the emphasis has changed from:
- Work from home if you can and only go to work if you must.
- If you can't work from home you should be actively encouraged to return to work in industries such as construction and manufacturing.
Followed by a phased opening of shops in June with some areas of hospitality and public places reopening in July.
What is clear is that while we are looking to reopen many industries we must ensure that we keep the public and our employees safe. We can do this by ensuring social distancing is still in place in the work place.
What is 'COVID Secure'?
The Government have published the following guidelines:
5.8 “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines
- Individuals should keep their distance from people outside their household, wherever possible. Transmission is affected by both duration and proximity of contact; individuals should not be too close to other people for more than a short amount of time. Public Health England recommends trying to keep two metres away from people as a precaution. Where this is not possible, keeping one metre apart is the next measure.
- It remains essential to keep hands and face as clean as possible. People should wash their hands often, using soap and water, and dry them thoroughly. Touching of the face should be avoided. Hand sanitiser should be carried when travelling and applied where available outside the home, especially when entering a building and following contact with surfaces. Clothes should also be washed regularly, as there is some evidence that the virus can stay on fabrics.
- It is possible to reduce the risks of transmission in the workplace by limiting the number of people that any given individual comes into contact with regularly. Employers can support this where practical by changing shift patterns and rotas to keep smaller, contained teams. Evidence also suggests the virus is less likely to be transmitted in well-ventilated areas.
What could 'COVID Secure' mean in practise?
If we look at the progress the supermarkets have made, we can see that they have limited the number of people allowed into stores at one time to enable people to safely practise social distancing.
Hand sanitising stations are being used by supermarkets before entering their premises.
Supermarkets have also done a good job of informing customers what is expected of them before entering a store.
Using introduction signage like floor stickers works well for denoting where people should stand
and to control the direction of movement around the store.
Many stores including corner shops have implemented screen dividers between the customers and counter staff for added protection.
Many building sites only closed down temporarily during the lockdown. As always, safety is paramount on building sites.
Again, we have seen many sites using outdoor floor stickers or floor marker spray. They have also increased the number of information signs around sites to ensure guidelines are followed.
We have seen an increase in the number of clients buying pedestrian barriers or floor stickers in order to create safe zones in manufacturing facilities.
While talking to a number of our clients, they have spoken about introducing split shifts and lengthening the working day. This will enable them to continue to reduce the number of employees on site at any one time, which will enable them to implement social distancing effectively by reducing the number of people employees come into contact with.
Opinion on the use of masks in the workplace is currently split. It is highly likely employees are going to choose to wear masks at work especially where they have close contact with customers.
There are a number of new products on the market that may help businesses as well, such as printed seat covers that could be used in cinemas to show which chairs are not to be used. Or trolley covers that can be given to customers to attach to their trolley handles.
See out range of Social Distancing Displays to see how you can create a COVID secure workplace. Our range is continually updating with new and practical products for shops, businesses, retail and leisure.
As the country is adapting to these changes and with more businesses reopening, the basic principles still apply:
- Robust hand hygiene
- Enhanced cleaning
- Facilitating the ability for employees to maintain a safe distance from colleagues
If you need any help with making your businesses COVID secure, please do not hesitate in calling us and talking to one of our experts today on 0808 120 8927.