INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE ON MANAGING COVID_19 WORKPLACE SAFETY
It is of high importance that the business continues to communicate with staff whether they are on or off site to keep them updated on any business decisions, government advise and to check on their mental health and wellbeing.
Consider making a video of the changes made to ease any anxiety amongst staff about their return to work.
Visualising messages is key and effective. This can be done through T.V monitors, posters and banners but do not forget to keep to the 2 meters distancing rule.
Ensure any face to face meetings are kept to a minimum. Guidance suggests 15-20 minutes maximum and all participants are kept 2 meters apart.
Create routine briefings with small groups, utilise large spaces for these ensuring social distancing measures are applied. Alternatively, if possible use tanoys to deliver clear and concise messages.
Explore new means of communication using applications such as Zoom, MS Teams, Skype
Create a culture where mangers are leading by example and are applying the rules and guidance from the new policies and procedures that you have set.
Ensure employees are aware of their own responsibility and how they must behave at all times to make sure they keep themselves and all others around them safe and healthy.
Encourage the use of digital communication amongst staff rather than paper format to allow minimum contact between employees.
Create a COVID_19 emergency response team that employees can turn to should they have any on site work emergency which is likely to break new ways of working.
All employees must understand that they must wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water upon their arrival at work, at the start and end of each break and when they finish work as well as when they arrive home to protect themselves and anyone living with them.
They must change out of work clothes either before leaving their workplace in a designated room and/or upon their arrival at home making sure they immediately put their work clothes to be cleaned.
Effective cleaning processes should be in place at all times across the business.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of all objects and surfaces must take place this includes handrails, IT equipment, door handles, machinery, equipment and light switches. Allocate task owners to minimise cross contamination.
Any contracted cleaning arrangements with internal staff and external companies must be reviewed and new changes documented to highlight frequency, access times, coverage and agreements.
The business must at all times be well stocked with cleaning supplies for staff use and these must be stored safely with a owner to ensure minimum people movement.
Set up several Cleaning Stations around the premises, in both operational and office areas, but also at any entrance or exit. Label these up, so that they are only being used by the same team, so minimising cross contamination. Cleaning stations need to be close to the point of use so minimising staff movement.
You should document (checklist) and increase the frequency of cleaning procedures, build this into the routine for the day, include supervisors & managers, pausing production if necessary for staff to wipe down workstations, tools, equipment, and other hardware.
Use floor markings to give clear visual guidance on walkways, cleaning stations, direction of travel and stairs. Ideally create a one-way flow system and safe passing points.
Use visual signage to advise and guide staff working within these areas, visitors and contractors.
Where employees must work in close proximity, position them side by side or facing away from each other rather than face-to-face if possible, maintaining a 2 meter distance.
Where staff are likely to come into close contact with each other use mobile screens to set up zones.
Avoid any bottleneck happening but if its unavoidable set up clear safe distancing queuing system to avoid people contact.
If feasible, place plexiglass barriers at points of regular interaction as an additional element of protection for workers and customers
Staggering on-premises hours to reduce public transport use during peak periods will provide a benefit to employees, businesses and the wider public effort.
Where possible review and stagger employees start and finish times, apply building entry and exit routes to avoid direct contact.
Review working times and patterns and alternate working from home days amongst staff to minimise the number of people on site at any one time. Review start times, policies and procedures on entering the building to avoid crowding of workers.
Pause any staff car sharing policy if they are not from the same household.
Review the number of individuals required on the premises at any one time and the processes around ways of working.
Shift Handovers where possible should be communicated over the telephone, via email, iPad, or visual boards, as opposed to face to face.
VISITORS & CONTRACTORS
Develop COVID_19 guidelines, and ensure all visitors and contractors have read these and are given a copy ideally before they come on site and digitally to avoid physical interaction.
Ensure visitors and contractors are dressed appropriately and provided with the necessary PPE.
Reception staff are at high risk, they must have access to hand sanitisers (60% alcohol based) and their workplace areas should be thoroughly cleaned at regular times.
Avoid sharing of pens therefore when signing in try to have all details of the visitor prior the meeting so the receptionist has all paperwork ready with limited need to pen or document share.
Only those that MUST enter the premises come otherwise conduct all other meetings via telephone or digitally
Use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms.
Get visitors to confirm prior to them visiting that they have not got COVID_19, they have not are not aware of being in contact with anyone who has. They do not have any medical conditions vulnerable to COVID_19 and will inform the company if they contract COVID_19 within 2 weeks of them being onsite.
The area where a contractor is working whilst on site, should have a barrier positioned, with visual signage (Do not enter), and they should be escorted at 2 metres distance at all other times during their visit.
There may be some instances, where physical work tasks/processes can be performed from home. This is especially true, when the tasks are manual, so make a list of these.
Seek advice from both your Business & Home Insurer to check that this is acceptable before instigating these steps.
Carry out Risk Assessments on home working where necessary
Set up a formal way of communicating regularly with remote workers, telephone or via video conferencing. (Please see above for our communication guidance)