The Government have issued guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.  There are an initial 5 steps which cover practical advice and a further eight sector-specific guides as detailed below.

  1. Construction and other outdoor work Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.
  2. Factories, plants and warehouses Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.
  3. Labs and research facilities Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.
  4. Offices and contact centres Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.
  5. Other people’s homes Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes.
  6. Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
  7. Shops and branches Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
  8. Vehicles Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.

There is different guidance for educational and childcare settings and public transport operators.

The five steps are:

1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:

  • carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance
  • consulting with your workers or trade unions
  • sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website

2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

You should increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning by:

  • encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene
  • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers

3. Help people to work from home

You should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

  • discussing home working arrangements
  • ensuring they have the right equipment to work safely, for example remote access to work systems
  • including them in all necessary communications
  • looking after their physical and mental wellbeing

4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

  • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • avoiding sharing workstations
  • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible

5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Where it’s not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • staggering arrival and departure times to help staff work safely
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’

Contact us if you have any problems with your IT either in the workplace or at home or if you are looking to add or upgrade.

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