As we slowly come out of lockdown, many local firms are grappling with government guidance on how to make the workplace safe for their employees. Whilst there is an array of information and advice available, firms should consider implementing some simple measures to keep their staff safe.
1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment in consultation with staff or trade unions to agree what guidelines to put in place. Firms with more than 50 staff should publish the results on the company website.
2. Maintain social distancing and ensure there is sufficient space between staff where possible. Staff can help with redesigning the workplace, changing seating plans and agreeing staggered start times. Where staff cannot be two metres apart, firms should look at mitigations, such as side by side or back to back seating or by placing barriers in shared spaces to minimise the risk of transmission.
3. Reduce face-to-face meetings where possible. Encourage calls or video conferences to avoid in-person meetings with external contacts, or colleagues outside someone’s immediate team, wherever possible.
4. Implement a cleaning process especially for high contact objects such as door handles and keyboards. It is also important to position hand washing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points and to ask your staff and your visitors to wash their hands frequently.
5. Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running ventilation systems at all times.