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Adapting Health & Safety For a Whole New World

Is my workplace Corona safe? The thought on everyone’s mind as we start to take baby steps back towards ‘normality’. The challenge of Covid-19 for many employers and employees alike can seem quite daunting. We felt it was time to call in the experts!

Last week we had the opportunity to chat to health & Safety expert and Managing Director of HSFE Ltd, Tracey Carr. She shared with us her views on a sensible approach to adapting your business.

Where do we even start to address the risk?
It is important to adopt a sensible approach that is going to be operationally sustainable for you and your business. Although the threat might be new the process is still the same – Plan, Act, Do, Check!

We’ve spent the past few months socially distancing. How do we enforce this when our employees return to the workplace?
It is important to make sure that a 2-metre rule is implemented. Tape off desks, mark up the floor and provide visual aids to help people keep the appropriate distance apart.

We are all more aware than ever of the importance of washing our hands but should we review other elements of hygiene within the workplace?
Complete a clean down of work areas and desks, keyboards including on photocopiers, kitchen appliances, light switches and door handles. This should now become part of your daily routine.

Although as an office worker it is very easy to keep to our own stations how should we deal with communal areas such as kitchens?
It is important to review kitchen rules such as how many people can use the facilities at a time to avoid contact.  Staff should be encouraged to clean the areas when they have been used so that they are usable for other individuals. Employees should be advised to provide their own cups and crockery to avoid sharing.

What about visitors to a workplace?
Visitors should be kept to a minimum. For unavoidable guests such as delivery drivers and contractors to carry out emergency work employees should be issued with a written policy and guidance.

What guidance should we give employees about traveling to work?
It is definitely vital that you consider how our employees are traveling to work as part of your risk assessment. Can your company assist in any way? If an employee is reliant on public transport you might consider introducing a cycle to work scheme or even funding a taxi service to help them with their commute. Alternatively, you should consider if it is feasible for them to work from home for an extended period of time.

What is one of the biggest mistake’s employers make with risk assessments?
One of the biggest mistakes is that people don’t check what they have implemented. Procedures should be constantly reviewed to make sure your plan is implemented as intended. Another mistake is not involving your employees when writing risk assessments. They might be able to provide insight on their role that you might otherwise overlook.

We’d like to thank Tracey for all her help and advice.

Found this helpful? We’d love to be able to put you in contact with Tracey to discuss the challenges of Covid-19 further.

Email info@gbit.org.uk for more information or visit http://www.hsfeltd.co.uk/

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