The return-to-work in one guise or another is for certain, it is not “if” but “when, how, and what can we do” to get the workplace ready. As a facilities manager or an HR professional, there are two important areas to consider
- Making your workplace as covid secure as you can and
- Giving confidence to your workforce it is safe to return to work when necessary
Employers will need to ensure (and demonstrate to enforcement agencies if necessary) that they have primary health and safety policies, procedures and systems in place that reflect the threat of the disease.
Therefore, employers should review health and safety policies and procedures now as a priority.
The top 5 considerations we suggest are:
- Communicate with your workforce. Publish clear return to work policies, highlighting the steps you as an employer, facilities company or HR service have implemented to ensure the workplace is as safe as possible.
- Separate - Workstations and desks min 2m apart. Single flow walkways where possible and space signs (eg floor stickers)
- Hygiene: Increased hand washing and hand sanitisation facilities should be made available and common areas, shared equipment and surfaces, such as door handles should be cleaned with increased frequency.
- Facilities - Install sanitisation stations and Hygienic Handles where possible.
- Ventilation: Employers should consider how to keep their workplace as ventilated as possible for as long as the threat of infection remains. Windows open, air conditioning units serviced and in operation.
The latest government advice can be obtained from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 and from the HSE https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/working-safely-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm
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