The HR Division have received many calls from our clients, who have been asking us to give them guidance on working safely during this coronavirus pandemic. Here are some guidelines to how we can help you work safely and to help you manage the risk associated with running your business at this time.
As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a risk assessment and it’ll help you manage risk and protect people.
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- think about who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
- If you have fewer than five employees, you don’t have to write anything down, but it might help if you do.
Practical measures you can take, for example:
- putting in place social distancing measures
- staggering shifts
- providing additional hand washing/sanitation facilities
Talk to workers and provide information
By consulting and involving people in the steps you are taking to manage the risk of coronavirus in your workplace you can:
- explain the changes you are planning to work safely
- make sure changes will work and hear their ideas
- continue to operate your business safely during the outbreak
Work from home
Everyone who can work from home should do so. To help your people work from home you should:
- provide the equipment they need, for example a computer, phone and videoconferencing facilities
- keep in regular contact with them, making sure you discuss their well-being
Make your workplace COVID-Secure
If through your risk assessment you have identified people who cannot work from home (for example people who or Chef’s/Servers and work on-site), then you should consider what changes you might need in your workplace to reduce risk and make it ‘COVID-secure’.
Entrances and Exits
- Stagger arrival and departure times so that people do not use entry and exit points at the same time.
- Provide hand washing facilities so people can wash their hands when they get into and leave work (provide hand sanitiser throughout their workstations).
- Keep work areas 2 metres apart and allocate one person only to each work area. If this is not possible, then keep the number of people in each work area as low as possible.
To help workers to social distance you can:
- use floor tape or paint to mark work areas
- provide signage to remind people to keep a 2 m distance
- use screens to create a physical barrier between people
- have people working side-by-side rather than face-to-face
- limit movement of people
- rotating between jobs and equipment
- using lifts and work vehicles
- in high-traffic areas like corridors, turnstiles and walkways
- allow only essential trips within buildings and between sites
We can help and guide you to undertake a risk assessment on your premises to make it easier for you to navigate bringing your people back to work safely.
If you need guidance or assistance with any HR issue, redundancy situations, or indeed to help you bring back your employees during these very challenging times, please do not hesitate to contact us.
0203 950 0604 or firstname.lastname@example.org