With lockdown measures being eased gradually around the UK and businesses slowly starting to open their doors once again, industry by industry, it’s important to make sure that the appropriate health and safety guidelines are followed to allay any feelings of anxiety that your employees may have and to reduce the risk of transmission as much as possible.
HR News has come up with some helpful tips to enable you to implement best practice and facilitate a safe return to work, with the first being to make sure you’ve created a safe office layout.
Desks and workspaces should be rearranged so that there is a minimum of 2m between colleagues, while perspex screens should be installed so that staff are able to work closely and collaborate without running the risk of cross contamination.
It may be necessary to redesign shared spaces like break areas, kitchens and meeting rooms so that social distancing measures can be followed.
Other advice includes removing any absorbent fabric and furniture (which are hard to clean), installing hand sanitising dispensing units and investing in office furniture and screening that is wipeable and functional.
You may also find it useful to consider installing painted visual aids, signage or floor stickers to help guide people on safe working distances. One suggestion was implementing a one-way traffic system to help support social distancing measures in communal walkways.
It would also no doubt be helpful to read the government’s official guidelines on how to make workplaces as safe as possible, which will give people the confidence they need to get back to work during the pandemic.
There are five steps that need to be taken in order to work safely, the first being carrying out a coronavirus risk assessment in line with the Health and Safety Executive guidance.
You must also develop hygiene, handwashing and cleaning procedures, including providing hand sanitiser, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces, and deeper cleaning for busy areas.
All reasonable steps should also be taken to help people work from home, whether that’s through discussing home-working arrangements or making sure they have the right equipment.
Social distancing of 2m should be maintained between people, with signs put up to remind workers and visitors, and where this cannot be achieved, the transmission risk should be managed.
This could be done through keeping activity times as short as possible considering whether an activity needs to continue in order for the company to run, or staggering arrival and departure times.
Chief executive of the HSE Sarah Albon said: “At the heart of the return to work is controlling the risk posed by the virus. Ensuring safe working practices are in place will help deliver a safe return to work and support businesses across the country.”
If you need the help of commercial cleaning services in London, get in touch with the team here at Essential Service Providers to see how we can ensure your offices stay clean and hygienic now and into the future.