The Government has published new guidance for businesses, aimed at helping you understand how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the workplace. The guidance applies from Step 4 - that is 19 July onwards – when all restrictions are lifted, including the instruction for employees to work at home if they can.
The guidance (Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19): guidance from Step 4), is in fact a set of documents about how to work safely in different types of workplace. In this article, we have highlighted the headline information relevant for employers running factories, plants, warehouses, offices, etc. Separate guidance is available for other sectors, such as hospitality, construction, shops and close contact services.
Click here to access the full guidance documents.
Priority actions to take – what businesses should do to help protect staff and customers
Six steps are identified in the guidance as necessary to protect your business, your staff and your customers. (The guidance does not, however, supersede your existing legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment and equalities etc). The six steps are:
- Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19 - The objective is to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level, by taking preventative measures. Reasonable adjustments for staff and customers with disabilities should also be considered.
- Provide adequate ventilation - You should make sure that there is a supply of fresh air to indoor spaces where there are people present.
- Clean more often - Advise customers and staff to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser frequently, and ensure thorough cleaning of premises, especially surfaces that people touch a lot.
- Turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms or who should otherwise be self-isolating - Stop people physically coming to work, when they are obliged or advised to stay at home and self-isolate.
- Enable people to check in at your venue - Although you will no longer be legally required to collect customer contact details, by doing so you will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Communicate and train - Keep all your staff, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures.
The above are considered to be the priority actions to make businesses safer during coronavirus. Full details are set out in the guidance document which you can access here.
Make UK is updating our Coronavirus FAQs to reflect this new guidance, which will be available on the Coronavirus webpage shortly.