Covid-19 has changed the way we work, with many workplaces being forced to close their doors during parts of the pandemic and many employees working from home. With workplaces now slowly reopening after demonstrating that they are Covid-secure, it’s never been more critical to have watertight risk assessments in place.
But what steps do you need to take to make sure that your workplace is Covid-secure?
Complete a Covid risk assessment for your workplace
It is your duty as an employer to protect your employees, customers, and anyone else that enters your buildings from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect these people from Covid-19.
To identify where your employees may be at risk, you should complete a Covid-19 risk assessment for your workplace. If you have five or more employees, your risk assessment must be in a written format.
In your Covid-19 risk assessment, you should identify any areas of the workplace or situations which may cause transmission of the virus, identify who could be at risk, and work out the likelihood of their exposure to the virus. You can then put measures in place to mitigate or reduce the risk in these areas.
Maintaining hygiene during coronavirus
Covid-19 can be spread through contact with surfaces. That’s why it’s important to keep high-contact surfaces clean and encourage good hand hygiene amongst your employees.
You should use signs and posters to remind your workers to practice good handwashing technique and ensure that you have adequate handwashing facilities with running water and soap. You should also provide hand sanitiser around buildings and for employees who are unable to wash their hands regularly.
You should identify any surfaces which are touched regularly and implement an increased cleaning schedule for these areas. These areas could include door handles, lift buttons, desks, touch screens, and shared equipment.
Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus
Social distancing involves people keeping a distance from one another to limit the spread of Covid-19. Where possible, you should keep two metres of distance from other households. However, where two metres isn’t possible, one metre is acceptable providing other protective measures are taken such as wearing masks, using Perspex screens, or facing away from each other.
Consider how you could implement social distancing in your workplace to reduce the chance of transmission. This may include using floor paint or tape to mark work areas, providing signage to remind people to keep distance, and limiting the movement of people wherever possible.
Working from home during coronavirus
If your employees are able to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, you should allow them to do so wherever possible. This will limit the risk of transmission for any employees who must remain in the workplace.
Ensure that you communicate regularly with any employees who are working from home, making sure that they have everything that they need to work safely.
Protecting vulnerable workers during coronavirus
Some people are at increased risk of a negative outcome if they contract Covid-19. Companies should put measures in place to protect those workers as much as possible. This could mean moving vulnerable employees into roles where they are able to work from home to minimise the risk of them catching the virus.
Consult the experts in workplace health and safety
For more information about keeping your workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, occupational health and safety experts can give advice. If you are looking to hire an expert in health and safety to help you to make your workplace COVID-secure, you can find an occupational health and safety expert on Bark.