With the slight ease in lockdown restrictions, you might be anticipating the reopening of your business but feeling unsure where to start.
Or you may even be open already, but want to make sure that you’re doing everything you possibly can to make your business Covid-19 secure.
The government has published information on the practical actions businesses should be taking when re-opening, based on 5 main steps.
It’s important to bear in mind that there are specific guides for different workplaces. Head to the government website to make sure that you’re adhering to the regulations relevant to your business — https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 .
The basic steps to working safely amid Covid-19 are as follows…
1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
Before you re-open your business, you need to ensure the safety of your workplace. To do this you should:
- Carry out a risk assessment in line with government HSE guidance.
- Consult with your workers and any appropriate trade unions.
- Be open about the results of your risk assessment by sharing it with your workforce and making it available on your website.
2. Create cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures
The frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning should be increased by:
- Encouraging everyone in your workplace to follow the government guidance on hand washing and hygiene.
- Providing hand sanitiser throughout the workplace, in addition to washrooms.
- Frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that are touched regularly.
- Enhancing cleaning for busier areas.
- Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets.
- Providing paper towels or electrical hand drying facilities
3. Help people to work from home
As a business, you should be taking all reasonable steps to help your staff work from home by:
- Discussing home working arrangements.
- Ensuring they have what they need, e.g. the right equipment, remote access to work systems.
- Keeping lines of communication open.
- Looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.
4. Maintain social distancing of 2m, where possible
Wherever possible, all members of staff and visitors to your workplace should maintain 2m between them by:
- Reminding workers and visitors of social distancing guidelines by putting up signs.
- Avoiding sharing workstations-
- Marking areas on the floor using tape or paint to help people keep to a 2m distance.
- Arranging the workplace so there is only one-way traffic throughout, if possible.
- Seeing visitors by appointment only if possible, for example using remote smart queuing systems like closeddoor.
5. If people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk
If there are instances where it isn’t possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:
- Thinking about whether a particular activity needs to continue for the business to operate.
- Keeping any essential activity time as short as possible.
- Using screens or barriers to physically separate people from each other.
- Using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible.
- Staggering staff arrival and departure times.
- Using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ to reduce the number of people each person has contact with.
You can find detailed guidance on working in or running shops, branches, stores or similar environments here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches