Whilst a large number of workplaces are still operating work from home policies, there are some businesses which have had to return to the workplace, or even continue working as normal during the Covid outbreak. One thing which has been made clear for these businesses is that the workplace must be Covid secure in order to ensure that their employees are safe and protected against any unnecessary infection.
Whilst specific measures and requirements will wholely depend on the sector and industry of your business, here are some general top tips and guidance for ensuring that your workplace is Covid secure.
Assess The Risks
It is very important that you carry out regular risk assessments of your workplace and if you are planning a return to the workplace, then these need to be in advance. There are now come requirements in ensuring that a workplace is Covid secure, so be sure to carry out a specific Covid risk assessment too.
Risk assessments are a legal requirement and whilst it may not be possible to completely eliminate the risk of spreading Covid, or the risks posed by Covid itself, but you need to demonstrate the steps that you and your business are taking to keep employees and visitors safe. If your business has 50 or more employees, then you may be legally required to publish your Covid risk assessment findings.
Communicate With Your Employees
This year has been a worrying time for everyone and if you are planning a return to the workplace, then your employees will likely be feeling some kind of anxiety or uneasy feelings. To better help your employees understand the return to work procedure, ensure that you maintain regular contact with them and include any changes to normal procedures which they may need to know about.
Also, share with them any updates or changes to equipment or normal ways of working and make sure that you give them the opportunity to ask any questions and raise ideas or concerns they may have.
Consider Employees At Higher Risk
When it comes to considering your risk management, there should be no generic solution. It is important that you identify any employees who may be at a higher risk of complications caused by Covid and its effects. This may be employees who are pregnant, have underlying health complications or are of a certain age. You need to make sure that your business is protecting those at higher risk, especially those who may have been shielding as this has now been stopped. If these employees can work from home still, then this is something you should be encouraging.
Consider Regular Deep Cleans
Alongside regular cleanliness and maintenance, you may want to consider a regular deep clean of your workplace. Whilst it is highly recommended that you carry out daily cleaning of your workplace, as well as frequent cleaning of high touch hotspots around the workplace, if you have a particularly large workplace or hire a large number of employees, then having regular deep cleans by a specialist cleaning company will give you more peace of mind.
Plan For Worst-Case Scenarios
All business owners should have plans in place for the worst-case scenario, but this is especially true now more than ever. Make sure that you have plans in place for any employees who may become symptomatic whilst at work, including sending them home, cleaning and disinfecting any surfaces they may have touched and contacting any employees who may have come into close contact with the infected employee. You also may want to prepare for what might happen if there is a number of employees who become unwell or infected, or if you need to close the workplace without much notice.