In light of the government’s announcements that the restrictions put in place due to Covid-19 are starting to ease, many employees will be going back to work, however there will be certain protocols needed to be implemented in the workplace in preparation for returning. This blog will guide you through some of those protocols so it is clear what will need amending.
Can you work from home?
Even though the restrictions are easing which means the public can return to work there could still be risks, therefore it is suggested that if you can work from home by way of virtual communication and completing your job through technology then it is advised to do so.
Protocols in the workplace
If you cannot work from home and it is imperative for you to return to work then there are a few protocols needed to be carried out. These protocols are listed below.
The company should write up a risk assessment containing all of the guidance that needs to be complied with when returning to work including:
- Wearing masks
- Placing hand sanitiser all over the workplace
- Wearing gloves
- Placing plastic shields between the employees/desks/employees and customers.
- The employer should ensure that there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for all employees.
A two metre social distance should be applied where possible, this can be achieved by re-designing the workspace. For example, some shops have already implemented a one-way system and a two metre social distance, which controls the flow of the customers and allows them to shop at a safe distance, this has proven to be effective therefore it should be applied to all shops when reopening.
In addition, in offices or where desks are used the desks can be re-located to sit two meters apart.
Minimise the number of people in a room at one time. This can be achieved by switching the work shifts around so that everyone has the same amount of working hours but are in the workplace at different times. The less amount of people in one space at a time the better.
Reinforcing a cleaning schedule.
When returning to work it is important to keep the workspace clean at all times. This can be achieved by creating a cleaning rota for the employees to ensure that all of the surfaces, equipment, handles, etc are clean at all times.
In addition, washing hands should become a frequent requirement for the employees and the employer. While using hand sanitiser and gloves is sufficient, washing your hands is an extra precaution which should be done by everyone at the workplace.
Many businesses which are open have already implemented these protocols, however for those who are considering opening or will be opening in the next couple of days these protocols should be used. In addition, a list of these protocols should be displayed in the workplace for all employees to see, or a copy of the list should be sent to all employees for them to review.
These are the current situations, however, over the next couple of months, more restrictions may be released. These can be found on the government’s website plus further information about the above for those who need to return to work.