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Gloucester firm has Covid19 spot checks by HSE – is your workplace Covid-Secure?

March 4, 2021

It’s important to ensure your business premises are continuing to work in a Covid-secure way and you have all the necessary measures in place. Only last week one of our Gloucestershire clients, Lister Unified Communications were contacted by HSE (Health & Safety Executive) and they conducted a Covid spot check on the firm.

As a reminder to all, we’ve set out below some tips to ensure your premises are Covid-secure, if your operating already, it might be worth reminding yourself of these. If you are due to open the workplace in the coming months, please do familiarise yourself with the guidance below. HSE have also set out full details in their guidance which can be found here.

How to ensure your workplace is Covid-secure:

Risk assessmentsA specific COVID-19 risk assessment should be the basis for determining what control measures need to be introduced within a workplace. This isn’t a one-off document and needs to be regularly reviewed and updated in keeping with changes to guidance (review dates and version numbers are a good way of tracking this) and regularly communicated to staff so they know what is expected of them.

Social distancing in operation – continuing to abide by the two-meter rule, where required have a one-way system in place and markers to remind employees of the distance required.

Implementing hygiene and cleaning regimes – offering sanitisation stations at the entrance/exits and other touch point places in the workplace. If you have a staff kitchen, provide additional cleaning materials such as antibacterial wipes and increase the daily cleaning process. Use of masks and screen where required. Masks to be worn whilst walking within corridors, into toilets etc.

Consider those high risk and vulnerable employees For something a complex as Covid19 there isn’t a one-size fits all solution and one simple risk assessment unfortunately isn’t enough. It is important conversations are continuing to be made with employees that are considered at high risk. Consider and document the grounds for people not working from home (where relevant) and any special steps in place for staff with specific needs, for example any extra steps in place to protect those who are vulnerable or exceptions to mask wearing on medical grounds.

Effectively communicating any changes to employees – communicating these changes effectively to your teams is vital. Ensure they’re aware of the new systems and procedures in place through both verbal and written communications, posters around the premises to remind individuals of the new systems. Please note any changes made to procedures need to be communicated to employees as well.

Contingency planninghave a back-up plan and prepare for a worst-case scenario. Put procedures in place which outline what happens when an employee is symptomatic, the rules surrounding self-isolating in line with government guidance – once again ensure these are communicated to employees so they’re aware if the situation does arise.

Rapid Workplace Testingthis isn’t available to small businesses at present but if your business operates with 50+ employees and you are still operating from your business premises or travelling for business reasons, you can now arrange for Rapid Workplace Testing. The aim of the testing is to identify workers who may be carrying the virus without showing any symptoms. This is particularly important as one in three people with Covid19 will not have symptoms.

With the above processes, you need to make sure that whatever you are committing to is in place. Commit to simple and consistent steps  (i.e. sanitiser on way in and touch pointes, social distancing and face masks) rather than an elaborate system which people by-pass and ignore.

And finally, it’s important to note that the message from Downing Street as it stands is that if you can, continue to work from home. We understand for various reasons offices are beginning to re-open but we urge you to ensure guidance has been closely followed.

If you require any support with setting up a Covid-secure workplace or wish you discuss any of the above then do not hesitate to get in touch: CitrusHR Consulting, call us on 0844 854 6704 or email us at info@citrushrconsulting.com. We would love to hear from you.