Making your Workplace Covid Ready

Here at Jones Harris we’re not health and safety experts – we’re accountants. But we do operate a medium sized office here in Fleetwood, with over 25 members of staff. So we thought it would help you if we were to share what we’ve done to make our workplace covid ready.

Guidance is constantly being updated and we do encourage you to check the links which are official sources. Hopefully this may help to provide a starting point for some businesses. We recommend that if you have any concerns or uncertainties you contact an Health and Safety specialist.

Important Points to Note when Making your Workplace Covid Ready

  • Businesses need to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19 to protect workers and others.
  • Risk assessments should address the risks of COVID-19, using the guidance to control measures.
  • If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to document the risk assessment.
  • Employers should consult their employees on how to manage the risks from COVID-19.
  • If businesses do not comply the HSE or local authority can take a range of actions, including issuing enforcement notices.

There are eight guides specific to different businesses and workplaces. You can find them here.

Please remember that more than one might apply to your business.

Businesses must comply with the 5 Steps to safer working together and need to display the Covid-19 Secure Notice which you can find here.

Step by Step Actions to Making your Workplace Covid Ready

Complete each point with notes of your actions, or mark NA

STEP 1 We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and

  • consulted with our workers or trade unions
  • shared the results of the risk assessment with our workforce and on our website (if we have over 50 employees)

STEP 2 We have developed cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures by:

  • encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene
  • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers

STEP 3 We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

  • discussing home working arrangements
  • ensuring they have the right equipment, for example remote access to work systems
  • including them in all necessary communications
  • looking after their physical and mental wellbeing

STEP 4 We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace by

  • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • avoiding sharing workstations
  • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible

STEP 5 Where people cannot be 2 metres apart we have done everything practically possible to manage the risk of transmission by:

  • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • staggering arrival and departure times
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering

To reiterate our point at the beginning of this article, we recommend that if you have any concerns or uncertainties you contact an Health and Safety specialist. The ‘new normal’ will no doubt seem very strange at first, until everyone gets used to it.

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