COVID-19: Working Safely Through the Pandemic

With the majority of employees now back in their workplace rather than working from home, protecting their health and safety is now the number one priority for employers. With that in mind, there are several different steps that businesses should take, including following the latest government guidance and investing in the appropriate safety measures, such as protection items like the ones offered by worXmart.

In a nutshell, the current guidance on working safely in the workplace, as published by the UK Government states that employers should:

  • Undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment, in addition to the standard workplace risk assessment required
  • Put in place clear handwashing procedures, along with visible signs marking these and hygiene stations
  • Introduce remote working wherever possible
  • Ensure that the 2m distancing guidance is followed at all times when possible
  • Where this isn’t possible, ensure that you have taken the necessary steps to manage the risk of transmission

 

Safety Measures to Implement in Your Office

First and foremost, unless you have an unlimited amount of space, the first step you will have to take is working out the maximum number of people that you can safely have working at the same time while still following the 2m distancing guideline wherever possible.

The easiest way to do so is by creating a rota for the staff or updating your current one if your workplace is already shift-based. By doing so, you can reduce the number of people working in the space at any given time, making it easier for them all to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. If you are worried about how this reduction in staff members will affect productivity, then you can always extend shift lengths to account for the difference or allow employees to work from home in cases where their job does not require them to be in the workplace every day.

Where possible, you should also put in place physical barriers and screens to further help your employees work safely and manage the risk of transmission where keeping the recommended 2m distance is not possible.

Mixing Office Work and Home Working

It is worth keeping in mind that in cases where employees are doing a mix of remote working and office-based work to carry out their tasks, there should be additional COVID-19 safety steps taken to ensure safe working. This is because when working remotely, employees could be at home with other members of their household, or even working in a public space, all of which can increase their likelihood of exposure. To prevent any potential spread of the virus, it would be prudent to ensure that anyone mixing office-based work with remote working completes their office-based days with the same team, rather than rotating and working with different staff members each day, as this could expose a wide number of employees and promote the spread of the virus should anyone become infected.

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