Updated: Oct 5
Now that we are moving into a more relaxed mode for business, do you know what is required of you as a business owner
As we move into step 4 you will need to consider your way forward.
What will you need to do:
The latest advice from .gov is divided into different business areas, the link below may help.
Six basic steps advised by .gov to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus applicable to all guidance documents.
1. Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19
It is really important to remember that you still need to have an up to date risk assessment.
Complete a risk assessment or update your current one, considering the measures set out in the appropriate guidance. Also consider reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. Share it with all your staff. Keep it updated.
2. Provide adequate ventilation
You should make sure there is a supply of fresh air to indoor spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through opening windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in your premises and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas. In some places, a CO2 monitor can help identify if the space is poorly ventilated. Read the advice on air conditioning and ventilation on the HSE website.
3. Clean more often
It’s especially important to clean surfaces that people touch a lot. You should ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and to clean their hands frequently.
4. Turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms
Staff members or customers should self-isolate if they or someone in their household has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell. They must also self-isolate if they or a close contact has had a positive COVID-19 result, or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. If you know that a worker is self-isolating, you must not allow them to come to work. It’s an offence to do this.
5. Enable people to check in at your venue
You’re no longer legally required to collect customer contact details, but doing so will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that they can book a test. You can enable people to check in to your venue by by displaying an NHS QR code poster. You do not have to ask people to check in or turn people away if they refuse. If you choose to display a QR code, you should also have a system in place to record contact details for people who want to check in but do not have the app.
6. Communicate and train
Keep all your workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how you’re using and updating safety measures.
These are the priority actions to make your business safer during coronavirus, you should also read the full version of the guidance appropriate to your business.
One area that is definitely under-considered is the wellbeing of staff during this time. Staff are struggling with the effects of being in lockdown whist nervous at the prospect of returning to workplace.
Although it is not necessarily a legal requirement, it is certainly a moral requirement that you discuss and support your staff with any wellbeing issues.
Most important is to consult them about the changes that you are putting in to protect them, this is a legal requirement but it will give them confidence about their return to the workplace.
We are helping where we can
The biggest difficulty for employers is that people have widely differing views about how seriously to take this pandemic, from social distancing, to wearing a face covering. From Government conspiracies to genuine fears for themselves and their families.
This makes putting the right controls in place a nightmare for employers but they have to put a suitable and sufficient management system in place.
We recently helped a local engineering company pose all of these questions and put a Covid risk assessment in place for their buildings and staff and we talked through all these important questions and many more. From social distancing floor markings, to posters and other information. From cleaning touch points on machines, to carrying out deep cleaning and fogging solutions in the event of a positive case.
If you have any questions, or you would like our help, don't hesitate to get in touch.