As restrictions start to ease throughout the country, many businesses are starting to reopen and see employees and visitors into the workplaces for the first time in months. As you allow you being to return to work, there are a few steps which you should consider putting in place before opening the doors to your workers again.
- Social distancing adjustments
Before your workers start walking through the doors again, you may need to adjust the layout of the space to ensure social distancing requirements can be adhered to. Depending on your size of office you may need to move desks and facilities to allow the 1.5 metre social distancing between your staff. You may also need to limit the number of staff you have in office each day to allow for 4 square metres per person in the space also, this may mean implementing a rostering system for when staff are in the office and when they continue to work from home.
If your workplace deals with customers, ensure you calculate how many can enter the premises at once and if you expect regular customers you can look into implementing signs, distancing stickers and ‘sneeze guards’ to keep both your visitors and your workers safe.
Making these calculations and adjustments before you plan to for workers and visitors to be in the workplace is vital to ensure a smooth transition back to business.
- Cleaning, hygiene stations and PPE
Many things in the office are shared between your workers, desks, tools, kitchen spaces and stationery to name a few. The obvious thing which we are wishing to limit being shared between co-workers though is germs. Pre-COVID you may have had the office cleaned once a week, and PPE was rarely used. This will need to change as your workers return. Identifying ‘hot spots’ for shared spaces and items between your staff, putting in place a clear cleaning schedule and purchasing gloves, proper cleaning equipment and sanitation products will help to limit the spread of germs throughout the workplace.
- Ensure that your Vulnerable staff are taken care of.
Although the risk of spread may be lowering, the consequences may still be high for many of your workers. If you have workers who have identified as vulnerable or have vulnerable persons around them, ensure you consider how to best allow these staff to work. This may mean putting in place further measures of social distancing, PPE and hygiene around the department which these workers are in, allowing them to remain working from home longer, or changing their work tasks to lower risk activities if possible. The first step may be to have a meeting with the worker to start an open dialogue on what they are comfortable with and what they would like to see be implemented in the workplace to help them.
- Policies and procedures!
Having a COVID-19 workplace policy and procedure will help clearly convey the responsibilities and requirements which you wish to put in place to your workers. In your policy you can include social distancing and PPE use, procedures for infection control hygiene and testing and tracking requirements and procedures you may wish to put in place.
We understand that these steps may be daunting but Excite Safety can make it easier. Contact us for help with assessing risks in your workplace, drafting your policies or training your staff in Infection Control for that extra peace of mind.