Following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions on 12 April and the gradual return of workers to the office, staying safe in the workplace will be of utmost importance in the weeks and months ahead.
Now that COVID-secure workplace rules are a legal obligation, employers should ensure that such measures are in place. To make sure your business is adhering to government guidelines, this post will discuss some of the measures you may need to implement so your employees are safe and socially distant while going about their duties.
Please note that these regulations are subject to change; the information contained below is simply an overview of the rules and is not being dictated by Gazprom Energy in any way.
Social distancing: an overviewWith social distancing a legal obligation in the workplace, the guidelines laid out by the government should be followed wherever possible. Businesses may need to review their workplace conditions and consider whether their activities can be redesigned to maintain a two-metre distance or one-metre distance – with risk mitigations if the two-metre distance is not possible.
These may include:
If this isn't possible, then it may be worth looking at whether these activities need to continue for the business to operate.
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Keep in mind that the government guidelines for social distancing apply to all parts of the building a business operates within, including entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. Areas like these can often be a challenge to maintain social distancing in, so you may need to remind workers of this to stay in line with the recommended measures.
Entering and exiting the workplaceIf possible, employers may wish to review the following procedures on arrival and departure, as well as to ensure employees can wash their hands as necessary upon arrival:
Moving around the workplaceWhile people move around the workplace, the below steps may need to be used:
It could be beneficial to assign workstations to individuals rather than having them share, with businesses maintaining social distancing through the following:
Meetings are a large part of the day-to-day of office life, whether it's between employees or through clients and customers coming into the workplace. If meetings are a recurring element of your business, then you may want to look at the following measures as a means of maintaining appropriate social distancing:
The frequently used rooms and areas of your workplace, such as its canteen, kitchen and dining areas, can see a lot of traffic and congestion throughout the day. The following methods and approaches can help to ensure the risk of transmission is kept as low as possible:
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