The MINISTERS released a new five-step plan to try to protect all workplaces from coronaviruses this evening.
The new “COVID-19 secure” guidelines are now available to UK employers to help them start up and run their businesses and keep workplaces as safe as possible.
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The British face massive changes when they return to work, as employers are asked to minimize the risk of a second spike.
Boris Johnson said yesterday that he wants more people to start working again if they can’t do their work at home.
In heaps of documents posted online on the government’s website tonight, the ministers posted eight documents to businesses, from offices to take-out, to keep workers from spreading the virus to others.
Each workplace with more than five people will need to conduct a coronavirus health and safety check.
And they will be asked to speak with their staff and unions to make sure they also feel safe in the workplace.
Businesses will need to use duct tape to help staff move two meters away, put screens between people, and provide packed meals to avoid opening staff canteens.
Hotels and restaurants will be required to keep bars closed and continue to only take-out, and will also ask customers to wait outside for their meals.
Stores will be asked to encourage customers to come alone, as well as to work with other outlets to manage shared queue areas.
All businesses will be asked to ensure that staff no longer wash their hands and that surfaces receive additional cleaning.
Businesses should encourage as many people as possible to work from home as long as they can.
If they cannot, they should carefully consider whether the tasks should go as planned.
“No one is forced to work in a hazardous work environment,” said the documents.
When employees cannot be kept within two meters of each other for work, they should consider using shields, limiting working time, working side by side or back to back instead , or to work in fixed teams to limit their contact with others.
They may also consider wearing masks to do their work.
- Shifted shifts to have fewer people in the office at the same time
- Provide hand washing facilities, or hand sanitizer when not possible, at entry and exit points
- Limit the number of people in rooms and elevators
- Spread the work stations
- Use screens to separate offices and people
- Use remote work tools to avoid face-to-face meetings
- Do not share pens or other objects
- Hold meetings in well ventilated rooms
- Phased breaks to reduce pressure on rooms or places to eat
- Frequent opening of windows and doors to promote ventilation, if possible
- Provide packaged or similar meals to avoid opening staff canteens, if possible
- Encourage workers to bring their own food
Restaurants (take out and delivery)
- Put teams in teams to limit the number of workers interacting with each other
- All food and beverage outlets must be take-out only
- Encourage contactless payments wherever possible
- Stagger hours of arrival and departure at work to reduce congestion in and out of the workplace
- Ask staff to change into work uniforms on site using appropriate facilities / changing rooms
- Reduce rotation of jobs and locations, for example, assign workers to specific floors or retain temporary staff dedicated to a site
- Allow access to the kitchen for as few people as possible
- Minimize contact at transfer points with other staff, such as when presenting food to service staff and delivery drivers
The five things every workplace should try to do to stop coronavirus
- Work from home, if you can: All reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been closed, our message is clear: you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employer about the start date of their workplace.
- Perform a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or unions: These guidelines work within the framework of existing employment and equality health and safety legislation and employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with their workers or unions, in order to establish the guidelines to be put in place. If possible, employers should post the results of their risk assessments on their website and we expect all companies with more than 50 employees to do so.
- Maintain a social distance of 2 meters, if possible: Employers should rethink workspaces to maintain distances of 2 meters between people by shifting departure times, creating one-way passages, opening more entrances and exits, or changing the layout of seats in break rooms.
- When people cannot be more than 2 meters apart, manage the risk of transmission: Employers should seek to put up barriers in shared spaces, create workplace change models or fixed teams by minimizing the number of people in contact with each other, or to ensure that co-workers are face each other.
- Reinforce cleaning processes: Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying special attention to high contact objects such as doorknobs and keyboards. Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitizers at entry and exit points.
- Use markings to guide staff entering or leaving the building – and open more doors to get people in and out
- Use tape to show people how far apart from each other
- Customer services may need to be abandoned if they cannot be trusted
- Buyers should be encouraged to come alone, and there should be a limit to the number of people inside a store.
Factories and warehouses
- Reduced task and equipment rotation
- Regulate the use of high traffic areas, including hallways, elevators, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distance
- Use a protective screen for personnel in receptions or similar areas
- Encourage staff to stay on site during working hours
Construction and other exterior works
- Limit passengers in company vehicles, for example, work minibuses
- Reduce travel by discouraging non-essential travel inside buildings and sites
- Separation of sites into work areas to keep different groups of workers physically separated as much as possible
- Use a consistent matching system if people need to work nearby, for example, when working, lifting or servicing two people
- Use safe outdoor spaces for breaks
- Assign fixed groups of workers to the same transport routes when it is not possible to travel alone
- Find alternative solutions to delivery to 2 people. This could include delay in the delivery of large items or the use of an alternative method, for example, mechanical handling equipment / material
- Collection of goods before collection and loading on vehicles without interacting with the driver
- Scheduling of collection hours to avoid overcrowding
- Make sure vehicles are well ventilated to increase air flow, for example by opening a window
- Ensure regular cleaning of vehicles, especially between different users
- Consider traveling alone to sites using your own transportation
- Ask households to leave all interior doors open to minimize contact with door handles
- Bring your own food and drinks to households and take breaks outside if possible
- Only absolutely necessary participants must attend the meetings and must maintain a distance of 2 m if possible
- Assign the same workers to a household where jobs are repetitive
- Use of remote work tools to avoid face-to-face meetings
Research laboratories and facilities
- Wash laboratory clothing and equipment such as glasses and gloves on site rather than by staff at home
- Removal of access controls in lower category laboratories so that users do not have to use access cards
- Use fixed teams or adjust reservation processes to reduce the number of people in a laboratory at the same time to avoid overcrowding
The documents are published after consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.
Additional funding of £ 14 million will be provided to health and safety bosses for additional staff, call center employees, to carry out spot checks and verify that companies are following the rules.
They could face fines if they refuse to comply.
There is no specific date for when the measures should be put in place, only as soon as it is practically possible to do so.
Currently the advice is only for open or partially open workplaces, but more will be coming in the coming days.
Boris Johnson told parliament on Monday afternoon that the Health and Safety Executive will apply best practices with spot checks carried out to protect returnees during the Covid-19 crisis.
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The PM said in the House of Commons, “We will insist that companies take care of their workers. We will have spot inspections to make sure companies keep their employees safe. “
And business secretary Alok Sharma later said, “These guidelines provide a framework for getting the UK back to work in a safe manner for all. These are practical steps to enable employers to identify the risks created by COVID-19 and take actionable steps. to mitigate them.
“And as we are able to re-open new sectors of the economy, we will continue our collaborative approach by working with a wide range of stakeholders, to provide guidance for additional workplaces. “
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