With lockdown now beginning to lift, ensure that you’re ready to get back to work this year. With many businesses being closed for much of the last year, we know how important it is to be getting back to work safely to prevent another lockdown.
With ‘non-essential’ retail, personal care services and outdoor hospitality being opened in April and further restrictions being lifted to allow indoor hospitality to reopen in May, the UK government have been emphasising their messaging of:
‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’
The slogan encapsulates the broad safety measures which need to be adhered to whilst reopening businesses. Under the current guidelines, you are still being encouraged to work from home where you can and should minimise the number of journeys you make.
One of the primary tasks you’re going to have to undergo is a COVID risk assessment to assess the health and safety risks that may be caused by the pandemic on your reopening.
A few topics this will need to cover include; vulnerable workers, identifying any work that the virus may impact, and the likelihood of employees contracting the virus.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released a regularly reviewed page detailing what to include within a COVID risk assessment.
If working in a ‘non-essential’ environment, you should be providing hand washing or sanitising facilities where appropriate throughout the business. You should be thinking of putting these sanitising stations where customers can access them on entry and exit of the premises.
Alongside customers, employees need to be vigilant with washing and sanitising their hands regularly. Different industries have different procedures, with hospitality being recommended to frequently wash and sanitise every 30 minutes. For other industries such as retail, a good practice is to sanitise after every customer interaction.
With the virus transmitting via small droplets, airborne particles and direct contact, wearing face coverings such as masks and visors can help reduce the spread of the virus by protecting others.
The government has released information about the benefits and uses of face masks, with it being a legal requirement in many establishments unless you are except under the guidelines.
It is important to emphasise that using face coverings is not a substitute for other social distancing and protective measures but needs to be used in tandem with other government guidelines, including keeping space between customers and washing hands.
As we all know, social distancing has been around for nearly 18 months in the UK and abroad (albeit with different variations). The government is still emphasising the need to maintain a good distance from others, not in your ‘bubble’.
Under the current guidelines, you should still be exercising a 2-metre distance from anyone not in a bubble and avoid direct face to face contact. This means for the hospitality sector; tables will need to be positioned carefully to cater to this distance. In retail, you should be limiting the number of customers in your shop.
By law, employers must ensure that there’s an adequate ventilation strategy (providing fresh air) within enclosed working environments. Increasing fresh air and ventilation can reduce the number of airborne particles in the room, limiting the chance of others breathing in the virus.
You can increase the ventilation of your business through natural and mechanical means:
- Natural – Increase dynamic airflows by opening windows, doors and vents.
- Mechanical – Use fans and ducts to increase the ventilation process mechanically.
If you have access to both ventilation options, you will increase the airflow creating a safer working environment for your employees and customers.
Increase cleaning process
With the transmission of the virus also achieved by touch, the workplace should be thoroughly cleaned more frequently with special attention giving to areas with high contact by either employees or staff. This includes doors and handles, keyboards, sanitising pumps and surfaces.
As an employer, you have a direct responsibility for protecting your employees and any visitors to the workplace. The government has launched a range of advice for cleaning the workforce and the different ways to reduce the need for intense cleaning.
CRS Cold Storage
With COVID-19 having a significant impact on businesses ability to spend and grow, CRS have a range of solutions to enable you to bounce back. For example, our long-term cold storage hire represents the fantastic value when considering the £/day, compared to short-term offers from our competitors.
Get the benefit of increased cold storage in order to meet the increased customer demand not just for the next few weeks but for the year ahead.
Get in touch with CRS Cold Storage today to discuss how we can help you bounce back and get your business back on track.