Lockdown restrictions are starting to be eased and that means people returning to work – whether that is now, over the coming weeks or maybe even months.
But whatever the timescale is within your business, we are urging employers to make sure a robust plan is in place to protect staff on their return, whenever that may be.
This means you need to act NOW if you haven’t already to ensure your workplace is Covid-19 secure.
Many people are concerned about a return to work and the perceived heightened risks of infection associated with being out and about for the first time in three months – away from the safety of lockdown and the limited contact rules which have been successful in reducing the spread of the pandemic.
Companies will have been thinking about the steps they need in place ahead of staff returning and it’s imperative they carry out a workplace risk assessment as soon as they possibly can.
This should have been done already by those businesses who have been the first to see staff return, but for those looking at June, July and beyond, we would stress that carrying out this assessment can’t be done soon enough to ensure everything is in place for the safe return of employees. So:
- Be proactive
- Complete a risk assessment
- Have contingency plans in place
- Obtain the necessary equipment
Although the Government has said it is not advising masks be worn, it does advise implementing hygiene plans and that social distancing rules are strictly observed.
Another important consideration for employers is those employees returning to work following symptoms in the future – something that needs to be included in any risk assessment and which will require thermometers and testing being made available.
Businesses need to think now about what PPE stock and measures they are likely to need – even if they don’t foresee staff going back to work for six months. If you wait until you need the proper kit to order it and have it in place, it may not be available or is likely to cost more.
This includes everything from basic equipment like antibacterial gel, gloves and thermometers right up to the Coronavirus and Antibody testing kits. It is also useful to know that our partner My Occ Health is already working closely with businesses as they put together risk assessments and implement plans – and they are ready to help you.
As well as working within Government guidelines, employers will have to ensure that their employees feel safe and confident that a robust plan is in place. Employees need to be able to work with confidence and that their safety is paramount. So act now!