The COVID-19 outbreak has meant that the duty to minimise health and safety risks in your business has become harder.
Now that lockdown measures have eased, what’s your plan to manage risks whilst protecting your workers and customers as you restart your operations?
At Alert Level 3, your business can reopen if the work cannot be done from home and your business can operate consistently within public health guidelines. However, there cannot be contact with the public.
If your businesses has reopened, you need to make sure you have the following safety measures in place:
Strict hygiene measures – disinfecting surfaces and allowing people to have easy access to soap and water and/or sanitiser so they can maintain high levels of hygiene. Reminding staff with posters about how to reduce risk will be important too.
Social distancing for employees – the goal is to limit the interaction between people. Have you set up split-shifts for staff or ensure that only essential workers come to the workplace in order to reduce interactions?
Social distancing for customers and suppliers – offer online purchase and contactless delivery. If people come into the business, have a plan for a managed entry system, with space for people to maintain a safe distance from others.
Contact tracing – you need to record who is working together and any other people such as suppliers, customers or a tradesperson that you have contact with.
Providing protective equipment, if it is required – you may not require PPE equipment but, if it is essential for your business you need to supply workers with the necessary equipment.
Have a plan to respond to suspected infection – make sure everyone can identify symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath). Unwell people must stay home.
Employee engagement – work together to discuss and agree the new working arrangements.
Have a plan for managing employee absences – who is essential to your business operation? Have a plan in place if staff are unable to work.
Communication with customers – you’ll need to consider how you will communicate with customers. Whether this be by email, phone, video calls with Skype or virtual meetings with Zoom or Uberconference.