In more and more countries the economy has started to reopen after the lockdown and people are gradually returning to their workplaces. However, this change needs to be implemented carefully, in order to keep the infection rate down and avoid a second wave.
If you are planning to reopen your business, make sure you follow your government's guidance regarding the safety measures you need to put in place in order to ensure your workplace is safe for everybody.
US employers can find Covid-19 safety guidance on the websites of the US Department of Labor, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or Occupational Health and Safety Administration among others, while concerned employees can find out more about their right to a safe workplace here.
In the UK the Government, in consultation with industry, has issued new guidance to help businesses get back up and running and workplaces operating as safely
The guidance clarifies the types of businesses that can operate at this stage and how they can run their business safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The guidance is broken down according to type of workplace rather than sector, as many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. And with eight sets of guidelines in total, it is important that businesses understand that they may need to look at several publications according to their circumstances.
The practical steps set out for businesses focus on five key points:
● Work from home if you can
● Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment in consultation with workers or trade
● Maintain 2 meters social distancing wherever possible
● Where people cannot be 2 meters apart, manage transmission risk
● Reinforcing cleaning processes
The guidance, which can be accessed here, has been developed following a national consultation with input from 250 businesses, unions, industry bodies, the devolved administrations, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. It develops best practice on the safest ways of working across the economy, providing people with the confidence they need to return to work.