Assessment tips when getting ready to head back to work

3 September 2020

Many people are heading back into their workspaces at the moment, following some extended time remote working due to COVID-19. The Government has also advised that businesses start going back to work if they are unable to work from home.

However, certain procedures must be in place in order to keep staff, clients and customers completely safe. It can be a daunting thought, trying to take everything into consideration and assessing risks can often feel like navigating a minefield. We’ve laid out some quick tips to help you with your returning to work risk assessments…

Maintain social distance

The current guidelines of maintaining at least a distance of 2 meters between people should be kept in place. It can be helpful to utilise signage for this, but having markers placed on the floors can be very effective for providing people with a guide on the distance they should be keeping from others. 

You can also use something as simple as tape on the flooring or even making use of specially made floor markings that have advisory text on them. By having some sort of visual guide in place, staff and visitors will have much more confidence that they are safe and can easily maintain the recommended distance.

Prioritise PPE

Depending on the company and of course the sector and industry you’re working in, it may be extremely difficult for you to adhere to the 2 meter rule. In which case, it’s essential of course that you supply PPE. This can encompass masks and gloves for staff, customers or clients etc. 

You need to ensure PPE is easily accessible and that everyone knows how to correctly wear the masks. Supplying hand sanitiser at any PPE stations is also highly recommended, as having dedicated sanitation areas can help to ensure that protection is always available at the right locations. Also anyone on your site should be given clear instructions as to when to change PPE to avoid any items becoming contaminated.

Reduce staff numbers in certain areas

It can help a great deal to ensure staff numbers are reduced so that too many aren’t working in the same area at once. In order to achieve this, assessing whether some of your staff can work remotely from home can help to reduce the numbers on site. 

Keep in mind though that any staff working remotely from home will of course need the correct equipment and they must still ensure they take their health and safety seriously. One of the best ways to ensure this is to provide staff members with a home working fire safety kit. Doing so can really give you peace of mind knowing that all fire and first aid risks are covered, not only at your site but for your staff working from their respective home locations too.

Of course it’s essential that any fire practices are maintained, and that Responsible Persons (RPs) are always aware and should gain advice from an appropriate FRA organisation where needed. This will ensure any fire risk obligations are being met whether staff are coming back to the workplace or not.

For more information on fire safety in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, get in touch with the team here at Total Fire Group. We’re happy to assist with any queries you may have.

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