Stay Safe - Returning To Work
Having advised on and supported health & safety systems for the last 25 years, we have to admit we were a little worried about the latest roll-backs on the current lockdown situation. We know we're not alone in these concerns and we wanted to share some actually meaningful advice for
clients who have be singled out by the current government.
For us though, the headline remains that Going Back To Work Does NOT Come Before Your (or your staffs) Safety! Firstly, as so many have proven over the last 8 weeks or so, working from home is a largely viable option for administrative staff. i.e. If you work in an office environment, you have a responsibility to ensure maintaining safe social distancing practices. Which means the following:
- If you can possibly work remotely, keep doing it. Its the safest way to be sure.
- ALL Businesses are expected to conduct a risk assessment, with their employees and any unions, to determine that suitably safe practices are in place. (We can help you conduct these assessments, just contact your consultant) - Where you absolutely have no remote option, you are expected to provide a minimum of clear walk ways, suitably separated desk/ office environments (screens between desks, minimum 2m distances, staggered working hours as possible)
- Factory, Plant, Manufacturing & Warehouse environments should follow the same minimum safe distances & "one way" system walkways where at all possible.
- If you have to work in a city, or travel on public transport, or even with other people in regular close proximity, wear the correct PPE. (Facemasks, Gloves etc.) even if you wouldn't usually do this.
-Cleaning regimes should be significantly improved. Not just hand washing but, disinfecting phones, keyboards, headsets, desk areas, vehicles, plant and equipment etc. (With no "hot-desking" advised in any circumstance)
- People who work together in vehicles, should minimise their interaction with others (thus reducing the total number of people with whom they make contact) whilst observing the above as far as possible.
These are just a few simple examples we wanted to highlight. There is further industry specific guidance from HMG available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
Whilst it is arranged by industry, it is far from comprehensive and shares little to no regard for the SME market who lack the resource or physical space to ensure safe practices. We will be working tirelessly over the coming weeks to help you understand and implement these changes, in the safest way for your business and your team. The message of Stay Alert does not go far enough, we want all of our clients to Stay SAFE!
Let's be honest, the messages have been very mixed, from government, certification bodies and clients so, we wanted to make our statement as clear as possible. We will be, wherever any possibility can be explored, continuing to conduct internal reviews, external assessments and even some site assessments using the remote solutions we have provided to our clients through this turbulent period.
We want you to know that we will 100% support all clients with any requests for remote internal review or, assessments visits and will be pushing back against any certification body who insists on visiting your premises. (As per the above Government guidance on visitors to site)
As far as THC are concerned, nothing comes before your safety, your health & public health. We hope we can help you to help us maintain this level of control until there are some real assurances in place.
Stay Safe everyone...