Since UK lockdown began back in March, millions of workers throughout the country have been working from home (if possible) or simply not working at all. As part of the most recent UK update, employees who cannot work from home- such as those in the construction and manufacturing industries, are being encouraged to go back to work.
This lifting of lockdown rules is important to help businesses succeed in such an unprecedented time, but every employer’s number one priority should always be to ensure their employees are as safe as possible in the workplace.
Using the UK guidance set out by the government, our team at Equip4work have created this helpful guide on how to prepare for employees returning back to the workplace.
Despite a slight lift of lockdown, social distancing measures are still in place to help manage the risk of transmission. Aiming to maintain 2-metres social distancing in the workplace is highly important, and should be done whenever possible to help keep employees safe.
Social distancing signage
Social distancing signs are a good way to remind employees of the 2-metre social distancing rule, as well as help everyone know where they should be standing and working.
Equip4work offers a selection of social distancing signs that includes an extensive range of social distancing floor stickers, floormats, tapes, posters and banners that can be placed in an around the workplace to help maintain social distancing.
Changing seating layouts in break rooms and other communal areas means that these areas can still be used as long as social distancing rules are followed. Simply space chairs and tables 2-metres apart and limit the number of people allowed in at once to prevent unneeded contact.
The layout of office spaces can also be changed to adhere to the social distancing rules, spacing out desks and chairs so they are 2-metres apart.
Similarly, opening up corridors and walkways by clearing furniture can help reduce the amount of contact when walking around the workplace.
Putting up protective screens between individual workstations helps prevent the spread of the virus in places where 2-metre social distancing is harder.
Countertop protective screens are ideal for businesses open to the public to create a physical boundary on any flat surface top. Not only does this protect employees, but protect customers and other members of the public as well.
In workplaces where keeping 2-metres apart is almost impossible, changing shifts and rota patterns so that the minimal amount of staff are in at any given time is advised. Staging different work times for members of staff prevents an abundance of social contact that could cause an outbreak.
Not only does having sets of different rotas help reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace, but helps keep public transport and roads less crowded.
Keeping Clean & Tidy
Keeping the workplace clean will help prevent the spread of viruses and keep employees safe.
Similarly, personal hygiene needs to be maintained, with more frequent hand washing and alterations to changing rooms.
Installing Hygiene Stations
Now more than ever it is essential that we maintain regular hygienic practices in the workplace to help prevent the spread of viruses. Hand washing is vital to this, so installing specific stations to do so ensures that employees can frequently wash their hands and do so safely.
Equip4work’s range of industrial hand hygiene stations is perfect for warehouses, workshops and factories as well as other workplaces, allowing individuals to sanitise their hands efficiently.
It’s now more important than ever to ensure that cleaning jobs throughout the workplace get done effectively. Constant attention must be placed on high-risk areas such as door handles and keyboards, as well as communal areas such as break rooms and kitchens.
These communal areas are usually the places that are most frequently used by everyone, therefore it’s important to ensure that appliances and other utensils are cleaned down after every use.
Using the correct cleaning equipment is vital, as cleaning with incorrect equipment is less likely to be effective. The Kärcher commercial steam cleaner from Equip4work’s range of Kärcher cleaning equipment can kill up to 99.999% of bacteria and enveloped viruses.
Installing antibacterial lockers in the workplace helps reduce the risk of transmission and reduce harmful levels of bacteria, as well as keep clothing and work uniforms safe and clean when not being used.
Lockers keep items and clothing contained in their own personal space, meaning that there is no opportunity for dangerous contamination.
With the government’s plan to increase the number of people travelling to work by bike, it’s important that every workplace is ready for an influx of bikes on the premises.
This can be done by ensuring that there are enough cycle stands and bicycle racks for easy storage of bikes throughout the day.
Following these tips for how to prepare for a return to the workplace will not only ensure employees are protected as much as possible from viruses, but will also give everyone peace of mind that they are being looked after sufficiently.