Operating a business in these unprecedented times is very challenging, and you need the most up-to-date information to make an educated decision. After all, your livelihood could be on the line. The UK government has provided several guidelines in an effort to keep people employed, keep the economy running, and make sure everyone stays safe. So, there are several steps you can take to keep your business COVID-19 safe/compliant. Following are ten essential guidelines taken from government sources:
1. Carry Out a Risk Assessment
As a business owner, it is highly recommended that you carry out a risk assessment so that you can identify the risks and controls required to reduce the COVID-19 spread between members of the public and your staff. You will need to continually update your risk assessment as new risks emerge.
2. Encourage Social Distancing at Work
Communicate with your employees regularly in order to remind and encourage them to follow social distancing guidelines at work. It would also be a good idea to provide training on what is expected of your staff and for them to understand the control measures and risks.
3. Shield Employees Who Are Most at Risk
Identify employees who are most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Such employees generally include those who are aged 70 or older as well as the ones that have underlying health conditions. You should take steps to shield such employees as well as send them a medical letter informing them to isolate themselves.
4. Hygiene, Cleaning, and Hand Washing
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 from sneezing/coughing and transmission via surfaces is extremely important. Following are some things you can do to achieve this:
- Provide adequate hand sanitizing/washing facilities and stations.
- Reduce people’s contact with objects and surfaces where possible.
- Use vapour, mist, fog, disinfectant, or ultraviolet systems to clean your premises.
- Identify regular touchpoints and have them cleaned frequently.
- Clean commercial vehicles on a regular basis.
5. Display Health and Safety Signage
Displaying health and safety signage is another crucial step to make a business COVID-19 compliant. Here are some essential sign tips you should follow:
- Display mandatory hand sanitization and washing signage at entrances, in washing facilities, and in and around toilets.
- Install door, floor, and wall signage showing people how and when to maintain the social distancing guidelines.
- Consider signage to indicate areas that are now out of bounds, e.g. galley, viewing, seating areas, lifts, etc.
6. Let Employees Work from Home
Make sure to do everything you can to let your employees work from home. Host training days, interviews, and meetings online. It is also recommended that you consult with your staff and make sure that those working from home have the appropriate equipment to do their job effectively.
7. Cut Travel
Even if most of your employees are now working from home, they may need to visit the office in order to deliver a service, close a new contract, or meet the client. It’s okay to approve travel as long as your employee is not self-isolating or showing COVID-19 symptoms. However, you should still try to use social distancing wherever possible.
8. Try to Maintain Dedicated Work Teams
Try to maintain dedicated work teams and keep the number of staff members working as a team as small as possible. In this way, you will help reduce the number of staff that could be asked to self-isolate in case someone in your business tests positive for COVID-19.
9. Communication and Engagement
During these unprecedented times, you want to make sure that your employees feel able to speak about their concerns freely. So, it is recommended that you ask for volunteers to get your employees involved when creating new rules of working so that you can develop practical procedures to protect everyone from the spread of the virus.
10. NHS Test and Trace
According to new guidelines from the UK government, all leisure and hospitality businesses are now legally required to display an NHS QR code at the entrance. Other types of businesses are also encouraged to do this. While putting up the QR code is a legal requirement, people are not required to use it. This means if your visitors or clients don’t have access to the Track and Trace App or your QR code, it is your responsibility to take their details down when they come in.
Unfortunately, as long as the COVID-19 pandemic lasts, every business will face the risk of Coronavirus transmission. However, it is possible to create a COVID secure workplace by following the COVID-19 Business Compliant guidelines and make your work environment as safe as possible for your employees, clients, and site visitors. Get started by following the above-listed guidelines and keep your risk assessment up-to-date so that your business can keep operating.