Now that we’ve had ‘Super Saturday’ and the world is starting to work out what the new ‘Post lockdown’ normal is, are you wondering how you will create a safe working environment for your employees and customers? The guidance from government can be confusing at best, so we asked a safety expert to help create this series of blog posts which we hope will make things a little clearer for you.
We hope to help explain some of the requirements around working environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide some really simple tips that we can all use, to make our working environment as safe as we can.
We are all used to the 2-metre distance rule by now, and to washing and sanitising our hands at every opportunity. But what else can we do, to ensure the safety of our employees and ourselves?
This advice in this series is by no means intended to be legal or expert. We have taken our suggestions largely from HM Government’s document “Working Safely During COVID-19 in offices and contact centres” , which you can read for yourself HERE.
THINKING ABOUT RISK
As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to protect your workers from risks to their health and safety. If you have fewer than 5 employees, or are self employed, your risk assessment does not need to be written down, but it is a useful exercise to decide whether you have done everything you need, should or want to do, to keep safe. The Health and Safety Executive have useful interactive tools to help you in this, HERE.
INVOLVE YOUR EMPLOYEES IN THE PROCESS
Not only do employers have a duty to consult their employees on health and safety, but doing so will show that you take their safety seriously and will help them to understand why you are asking them to do certain things. Employees who are consulted by their management are generally more motivated and feel valued in their work. ThIs is especially important when you employ people to do different tasks to you - the best people to understand the risks involved in a job role are the people carrying it out after all! Obviously, if your employees are part of a union, you will need to consult with the designated Health and Safety representative.
Involving your workers fully will help to create a culture of collaboration, trust and joint problem solving - something we are going to need in abundance, to get us all through this pandemic!
Don’t forget - employers found not to be taking appropriate steps to ensure employee welfare could face sanctions by the HSE or local authority.
Come back tomorrow, for the first stage of our simple tips to manage COVID risk in your workplace and how you should share the results of your risk assessment.
Don't forget that Bucks Biz still provides office space for rent in Milton Keynes, with units available for all sectors, to suit a wide range of requirements. From small one-person start ups, right up to large spaces fit for 100 people (to be socially distanced!) we have the perfect base for your business.
Our flexible licences allow you to easily upgrade and downgrade your space as and when your business requires it - so you won't get caught out by needing more space to spread your employees out again.
We are more than just space to rent though. We are a community of businesses all eager to help each other. Throughout the pandemic, we have supported our residents to secure funding where it has been available and in adhering to social distancing and safe working practices, throughout our centres.