10 tips for maintaining a safe environment in the workplace post COVID

7 September 2020

As the world starts to return to work after lockdown, many people have mixed ideas about how this feels and what the consequences might be. What is key for any business is handling this process with awareness and ensuring that you create a safe environment in the workplace for all your staff.

1. Make sure you know what the official guidance is. The best places to source this from are the WHO, the NHS, and websites.

2. Focus on your staff. You need to understand how COVID potentially impacts everyone in the business if you’re going to create a safe environment for them all. This could include anyone who is pregnant, ill or has mental health issues.

3. What are the risks to your environment? Every business will be different and it’s essential to carry out a risk assessment so that you know which are the most pressing for your business. What are the key risks to consider and what do you need to think about in terms of any new measures or processes you’re putting in place? Install hand sanitiser stations or provide hand sanitiser hand gel and anti-bacterial wipes to help fight the spread of any viruses.

4. Remember that not everyone will come back to the office. If some of your workforce is going to continue to work from home you also need to make sure they are operating in a safe environment with the correct chairs and desks. How are they feeling, do you have the right technology in place to support them and are existing communication channels working? If staff are coming back in, make sure to provide face masks and PPE to protect staff and make them feel comfortable returning to the workplace.

5. Talk to your staff. It’s key that your workforce knows what’s going on in terms of what you’re doing to make their working environment safe. Communicate openly and transparently and make sure that you take the time to address individual concerns.

6. How could you deal with an outbreak? If, in a worst-case scenario cases were identified within your office how will you tackle this? It’s essential to have a pre-defined approach for testing, tracking and tracing that you can implement quickly if it becomes necessary. A contactless digital thermometer is a great way to help spot signs of infection early to prevent outbreaks from spreading.

7. Stay on top of the latest. As we’ve seen in recent months the current guidance can change very quickly. It’s important that you stay on top of the flow of information from the government so that you can act quickly where necessary.

8. Who else is coming and going from your office? These days, you also need to be able to keep track of any third parties who are coming and going, in addition to your core workforce. That might be cleaners, technicians or maintenance people – what are you doing to minimise transmission and track them just in case?

9. Be ready to report if necessary. If you have a case in your workplace you’ll need to be ready to follow the COVID-19 RIDDOR reporting process.

10. Undertake some training. Basic training on how to stay safe during a return to work can make your people feel safe and help to avoid unnecessary risks being taken.

If you want to maintain a safe environment in the workplace these tips will help you to do it. If you’re looking for some friendly advice on preparing your workplace, get in touch today.  MBM Omega have a wide range of PPE, protective acrylic screens and other supplies to help you keep working while protecting your staff and customers, call 020 8899 1100 to learn more.