Keeping businesses safe
Managing reports of cases in your business
It may be worrying to receive notification of cases in your staff or customers, but it may not be a necessity for you to close. You can carry out a Risk Assessment with who they have been in contact with and what activities have been undertaken.
You can find more information on our 'Managing COVID-19 cases at your workplace' webpage.
As the lockdown in England ends, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published guidance available for businesses to ensure employees are working safely as they re-open.
Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:
- carrying out a risk assessment (.doc)
- consulting with your workers
- sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce
Employers should also display a notice visibly in their shop windows or outside their store to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they have followed the government guidance and undertaken a COVID-19 risk assessment.
You can find more information on when to wear face coverings and exemptions on the Government's website.
Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law
This is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
Certain businesses must have a QR code for their premises including:
- café, restaurant, pubs
- close contract services, including hairdressers, barbers, beautician and tattooists
- Tourist attractions including, museums and hotels
- Community facilities including, village halls and youth clubs
Register for an official NHS QR code and display the official NHS QR poster.
Look after your workforce
It is important you know if everyone is mentally and physically fit to return to work. They may have or know someone who has been seriously affected by COVID 19.Their mental or financial health could be suffering following the lockdown and may need time to adapt to the return.
Skills and tasks may take time to return and there could be a period of adjustment. The speed and use of tools and equipment like the use of sharps, forklifts and manual handling tasks will initially have an increased risk.
Look forward and prevent
Reducing the risk from touching points like installing foot pedal bins, automatic doors and lights will help lower cross infections .Reminding employees of good hygiene protocols and introducing sanitising stations at high unavoidable areas like entry points (lifts) or shared workspaces will also help reduce the risk. Look to improve distancing between workstations or alternative working arrangements.
Manage and maintain your equipment
It is important any equipment you use can be relied on when you return to work. Check initial procedures, manufactures information and industry guidance. This will help you make sure your equipment is safe and ready to use. Electrical equipment, mechanical parts, seals, lubricants and batteries can all deteriorate when not in use.
Statutory requirements should (if safe to do so) not been affected by the lockdown but check. Service level agreements may have lapsed and hazards like pressure systems (Barista) lifting equipment (hoists/FLT's) gas installation and fire detection may pose an increased risk. Safely test your equipment with a pre-use inspection before its needed. Contact Environmental Health for more advice: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on working safely please refer to the appropriate government guidance and the British Standard Institute's guidance on safe working in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Help and support for businesses