It is necessary for businesses and organizations to have a system in place towards preventing Covid-19, as a means of safeguarding the health and safety of employees and the public. Below are important suggestions to consider in the workplace to that effect, as the U.K comes out from the lockdown.
Leadership: There should be a visible team appointed as champions of Covid-19 prevention in the workplace. They should have a system of reports and stay up to date with information regarding the formation of the Covid-19policy and its enhancement in the workplace.
Communication: This should be key. Frequent communication and appropriate signs of directions should be put in place to guide workers.
Working from Home: Policies should be put in place to encourage working from home, However, where working from home is not possible, workplaces should make every effort to comply with virus prevention practices, PPE usage, and social distancing guidelines.
Social Distancing: Organisations may have to review their open-plan space culture. The density of occupation may have to be reduced.
New Work Processes:As a preventive measure, new work protocols such as virtual meetings, reduced travel, staggered shifts, and provision for essential staff to commute outside peak times are to be considered for implementation.
Duty of Care: Employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds, more frequently and to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues. Also, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly should be put in place.
Staff Availability: The lockdown has necessitated that the entire operations of individual businesses would have to be reviewed. Staff contact details, supply chain, and care and back up procedures for staff who are unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) should be created. Vulnerable employees should also be supported.
Health and Safety: TheH & S policies relating to the business environment has to be reviewed and new measures put in place. Installation of fire safety measures should be considered if not yet in place, and maintenance of fire safety system is essential, as many buildings are closed or in partial use at present, which may prove attractive to criminals.
Risk assessment A broad Workplace Covid-19 Risk Assessment has been mandated by the government and this should be carried out extensively and the various controls put in place to safeguard employees, visitors, and the general public.
Cybersecurity: An increase in the number of phishing attacks has been reported with cybercriminals using the coronavirus outbreak to target people.
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Available at: https://www.cibse.org/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-and-hvac-systems
[Accessed 15 May 2020].
IWFM, 2020. COVID-19 guidance: managing the impacts. [Online]
Available at: https://www.iwfm.org.uk/coronavirus-resources/covid-19-guidance-managing-the-impacts.html
[Accessed 10 May 2020].
REHVA, 2020. www.rehva.eu. [Online]
Available at: https://www.rehva.eu/activities/covid-19-guidance?tx_news_pi1%5BoverwriteDemand%5D%5Bcategories%5D=189&cHash=b6f2ac8c520fb32edb3a20bdde48a5bf
[Accessed May 2020].