As the United Kingdom proceed with their roadmaps out of lockdown. The Government have released guidance for businesses to keep people safe.
Key points from the latest government publications are available for six sectors:
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Events and attractions
- Hotels and guest accommodation
- Offices, factories and labs
- Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services
- Shops, branches, and close contact services
This new guidance published yesterday (14th July) will replace the current guidance which remains in force until Monday July 19th.
The key changes in England
From Monday the 19th July the government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, so employers can start to plan a return to workplaces. During this period of high prevalence, the government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
New guidance on risk assessment
As “rules” have now been largely replaced by “guidance” the emphasis on risk assessment has now changed. The three areas that are focussed on now relate to the risk of the virus spreading through aerosols, droplets and through contaminated surfaces. Businesses are advised to consider the following when assessing the risk to their staff and visitors:
- Providing adequate ventilation
- Identifying any poorly ventilated spaces*
- Encouraging use of outside space where practical
- Putting in place measures to reduce contact between people
- Encouraging the use of face coverings by workers or customers in enclosed and crowded spaces, although in Scotland this remains mandatory.
- Advising customers and workers to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser frequently
- Maintaining regular cleaning of surfaces
*It is being suggested that CO2 monitors could be used to identify poorly ventilated areas.
Communication with your workers
Having completed the risk assessment in consultation with the workforce this should be shared. It is expected that all employers with over 50 workers should publish the results on their website. All businesses should show their workers and visitors they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate steps to mitigate this.
If you need any support or assistance completing your risk assessments, please get in touch.