Lockdown Easing Business Measures

Lockdown Easing Business Measures

As some sectors of the economy prepare to reopen following a long and difficult lockdown, businesses need to remain vigilant and make sure their COVID-secure measures, as well as other health and safety measures, are in place to protect workers, visitors and others.

Being COVID-secure means being adaptable to the current guidance and having measures in place to manage the risk of coronavirus. 

Key points to consider for businesses reopening as lockdown measures ease:

  • Remember your COVID risk assessment 
    All businesses must continue to update their COVID-secure risk assessment to make sure they’re in line with the latest government guidance.
  • Renewed vigour on COVID-secure measures 
    All businesses must have COVID-secure measures in place and must make sure that everyone is following them to manage the risks of COVID-19.

    This includes social distancing, frequent cleaning, good hand hygiene and ventilation. You should also talk to staff and provide information, and consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and put controls in place to reduce that risk.

    Please ensure your workplace is safe by following the HSE guidance on being COVID-secure and government guidance for EnglandScotland and Wales
  • Mental health and wellbeing
    Returning to the workplace may be difficult for some employees making them more susceptible to workplace stress.

    Talking to your employees is important in managing these concerns.
  • With infection rates dropping businesses should not become complacent 
    All businesses must prioritise their COVID-secure measures to maintain the safety of their staff, visitors and customers.

As many businesses have been closed for a significant period of time, as part of their plans to re-open safely, there are many factors they should consider as they put in place health and safety measures to protect workers, visitors and others. One example of this to consider is:

  • Legionella 
    If your building has been closed or had reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. 

    Detailed guidance on Legionella risks during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the HSE website.

In addition, if employees have been away from the business for prolonged periods, they may have experienced a decline in their ability or proficiency. Therefore, workers may need additional time and support to get back to where they were pre-pandemic. Similarly, equipment stored, unused for long periods of time should be checked for damage or deterioration. Such areas include being able to respond to any workplace incidents and perhaps providing first aid care promptly & effectively in the pandemic? One such solution is to have them attend the HSE recommended annual first aid refresher training. Our expert tutors can update them and your organisation on the now required Level 2 PPE when providing first aid in the pandemic.

Organisations have been notified that the HSE continues to carry out spot checks and inspections on businesses in all sectors and regions to check they have COVID-secure measures in place. This includes businesses that have been operating throughout the pandemic, and those that are starting to reopen in the coming days and weeks.

During their spot checks and inspections, advice and guidance will be provided to help manage risk and protect workers and visitors, but where businesses are not managing this, immediate action will be taken.
This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, it could lead to prosecution.

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