Are you Thinking about re-opening the workplace
This guidance will assist employers, businesses, and their staff in re-opening safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) and as the lockdown is softened.
Acton Health and Safety understand that employers and businesses may have concerns about how they can re-open for business safely and play their part in preventing the spread of the virus. All employees should be encouraged to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so. Not everyone can work from home: certain jobs require people to travel to, from and for their work – for instance to operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or to deliver front line services.
We at Acton Health and Safety want to help you re-open your business with the most practical help and support for employers and businesses to protect your workforce and customers. With this in mind, we have built this pack to aid you in re-opening your business using the government’s guidance which covers: –
- Information on Covid-19 (What we know)
- Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- How COVID-19 is spread
- How long the virus can survive
- The Plan
- Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in business and workplaces
- Use of face masks
- Social distancing in the workplace – principles
- Shift-working and staggering processes
- Moving goods
- Cleaning and waste disposal
- Principles of cleaning after a suspect or confirmed case of (COVID-19)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Handling post or packages
- Food safety
- Staff canteens and rest areas
- Food hygiene guidance
- Certifying absence from work
- What to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone
- Sick pay
- Further help and support
What we Know
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- Dry Cough
- Sore Throat
- Difficulty in Breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
How COVID-19 is spread
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are the main means of transmission.
There are two main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- Infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) such that droplets could be inhaled into the lungs.
- It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
How long the virus can survive
How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors, for example:
- What surface the virus is on
- Whether it is exposed to sunlight
- Differences in temperature and humidity
- Exposure to cleaning products
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to decrease significantly over 72 hours.
We know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands. Therefore, regular hand hygiene and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces will help to reduce the risk of infection.
Below is a risk assessment and action plan to help you evaluate the risk in your work premises in regards to Covid-19.
Due to the frequency that advice and guidance is changing, we (Acton health and safety) cannot be held responsible for the maintenance and updating of this document. By using this template, you have agreed to update and manage based on the guidance issued by the government, and your companies own contingency plans. There may be other scenarios applicable to your company that we have not covered. Feel free to add these as required to ensure that your company is managing the Covid-19 epidemic. This document is a Health and Safety System Plan developed as part of a SME Re-opening procedure project to assist SME’s to implement a systematic approach to Re-opening your business.