This guidance is for employers, but workers and the self-employed may also find it useful.
It’s designed to help you make your work and workplace safe (be COVID-secure). It’ll help you to manage the risk associated with re-starting or running your business during the outbreak.
You should start by updating your risk assessment to manage the risk of coronavirus in your business. This will help you to understand what you should do to work safely and protect people.
Follow this guide for an overview of practical measures you can take. It includes help with how to maintain social distancing in your workplace, staggering shifts, cleaning and how to talk with workers.
As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a risk assessment and it’ll help you manage risk and protect people.
> identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
> think about who could be at risk
> decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
> act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
If you have fewer than five employees, you don’t have to write anything down, but it might help if you do. Find out more about managing risk and risk assessment.
The HSE have produced guidance to help you work safely (be COVID-secure) and manage the risk associated with running your business at this time.
It includes practical measures you can take, for example:
> putting in place social distancing measures
> staggering shifts
> providing additional handwashing facilities
Talk to workers and provide information
By consulting and involving people in the steps you are taking to manage the risk of coronavirus in your workplace you can:
> explain the changes you are planning to work safely
> make sure changes will work and hear their ideas
> continue to operate your business safely during the outbreak
Specific advice for your industry
There is specific guidance for industries or sectors.
Work from home
Everyone who can work from home should do so.
To help your people work from home you should:
> provide the equipment they need, for example a computer, phone and videoconferencing facilities
> keep in regular contact with them, making sure you discuss their wellbeing
Make your workplace COVID-secure
If through your risk assessment you have identified people who cannot work from home (for example people who operate machinery or work on a construction site), then you should consider what changes you might need in your workplace to reduce risk and make it ‘COVID-secure’.
Entrances and exits
Stagger arrival and departure times so that people do not use entry and exit points at the same time.
Provide handwashing facilities so people can wash their hands when they get into and leave work (provide hand sanitiser where this is not possible).
Keep work areas 2 metres apart and allocate one person only to each work area. If this is not possible, then keep the number of people in each work area as low as possible.
To help workers to social distance you can:
> use floor tape or paint to mark work areas
> provide signage to remind people to keep a 2 m distance
> use screens to create a physical barrier between people
> have people working side-by-side rather than face-to-face
> limit movement of people
> rotating between jobs and equipment
> using lifts and work vehicles
> in high-traffic areas like corridors, turnstiles and walkways
> allow only essential trips within buildings and between sites
Protect people at higher risk
If a worker is shielding because they are clinically vulnerable you should not ask them to work outside their home. Help them to work from home, either in their current role or in an alternative role.
If a worker lives with someone who is shielding, the worker does not need to shield. Talk to your worker and try to agree the best way to protect the shielded person. This may include working from home.
Source: HSE Website