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How to make your workplace safe for return

23rd March 2021 Print

Outside of Covid

With the world’s full focus on COVID 19 and the uncertainty of office life going forward, many businesses are forgetting fundamental safety precautions beyond just protecting employees against the virus.

For example, before people come back to the office, there are a few systems that need to be in place and tested to be in working order.

First is the fire system. Is there necessary fire precautions? Is there a fire alarm system in place? In the event of a fire is there extinguishers available to use? All of these questions have to be answered before office life can resume in any capacity.

Security is also an issue. How do employees access the building? If your office doesn’t already, consider installing an access control system for example, to keep your employees safe at all times.

FirstFordLtd are a fantastic option for both fire and security solutions for companies in London. If you’re worried your office isn’t in the best shape going back, their wide range of solutions will have you covered.

Access control systems will also be helpful when it comes to staying on top of the virus, as this will give a clear indication of office numbers. 

Pandemic Protection

The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace is to keep the virus out in the first place. Easier said than done though, right? Follow these coronavirus office safety tips to help keep germ spread at a minimum while in the workplace.

Have a plan in place. Educate your staff on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 so they can recognise it early and stay away from the office or other contamination spots. Include what to do if they become exposed to someone who is sick in your plan.

Any employee who feels ill should stay home to prevent spreading germs in the office. Consider implementing flexible sick time policies or additional sick leave to accommodate employees who test positive for coronavirus so employees don’t feel like they have to be in the office.

Minimize physical contact for employees who are high-risk for contracting the virus. If its possible in their job role, encourage remote work if possible, or provide a more isolated working environment within the office. You can also recommend that employees wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth or personal protective equipment (PPE) while in the office. However, this might affect workplace harmony as employees may be uncomfortable doing so. Instead, ask they wear masks when entering or leaving their office and on their commute if they use public transport services.

Discourage handshaking. It’s almost an involuntary response, especially when doing business, but strongly discourage handshaking. Consider implementing a non-contact greeting to replace it?

Suspend or limit business travel, and follow all CDC travel guidelines, including following proper self-isolation and quarantine procedures for any employee who does travel.

Support employee hygiene by keeping tissues, hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant wipes readily available to all employees. If your employees have access to these products, encourage they use them where possible. Also encourage regular hand washes.

Overall, follow these steps until the government roadmap deems it obsolete to do so. Even then, you may want to continue with some aspects of your plan until you personally feel your office environment is as safe as possible.