Health and safety in the workplace in a post-lockdown world

27 May 2020

In the last few weeks, lockdown restrictions have gently started to ease across the UK and more of us are returning to work every day. 

However, the pandemic is far from over and, as the government has made abundantly clear, if we want to stand any chance of avoiding a second peak of COVID-19 and another subsequent lockdown, we’re going to need to remain vigilant. This means changing how we function in the working world to a certain degree and for many people, change is not easy, particularly on this scale.

The ‘new normal’ requires everyone to keep their distance, to wash their hands regularly and to avoid all unnecessary contact with one another. Until this becomes commonplace and second-nature people are going to need reminding about the new status quo, whether they are employees or customers.

So, how can businesses ensure that they are doing everything possible to reintroduce both their employees and their customers to a post-lockdown world?

Reintroduction

Businesses are bound to come under some rather intense scrutiny in the next few months and there’s very little any of us can do about that. 

What we can do, however, is to ensure our reintroduction measures are careful and considerate. This means, as a minimum, investing heavily in advanced cleaning services and ensuring that surfaces are wiped down thoroughly and regularly. 

As this might not come naturally to some employees, a training programme should be considered to help everyone to understand exactly what’s expected of them.

People will also need to be managed, with temperature checks on entry, if possible. It’s also going to mean managing the flow of people - both employees and customers - to avoid congregations, revising seating plans so that everyone is sat 2 metres apart and limiting the time spent in conference rooms to less than 15 minutes at a time. 

The company illness policy will also need to be seriously revised, as if and when staff contract COVID, they are going to need at least two weeks off work to self-isolate.

But how best to enforce these new measures?

Health & safety signs

The best way to ensure both staff and customers are aware of what is expected of them on a health and safety basis is to invest in high-visibility LED or LCD signs that clearly and confidently provide all relevant information.

Whilst LED video screens are, of course, a possibility, a more cost-effective solution would be an LTA (lost time incident) style display

Typically used to show off how much time has passed since an accident, these can quite easily be adapted to reveal how many people are in an office or a retail store at one time. 

These signs are incredibly robust and weatherproof and can be programmed easily from a laptop. They can also be customised with your business logo and any other information that you might want to get across.

Managing perception

Finally, it’s just as important to manage the perception of safety in the workplace, as otherwise, employees might not feel comfortable returning to work and customers might not feel comfortable taking the risk. 

Perception can be managed with clear communication around the health and safety measures the company is putting in place and why they are being put in place.

For this, a range of display options are available to help you reintroduce your staff and customers to a post-lockdown world safely and responsibly.


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