COVID-19 Guide to the Safe Operation of your workspace

By now you will have seen how the operational building team will make your building, and the communal space, safe for you and your workforce to return to the workplace.

Here are three steps to help you operate your workplace as safely as possible and give your team the confidence to return to their place of work during the wake of COVID-19:

A - Consult the Government Guidance

This Guidance is designed to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

- Guidance for offices
- Guidance for labs
- Guidance for shops and branches

B - Conduct a risk assessment

You must conduct a full Health and Safety Risk Assessment in consultation with your employees.

If you have fewer than five workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by your staff.

You should share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website and display a notice in your workplace to show you have conducted an assessment.

How you can access help
The government guidance has been produced to enable organisations to make appropriate changes themselves. However external specialists can provide additional support with your Risk Assessment if you require it:
- COVID Guideline Verification
Organisations like NQA offer an independent third party verification to provide assurance that your organisation has the correct measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in accordance with government guidelines.
- Risk Consultants
Use the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register to find consultants who can offer advice and support on Risk Assessments.

C - Adapt your premises for COVID-19 operation

You will need to redesign your workspaces to comply with the findings of your risk assessment.

In order to maintain distances of at least 2 meters between people, you will need to consider staggering start times, creating one way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, and changing seating layouts in break rooms.

Where people cannot be kept 2 metres apart, you should aim to manage transmission risk by putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are able to face away from each other.

Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards. Provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.

How we can help
1. Where we can, we will help with minor changes to your workspace.
2. Additional cleaning for your space can be provided by - Unify, part of the Bruntwood group or
- Sodexo (if your businesses is located at Innovation Birmingham or Alderley Park)
3. We can also introduce you to other partners and suppliers who can provide specialist products that you may require.

To access this support, please contact your Customer Operations Manager (or if based at Alderley Park please email fmservices@alderleypark.co.uk)

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