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Workplace Safety for Microsoft customers how to make desks safe places to work in

Updated: Jul 24, 2020




Let's look at The recovery phase of the Pandemic , what does the organisation and the employee require?

Step 1 HR and Legal Need to review the government guidance published below that is required by law and enforced with HSE Enforcement Orders.

The needs of a Pandemic Management workplace split into two immediately;

- organisational (to get productivity and output back to planned levels)

-and the individual (many are completely overlooking this)

CEO

The CEO just wants you to be back at work producing the revenue and cost base that delivers him/her and their shareholders a margin, as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.

However he also has been mindful of his board responsibilities, to deliver the safe workplace where employees can perform and the organisation is safe from prosecution.

Let's look at those organisation requirements by persona or responsibility type:

Human resources requirements

  • A safe workplace

  • Clear legal and employee guidelines

  • Safe distancing

  • Minimise surface contact so a Touch-less check in and out process

  • Sanitisation of spaces

  • Contact tracing

  • GDPR compliance

  • Employee safety transparency

We'll come to legal later, however, the government has defined the requirements and you can download those requirements here https://hubs.ly/H0qC0vJ0


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97e7686650c278d4496ea/working-safely-during-covid-19-offices-contact-centres-110520.pdf


1.1 Manage risk

In the context of COVID-19 this means working through these steps in order:

  • In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.

  • Businesses and workplaces should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option. Where working from home is not possible, workplaces should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible).

  • Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.

  • Further mitigating actions include:

  • Increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.

  • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.

  • Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.

  • Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.

  • Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).

  • Finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead. No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment.

  • In your assessment you should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.


1.2 Sharing the results of your risk assessment Review WHO should work.

Staff should work from home if at all possible. Consider who is needed to be on-site; for example:

  • Workers in roles critical for business and operational continuity, safe facility management, or regulatory requirements and which cannot be performed remotely.

  • Workers in critical roles which might be performed remotely, but who are unable to work remotely due to home circumstances or the unavailability of safe enabling equipment. Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.

  • Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

  • Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security. Providing equipment for people to work at home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

2. Who should work

Staff should work from home if at all possible. Consider who is needed to be on-site; for example:

  • Workers in roles critical for business and operational continuity, safe facility management, or regulatory requirements and which cannot be performed remotely.

  • Workers in critical roles which might be performed remotely, but who are unable to work remotely due to home circumstances or the unavailability of safe enabling equipment.

  • Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.

  • Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

  • Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.

  • Providing equipment for people to work at home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

Two other key populations to consider are:

Vulnerable people: Objective: To protect clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals. Infected Self Isolate: Objective: To make sure individuals who are advised to stay at home under existing government guidance do not physically come to work. This includes individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who live in a household with someone who has symptoms.

3. Social distancing at work

To maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work, while in work and when travelling between sites.

  • Social distancing applies to all parts of a business, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.

Consider these things:

  • Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.

  • Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike- racks to help people walk, run, or cycle to work where possible.

  • Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty.

  • Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace.

  • Providing more storage for workers for clothes and bags.

  • Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points.

  • Providing handwashing facilities, or hand sanitiser where not possible, at entry/exit points and not using touch-based security devices such as keypads.

  • Defining process alternatives for entry/exit points where appropriate, for example, deactivating turnstiles requiring pass checks in favour of showing a pass to security personnel at a distance.






3.2 Moving around buildings and worksites Objective: To maintain social distancing wherever possible while people travel through the workplace.

  • Introducing more one-way flow through buildings.

  • Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible.

3.3 Workplaces and workstations stations Objective: To maintain social distancing between individuals when they are at their workstations.

  • Review layouts and processes to allow people to work further apart from each other.

  • Using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help workers keep to a 2m distance.

  • Only where it is not possible to move workstations further apart, arranging people to work side by side or facing away from each other rather than face-to- face.

  • Only where it is not possible to move workstations further apart, using screens to separate people from each other.

  • Managing occupancy levels to enable social distancing.

  • Avoiding use of hot desks and spaces and, where not possible, for example, call centres or training facilities, cleaning workstations between different occupants including shared equipment.

3.4 Meetings Objective: To reduce transmission due to face-to-face meetings and maintain social distancing in meetings.

  • Using remote working tools to avoid in-person meetings.

  • Only absolutely necessary participants should attend meetings and should maintain 2m separation throughout.

  • Avoiding transmission during meetings, for example, avoiding sharing pens and other objects.

  • Providing hand sanitiser in meeting rooms.

  • Holding meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible.

  • For areas where regular meetings take place, using floor signage to help people maintain social distancing.

4. Managing your customers, visitors and contractors

  • Encouraging visits via remote connection/working where this is an option.

  • Where site visits are required, site guidance on social distancing and hygiene should be explained to visitors on or before arrival.

  • Limiting the number of visitors at any one time.

  • Limiting visitor times to a specific time window and restricting access to required visitors only.

  • Determining if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people, for example, carrying out services at night.

  • Maintaining a record of all visitors, if this is practical.

  • Revising visitor arrangements to ensure social distancing and hygiene, for example, where someone physically signs in with the same pen in receptions.

  • Providing clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to people on arrival, for example, signage or visual aids and before arrival, for example, by phone, on the website or by email.

  • Establishing host responsibilities relating to COVID-19 and providing any necessary training for people who act as hosts for visitors.