During May 2020, new guidance for Phase 2 of the UK government response came in to force relating to what businesses and the public can be doing in relation to COVID-19.
CMN has summarised the x200 pages of guidance to make it easier for you to follow. The guidance is in the following key areas and includes a focus on you performing a workplace risk assessment to assess the risks of staff and customers returning to your premises:
- Employer Key Considerations
- Worker Considerations
- Working Safely: x8 sub-sectors; i.e. construction sites; offices
Employer Key Considerations
1.Thinking about risk – it is recommended all employers carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.
- Managing risks in your business
- Sharing the results of your risk assessment and your mitigation measures with your staff
The following are some of the key issues to consider in your Risk Assessment:
2.Who should go to work – everyone should work from home, unless they cannot work from home.
- Protecting people who are at higher risk
- People who need to self-isolate, shield or have childcare issues
- Equality in the workplace
3.Social distancing at work
- Coming to work and leaving work
- Moving around buildings and worksites
- Making the main workplace safe for people who work statically
- Common areas
- Accidents, security and other incidents
4.Managing your customers, visitors and contractors
- Manage customers / contacts
- Providing and explaining available guidance
- Access to your site and control of movement on your site to respect social distancing and protect staff and visitors / customers
5.Cleaning and sanitising the workplace
- Before reopening
- Keeping your workplace clean
- Hygiene: handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets
- Changing rooms and showers
- Handling equipment, materials, waste, and onsite vehicles
6.Personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings
- Continue to use PPE, if normal
Use of precautionary PPE
Wearing face coverings
7.Managing your workforce
- Shift patterns and working groups
- Work-related travel (including delivering to other sites)
- Communications and training (including about returning to work and signage)
- Shift patterns and working groups
- New staff inductions into the new operating procedures
8.Inbound and outbound goods
- Pick up and drop off points
- Minimising contact
- Controls for visiting drivers
What am I not allowed to do?
- Visit friends and family in their homes
- Exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool
- Use an outdoor gym or playground
- Visit a private or ticketed attraction
- Gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household), except for a few specific exceptions set out in law (for work, funerals, house moves, supporting the vulnerable, in emergencies and to fulfil legal obligations)
- Cannot share a private vehicle with someone outside of your household
You can only travel in a private vehicle alone, or with members of your household.
What should I do?
You should stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:
- For work, where you cannot work from home
- Going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine
- To exercise or spend time outdoors whilst observing social distancing rules
- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent away from the home and ensuring that you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Who is allowed to go to work?
In the first instance, employers should make every effort to support working from home, including by providing suitable IT and equipment as they have been already. This will apply to many different types of businesses, particularly those who typically would have worked in offices or online.
Where work can only be done in the workplace, new guidelines are available on the below link to the government website.
Critical workers (key workers) are those working in health and care and other essential services, who can still take their children to school or childcare and can use hotels and other accommodation services for work related purposes – for example if they can’t get home after a shift or need to isolate from their families. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work if you cannot reasonably work from home.
My employer is asking me to come to work but I am scared.
Employers and staff should discuss and agree working arrangements.
Employers should make all efforts to help people to work from home but where this is not possible, employers should take clear, practical steps to help protect workers and create safe places to work, such as shift working or staggering processes.
To identify the precautions needed to manage risk, your employer should discuss the workplace risk assessment with you to identify the practical ways of managing those risks. If you remain concerned the environment will not be safe you are encouraged to resolve issues through direct communication with your employer.
What’s going to happen next?
Over the coming weeks, the Government will engage on the nature and timing of the measures and in the step of increasing ‘household bubbles’, in order to consider the widest possible array of views on how best to balance the health, economic and social effects.
Businesses need to recognise that not everyone’s risk level is the same.
- Workers with symptoms (and their families) must self-isolate (increases in swab testing may reduce this in time).
- Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are strongly advised not to work outside the home – For example, those with specific underlying health conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to severe illness.
- Clinically vulnerable must take extra care in observing social distancing and should be helped to work from home, where possible. If not possible, they should be offered the option of the safest available on-site roles.
- Treat all workers equally as it is illegal to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, sex or disability.
- Travelling to work. Workers must avoid public transport where possible until safety has been improved. If it must be used, then social distancing and hygiene measures must be followed.
- Mainstream primary schools could open from 1st June for some year groups. This could affect workers with children of certain ages; however, it is not yet confirmed. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june
- Face coverings are recommended to be used when in enclosed spaces at work. This is intended to protect others. This does not need to be a surgical masks as these should be reserved for frontline key workers.
- Social distancing applies in the whole workplace, not just the area someone works. Good hygiene (especially relating to shared surfaces) must apply.
- Public spaces, such as car parks, harbours or beaches, the public should not meet up with any more than 1 person outside your household. Social distancing and good hygiene (especially relating to shared surfaces) must apply.
- Travelling is allowed for exercise with no distance or time limitations, but need to be aware of separate rules for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
- International travel has tighter restrictions. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advised British people against all non-essential travel worldwide.
More businesses are now able to open provided they are “COVID-19 Secure”. The marine industry has a diverse range of businesses, facilities and environments, which will need to ensure they are safe and ready to open for workers and the public.
COVID-19 Secure guidelines for the below different types of work:
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Factories, plants and warehouses
- Labs and research facilities
- Offices and contact centres
- Other people’s homes
- Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
- Shops and branches
Exceptions are hospitality and non-essential retail, which must remain closed at this stage.
Full details of the guidance by the above areas can be found here: