With the lockdown beginning to ease, many people may now be returning to work. Your employer should be following the current government guidance regarding safe working, however, you should also stay vigilant. In our article below, we’ll look at some top tips to ensure you are safe when returning to work.
Maintain Social Distance
Where possible, you should be maintaining a distance of 2 meters from your colleagues. This may involve not sharing a workstation, using floor tape or paint to mark out areas, arranging ‘one way traffic’ through the workplace, or switching to seeing visitors by appointment only.
If it isn’t possible for people to be 2 meters apart, the risk of transmission needs to be reduced. If social distancing cannot be observed due to a specific activity that needs to be done, try to keep the activity as short as possible. Ideally, you don’t want to be spending more than 15 minutes within 2 meters of your colleagues. You could also consider whether the activity can be done while working back-to-back or side-to-side, rather than facing each other.
If you think it will make you feel more comfortable, and is appropriate for your workplace, you could wear gloves or a face covering.
Keep your workstation clean
Your employer should have arranged to have your workplace cleaned more frequently, with particular attention paid to places like door handles, light switches, lift buttons, and bannisters.
You may want to take antibacterial wipes or a spray to work with you. This way you can keep your workspace clean, wiping places like your desk, mouse, keyboard, phone, and monitor sanitised. You can also use an antibacterial surface spray on fabric chairs.
Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points, as well as displaying guidance posters for appropriate hand washing and hygiene.
You probably know how to wash your hands by now, but if you want to refresh your memory, you can find detailed instructions in our article Proper Handwashing at Work.
You should wash your hands:
- after using the toilet or changing a nappy
- before and after handling raw foods like meat and vegetables
- before eating or handling food
- after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
- before and after treating a cut or wound
- after touching animals, including pets, their food and after cleaning their cages
Talk to your boss
If you have any concerns, you should raise these with your boss. This is a difficult time and mistakes may be made, but open communication and cooperation will set you up for success.