Working safely and
staying secure during Covid-19
‘Practical guidelines’ have been published by the Government to help employers make workplaces as safe as possible. The guidance provides a framework to get the UK back to work in a way that is safe for everyone. These are practical steps to enable employers to identify risks that Covid-19 creates and to take pragmatic measures to mitigate them.
There are five main principles:
1. Work from home, if possible
Employers should take all reasonable steps to enable people to work from home. But for those employees who cannot and whose workplace has not been told to close, the government says its message is clear: staff “should go to work”. Employers should communicate with employees about when their workplace will open.
2. Covid-19 risk assessments
The guidance operates within current health and safety laws and equality legislation. Employers need to carry out Covid-19 risk assessments and should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website and the government “expects” all businesses with over 50 employees to do so.
3. Maintain two metres’ social distancing ‘where possible’
Employers should redesign workspaces to maintain two-metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one-way systems, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts.
4. Manage transmission risk
Where people cannot be two metres apart, employers should erect barriers in shared spaces, create shift patterns or fixed teams to minimise interpersonal contact, or ensure workers face away from one another.
5. Reinforcing cleaning processes
Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles, keyboards and lift buttons. Employers should provide hand washing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.
A downloadable notice is included in the guidance, which employers should display in their workplaces to show their employees, customers and other visitors to their workplace, that they have followed this guidance. These notices are now in all NATS locations.
At the heart of our re-occupying our buildings plan, is controlling the risk posed by the virus. Ensuring safe working practices are in place will help deliver a safe return to work and support all areas across the business.