As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, and advice from the Government develops, many businesses are starting to prepare for their return to work, and are facing new challenges and risks that they may not have faced before.
We have looked at some practical steps that your business can follow to ensure your return to work is as safe as possible for you and your team.

Working in people's homes

If you are carrying out work in client's homes, you can continue to do so, providing that you are well and have no Coronavirus symptoms. You should notify all clients in advance of your expected arrival time.

On entry to the home you should wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds. During your time there you should continue to wash your hands regularly, particularly after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, and when leaving the property. If you do not have access to facilities to wash your hands, you should use hand sanitiser which you should carry with you at all times.

You should maintain a safe distance of at least two metres, from any household occupants at all times. It is a good idea to ensure there is good ventilation in the area where you are working, such as opening any available windows.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless your work is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as an emergency electrical repair. Members of your team who have Coronavirus symptoms, however mild, should not be working in a client's home.

Travelling to work

Wherever possible, when employees return to work the should be encouraged to travel to sites alone and using their own means of transport.

Those responsible for the business premises or site must also take practical steps to facilitate this by considering:

  • Parking and traffic management arrangements for more vehicles than usual.
  • Using other means of transport to avoid public transport - for example safe access and storage arrangements for those cycling to work.
Procedures should also be put in place to allow someone to get home should they fall ill at work. It is helpful to have emergency contact details for all workers if you don't already.

What if an employee falls ill at work?

If any of your team develops a high temperature or a persistent cough whilst at work, they must avoid touching anything and return home straight away. They should cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in the bin. If tissues are not available, they should cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow.

Once an employee has been sent home to self-isolate, they must be told to not return to work until they have completed the full period of self-isolation.