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6 Steps to Managing a COVID-19 Outbreak at work

A guide for employers and businesses to achieve organisational success,

during the pandemic.

Recent COVID-19 variants have shown that the world cannot predict the rate of transmission of the virus.

As a result, cleaning protocols and testing regimes can only be increased to a certain extent, leaving organisations worldwide wondering what the best approach is to ensure that an outbreak does not leave teams gasping for resources and personnel.

So, what is the industry advice, and what steps can you take to keep your employees safe and your organisation free of significant disruptions?

1. Talk to your cleaning providers and involve your employees.

While increasing cleaning frequency may decrease the likelihood of leaving bacteria on touch points, your cleaning provider may not have sufficient personnel or resources to meet your needs. Moreover, this approach may incur additional costs to your business.

Therefore, consider monitoring that the products used always comply with British approved standards. Provide resources to your employees to sanitise their desks before and after they start and finish work.

Talk to your provider or your housekeeping team and agree on when the most suitable timings for scheduling cleaning are – for example, consider having someone in the office during the busiest hours to sanitise touch points, and a team to clean all surfaces at the end of each day.

2. Review your risk assessments

Carry out regular reviews of your existing control measures and involve your employees in brainstorming sessions to develop additional ones.

You can base your review on any positive cases recorded at work or any feedback that employees may have on the existing protocols in place in the office.

3. Implement contingency plans should someone test positive at work.

Deep cleaning, fogging, or cordoning off the area where an infected employee was present, can help others feel safe. In addition, this will allow your cleaning teams to professionally sanitised the affected area accordingly.

Allow 48 hours for the disinfection to take effect before re-opening the area, wherever practicable.

4. Encourage the use of face coverings, if practicable, unless exempt.

While face coverings are not mandatory in all UK indoor settings, industry experts suggest encouraging your employees in doing so, especially when moving around office spaces. In addition, employers can advise medically exempt employees to draft more suitable control measures to prevent them from contracting the virus, such as working from home or less face-to-face contact with others.

5. Encourage good hygiene amongst your employees.

Hand washing and good hygiene practices remain the most effective ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Remind your employees through revised communication and signage of best practice approaches.

Research shows that complacency is one of the main reasons for outbreaks, so refreshing your communication efforts can help your employees comply with your company’s policies and procedures.

6. Stay updated with industry advice and Government rules.

With constant changes in scientific evidence and Government strategies, businesses need to stay updated on the latest and most effective measures that can help your business prevent an outbreak.

How can we help?

Engaging with a competent health and safety person can help your business access industry-leading strategies and measures to help you succeed.

Reach out to our team of expert consultants to see how we can help you to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak at work and how you can prioritise your existing control measures by carefully allocating your resources.

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