On 11 May 2020 the Government released a series of eight industry-specific guides detailing how employers, employees and the self-employed can safely return to work during the coronavirus pandemic.
These guides have been prepared following consultation with firms, unions, industry bodies and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. This guidance follows on from the Prime Ministers statement on 10 May that those who cannot work from home should be actively encouraged to go to work.
Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace. More than one guide should be consulted if you operate from more than one type of workplace, to ensure that you do what is required to keep people safe.
It is likely that this guidance will be updated over time as more is known about the virus and as the lock down is eased. Your risk assessment should always be as current as possible, taking into account the most up to date guidance.
The guide documents set out how to work safely. They give practical considerations of how this guidance can be applied in the different workplaces.
“Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated."
There are several common themes running throughout the guidance. These include:
Some examples of measures that could be taken include:
Organisations of all sizes will be subject to inspection, to ensure that they are keeping employees safe and will face potential fines if they are not.
All the guides contain useful checklists, to check against your progress to compliance.
Carrying out a risk assessment is the first key step for all industries, to help businesses to decide which actions to take.
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Duncan & Toplis is here to support businesses and we hope we can provide clarity on these important changes as they are announced. For the very latest advice for your organisation, please contact our team.
You can find a full, regularly updated list of measures to support businesses throughout the coronavirus pandemic here.