December 2021 Important Information For Business
It is widely publicised that Covid is spreading at speed across the UK. The country has now moved to Plan B. This is as a consequence of the explosive growth of the Covid Omicron variant. It is now time for business to improve safety in the workplace. If you have not yet made alterations to the way you are working, you should.
As part of Plan B, the government have once again advised those who can, to work at home. It is likely that the rules will be tightened further in the coming weeks and we probably will see Plan C before much longer. Due to the situation we are facing, it is time once more for employers to reconsider their Covid Security arrangements. Employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their staff and customers. By doing so, we can all play our part to slow the spread of the virus and hopefully continue to keep the economy moving. It is in all of our benefits to improve Covid safety in our workplaces. The last thing business needs is another lockdown and so the best thing to do is to act now to slow the spread. We can play out part.
It is important that you make changes to your workplaces now to ensure they are Covid Secure.
Plan B Key Points:
-It is now a requirement to wear a face mask in most indoor locations
-Face masks must be worn on public transport
-Get tested and when necessary, self-isolate
-let air circulate, let fresh air in
It is a good idea to advise your team to get their vaccines and boosters. This helps to keep everyone safe as the 2 vaccines plus the booster seems to offer over 70% protection against Omicron. Encourage the spread of fresh air in your buildings, open windows ajar and reduce the number of people in areas. These two methods help to reduce the build up of virus in the air and by restricting numbers, reduces the number of people at risk.
It has sadly become apparent that Covid Security has been neglected by some organisations recently. As the country unlocked, throughout the second half of 2021, the need for stringent controls lapsed. As the restrictions tighten again, it is time to stop complacency in its tracks. Things have changed for the worse and JCH Safety is advising clients to act quick. As an organisation, you should have prepared a Covid risk assessment previously and shared it with your team. Now is the time to update the document. Make sure it is up to date and that you bring Covid safety protocols back into play following the above key advice points.
Some businesses are confused about what it is they are supposed to do. You should contact your health and safety support provider to assist. JCH Safety provide health and safety support if you do not have access already, please just get in touch to find out more.
If you are looking for information about Covid, the government are providing a plentiful supply of information https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Don’t be caught short, ignorance is never a defence for safety failures. There have been several prosecutions for Covid compliance shortfalls.
Coronavirus legislation that is applicable to business can be found: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Ways to Improve Covid-Security
- Work from home if you can
- Face masks to be worn in public areas when moving around, and in areas such as the kitchen / meeting rooms.
- Face masks to be worn by people from different households who need to share vehicles. Ideally, don’t share vehicles!
- Hand sanitiser stations to be filled and readily available.
- Signage to be reinstated reminding people to wear masks and socially distance
- Company to suggest to staff to get vaccinated and have boosters
- Staff to lateral flow test each week
- Keep up to date with government advice as it continues to change: see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- let fresh air in – windows open
- reduce unnecessary contacts
Please ensure you have an up to date covid risk assessment. If you require assistance doing this, please get in touch.
The Government announced on 22 September that Businesses who prevent employees from self-isolating such as through threats of dismissal will be subject from 28 September to fines of up to £10,000. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september
JCH Safety provide competent safety and fire safety advice to businesses across the Midlands. Being based in Nuneaton, allows easy access to Birmingham, Coventry and the West Midlands. We provide telephone and Zoom support also.
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