Returning to work safely as COVID restrictions are eased

As restriction ease Environmental Health departments will be ensuring businesses across all sectors are adhering to current Coronavirus Regulations and Guidance. Officers will continue to follow 'the 4 Es' approch: Engage. Explain. Encourage. Enforce. 

As places reopens, businesses should ensure their workplace is safe by following the appropriate government sector advice here.

In general, the following workplace controls remain unchanged:

·       social distancing

·       adequate ventilation

·       enhanced cleaning

·       hand hygiene

COVID risk assessment 

Every workplace should have a COVID risk assessment and you should update it to reflect any changes in legislation or guidance that may impact your work activity, for example changes in local or national restrictions.

Social Distancing 

Social distancing means keeping people apart to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Where possible, you should keep people 2 m apart. If this is not possible, additional control measures should be considered and documented in the risk assessment. 

Ventilation

The provision of fresh air into indoor environments is essential to reducing the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The Scottish Government has developed ventilation guidance to support the mixing of individuals safely in indoor domestic and commercial properties where this is necessary. The HSE have also produced Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance. 

Enhanced Cleaning

Health Protection Scotland have produced COVID-19 - guidance for non-healthcare settings guidance which is to support those working in non-healthcare settings give advice to their staff and users of their services about COVID-19.

Face- Coverings 

Coronavirus legislation in Scotland requires that face coverings be worn in any indoor communal area in a workplace Coronavirus (COVID-19): face coverings guidance.

Legionella

If the building has been closed or had reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. See HSE guidance on legionella risks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Examining and testing equipment

Equipment stored or unused for long periods of time should be checked for damage or deterioration. The HSE have updated advice on thorough examination and testing of equipment as restrictions are eased.

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