Businesses supported to get staff back to work safely

Businesses in Nottingham are being offered guidance to get staff back to work safely following the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nottingham’s Director of Public Health, Alison Challenger, is urging all employers to take essential steps to minimise the risk of infection in workplaces. With the right precautions and following the correct guidelines, it is hoped that more people can return to work in the city.

The advice being given to businesses and employers is:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment in line with guidance from the Health and Safety Executive
  • Increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning by encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene; providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms; frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly; setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • Maintain 2m social distancing where possible by putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance; avoiding sharing workstations; using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance; arranging one-way traffic through the workplace
  • Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk by keeping the activity time involved as short as possible; using screens or barriers to separate people from each other; using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible; staggering arrival and departure times; reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’
  • If staff have to share a car for essential travel, advise them to follow all the precautions by being in small groups with the same people each time; use face coverings; keep ventilated and clean car surfaces
  • Remind staff not to come to work if they or anyone in their household has symptoms

Alison Challenger said: “I wish to thank you and acknowledge the hard work of our local businesses in making arrangements to keep their staff, customers and communities safe.

“Nottingham has seen lower rates of Covid-19 than other parts of the country, but we are starting to see the number of positive cases increasing. It is important that we take all precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.

“These are very challenging times, but I am confident that Nottingham City can get through this if we continue to work together and follow government guidelines.”

A letter from the Director of Public Health has been sent to all businesses in the city with links to relevant guidance.

As well as the advice, the letter advices using the NHS Test and Trace service:

  • There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID‑19 in premises where customers spend more time together in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside their household.
  • Collect full name and contact details of every customer, date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time, ensuring the details are easily accessible and legible.
  • For more information, check the guidance which applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service. It does not apply where services are taken offsite immediately (e.g. takeaways)
  • Keep a temporary record of your staff shift patterns for 21 days.

Covid-19 early outbreak management action cards have also been produced to help businesses to fight the virus

These action cards provide instructions to anyone responsible for a business or organisation on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in an organisation.

Businesses can keep up to date with all the relevant national guidance by regularly accessing the government coronavirus website. There is also more local information on the city council website.

In addition, the D2N2Growth Hub, which has a dedicated Nottingham team, is extending its free webinar programme for eligible SMEs to include targeted advice and guidance about safely returning to work, overcoming remote-working issues and business planning for recovery and survival in the current hostile business environment. Find out more at https://www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk/events/.

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