As an increasing number of businesses reopen, Welsh employers are being asked to follow five key steps to help keep people safe at work.
The steps, set out by the Welsh Government, are as follows:
- Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment
- Help staff to work from home whenever possible
- Take action to ensure that 2m physical distancing is maintained between people on your premises, where possible
- Implement other measures to help reduce the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 on your premises, for example, increased cleaning, handwashing and good hygiene procedures
- Actively implement Test, Trace, Protect in the workplace
Bridgend Council Leader, Cllr Huw David, said: “As many businesses reopen they must do so safely in a way that complies with the coronavirus regulations in addition to other legal obligations imposed on employers such as health and safety legislation.
“A Covid-19 risk assessment will have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to coronavirus. Risk assessments are a legal requirement for pregnant women, no matter the size of the business.
“And, where working from home is not reasonably practicable, those responsible for workplaces or for premises open to the public, must ensure that everything reasonable is done to maintain a 2m distance between people on the premises while they are working, including outdoor locations – this is a legal requirement in Wales under the coronavirus regulations.
“It is vital employers ensure they are up to date with the latest information and relevant guidance to ensure our workplaces and customers are kept as safe as possible at this time.”
Businesses are being asked to take all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to Covid-19, for example by:
- limiting the level of face-to-face interaction
- using physical barriers
- increased hygiene, environmental cleanliness and providing reminders about the importance of hygiene
- washing hands well for 20 seconds with soap and drying thoroughly, or using alcohol-based hand gels, before and after close contact
- minimising loud noises which will require people to shout over them
The Welsh Government has also issued statutory guidance on taking all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to Covid-19. Failing to take reasonable measures to minimise exposure to coronavirus is an offence in Wales, which on conviction may lead to a fine.
For detailed sector specific guidance on working safely during the pandemic or to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment, please visit the Healthy Working Wales website which brings together a raft of information from organisations including UK Government, Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, NHS Direct Wales and the Health and Safety Executive to help signpost businesses to the relevant guidance.
For further information on Test, Trace, Protect guidance for employers visit the Welsh Government website. Test Trace Protect works by:
- testing those who have Covid-19 symptoms and asking them to isolate while taking a test and waiting for a result
- tracing those individuals who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, requiring them to take precautions and self-isolate for 14 days.
Further information and a toolkit providing practical resources to help employers keep their workforce safe at work is available on the Business Wales website.