COVID-19 Tips for employers: Cleaning, testing and PPE

Good hygiene and the correct use of face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

This advice is based on the latest ‘Working safely’ guidance from the government. If you’d like to see a more detailed version for different industries, please click here

Cleaning

Good hygiene is essential to preventing COVID-19 transmission. This applies both to surfaces, as well as the air quality at the workplace. Check ventilation systems are working properly before you reopen the premises.

Routinely clean objects and surfaces, which are touched frequently by different people. Work areas and equipment should also be cleaned between uses.

It’s also worth establishing cleaning procedures for material and equipment coming into the building, as well as company vehicles. If possible, try to restrict personal deliveries to workers.

If you have to clean after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, please refer to the following guidance

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings

Where staff is already wearing PPE to protect them from non-COVID risks at work, they should continue to do so. Such PPE may include helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harness.

However, COVID-19 is a different type of risk, which cannot be mitigated through wearing additional PPE. Instead, it has to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams of partnering.

Your workplace should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect from COVID risks, unless in clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of the disease.

Wearing a face covering in an enclosed setting can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, it is not a replacement for other measures, such as social distancing and hygiene, which remain the most efficient ways for fighting the spread of the virus.

If your workers choose to wear face coverings, you should advise them how to do so correctly:

  • You should wash your hands or use sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and before and after removing it
  • Do not touch your face or face covering while you wear it
  • Change your face covering if it’s damp or you’ve touched it
  • Wash face coverings daily if reusable
  • Continue practising social distancing

Bear in mind that wearing a face covering could hinder communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Outbreaks in the workplace

Taking actions to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak at the workplace is responsible and necessary, but you should also know what to do in the event of one. Have a plan in place and nominate a single point of contact (SPOC), who should be in charge of contacting local Public Health teams.

If there is more than one COVID-19 case associated with your workplace, you should report it to your local PHE health protection team.

Make sure all employment details are up to date. If Public Health declares an outbreak at your premises, you will have to record details of symptomatic staff and assist with identifying contacts.

COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic staff

We hope our tips will help you make your business COVID-secure. However, if you need an extra layer of reassurance, we are here for you. Our COVID-19 testing for staff and business environment could give you and your employees the confidence that you are moving forward safely.

You can find out more from our White Paper on COVID-19 testing for the workforce or by getting in touch us with us on 0191 543 9302 or support@geneblitz.com