Going back to work will not be a straight-forward exercise. Self-isolation and working from home have been relatively safe environments and many will now have concerns about coming back to work and to an environment where the activities and lifestyles of colleagues are largely unknown.
The H&S executive have issued guidance for employers, which is immensely useful.
There are many viruses that can cause similar symptoms (remember the days before COVID-19 when there was a variety of coughs and colds, plus the dreaded “flu”?) and it can be hard to differentiate without a test. Employees who are “ill” can now be quite a difficult circumstance to manage as it does not just affect that employee and decisions about closing the premises if the “illness” is shown to be COVID-19 are required. We must also consider the uncertainty that employees face, both personally and professionally.
Furthermore, this is the first time there has ever been an instruction to work from home or return to work, the circumstances are unique.
To help with reassurance, we are offering a comprehensive employee testing programme and a testing programme for the business environment. This will help to give confidence as to the absence of the virus in the workplace.
Please review your return to work place plans and contact us for a free of charge discussion about COVID-19 testing in your office, workshop or factory.
While we are unable to give advice on symptoms, PPE and general health and well-being, we can certainly help with a comprehensive testing regimen for employees and the business environment.
Please contact Charlotte Penney MSc., COVID-19 Project Manager, to get started with your testing programme.
How does it work?
We will advise on the testing regimen for the employees (minimally once per week, ideally twice a week), provide sampling kits, a collection service (depending on location) and the testing service. We will conduct the test and report to the designated registered medical practitioner for the premises. If you do not have such a person, we will arrange for this.
For more guidance, please see our White Paper on COVID-19 testing for staff.
You can also check our Q&A poster where we answer employers’ top questions about COVID-19 staff testing.
Business Environment Testing:
We will survey your environment and identify areas of high risk contact, which can be swabbed for an environmental test. Studies have shown that this particular virus may survive up to 72 hours in certain surfaces and is also predicted to survive better in the colder weather. These might be entrance door handles, light switches, kitchens, toilets. We can conduct these tests before and after cleaning for added reassurance. Our designated sampler will come to your premises, collect the samples and bring them back to the lab for testing. If we find positives on surfaces, then we would recommend testing employees who have been in that particular area.
We can only conduct a sampling of the premises (and possibly employees) so this cannot provide guarantees of “no virus”, but it certainly will give reassurance where required.
Please download our workplace information poster here.