Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Can’t work from home? Make sure your workplace is keeping you safe
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Can’t work from home? Make sure your workplace is keeping you safe

by Guy Murphy

The current national lockdown means that many non-essential businesses must close and those who are able to work from home should do so. However, there are several businesses and industries where working from home isn’t possible, so it is vital steps are taken to protect those employees in the workplace.

Workplaces that do not follow Government guidance are putting the health of staff and others at risk. If you’re working somewhere that isn’t COVID secure, then you could potentially take the virus home and pass it on to others.

Key workers and those who are unable to work from home are also being urged to make use of the Knowsley’s SMART testing sites. The sites are for those who are not experiencing symptoms and give a result usually within the hour. By getting tested twice a week, residents can reduce the risk of unknowingly carrying the virus into work and play their part in stopping the spread.  You can find out more about SMART testing here.

You can also find specific Government guidance for different business and sectors online.

There are six main points that every business should meet to ensure they are COVID-secure:

  • All businesses should carry out a COVID-secure risk assessment
  • Ensure robust cleaning routines, including encouraging regular hand washing and regular cleaning of the premises.
  • Help people to work from home where reasonably possible
  • Maintain 2m social distancing where possible
  • If people can’t maintain 2m, ensure appropriate steps are in place for everyone’s safety including for example using screens to separate people, staggering start and finish times and reducing the number of contacts staff come into contact with by keeping teams the same, and wearing a face covering where social distancing can’t be maintained.
  • Ensure staff self-isolate if they have COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, new / persistent cough, loss of taste or smell), if they have tested positive for COVID-19, a member of same household has symptoms or tested positive or they have been advised to self-isolate due to being in close contact with someone that has tested positive.

It is also mandatory for your premises to have a NHS COVID-19 app QR code available to scan. This allows employees to ‘check-in’ and supports the NHS track and trace programme. There should also an alternative method of recording details for those without the app.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Rates across Knowsley are increasing and now sit at the highest they have been. It is really important that those who are unable to work from home are protected by their employers. This means that they should put measures in place to be COVID-secure.

If you feel unsafe in work, or if you know of a business which is not operating in a COVID-secure way, you can report them to Environmental Health.

“We all have a role to play in bringing down the number of cases in our community and protecting our loved ones. Please ensure you stay at home if you develop symptoms.

If you have concerns about non-licensed premises not operating safely, please email environmental.health@knowsley.gov.uk