Reopening after lockdown. Are you ready for any nasty little surprises?

Posted on: 25.03.2021

Just the other day I noticed the first signs of Spring. My lawn had started growing again, so I decided to get the old lawnmower out and give it its first cut. Except I didn’t, because for some reason the thing wouldn’t start-up!

We’ve all been there in one way or another, because anything that’s been out of action for a while can very easily stop working properly.

With 67% of small to medium sized businesses being forced to stop trading at some point during the pandemic, this got us thinking at Door Controls Direct. How many nasty little surprises might be awaiting those about to emerge from lockdown?

So, to help with this, we’ve put together a handy little checklist of 10 things you may want to think about as your business starts to operate again. We’ve also included a few sources of further information, just to make sure you’re all good to go.

Whilst we’ve focused mainly on safety issues for our checklist, now might also be a good time to think about wellbeing too. After all, some of your colleagues may be quite nervous about returning to work, while others may even be a little too eager! So, let’s not forget to look out after people too.

10 things to check after lockdown:

1. Have you checked all emergency exit doors to make sure they are functioning properly, including all panic hardware?

2. Have you checked that all security systems are operating, including the electric locking?

3. Can your workplace be adapted to ensure that staff can continue to maintain a 2-metre distance throughout the working day?

4. Can physical barriers be introduced to provide protection to staff?

5. Have you taken steps to limit the number of people who are able to enter smaller spaces within your premises, such as lifts, stockrooms, copying rooms, toilets, kitchens etc? Consider whether it would be appropriate to close off spaces which are too small to accommodate social distancing measures.

6. Could a one-way system be introduced to limit the chance of staff having to pass each other in corridors or the like?

7. Can PPE (personal protective equipment) be introduced to help protect staff, i.e. appropriate gloves and face masks?

8. Do you have a supply of approved hand sanitiser within high touch point areas and bathrooms? – please remember these gels are alcohol based so when storing them in bulk also consider the fire hazards associated with them.

9. Have you informed staff to alert management if they or their immediate family (those living with them) show signs of the virus before, after or whilst at work?

10. Have you made sure that your health & safety documentation is fully updated to reflect the arrangements you have put in place including, but not limited to your risk assessments, method statements and safe working practices?

Here are some additional resources around returning to work you may find useful:

Government: Roadmap out of Lockdown:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary

RICS: Reopening of commercial buildings

https://www.isurv.com/downloads/file/7871/beyond_covid-19_reopening_of_commercial_buildings

CIPD: Returning to the workplace

https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/emp-law/employees/workplace-guide-returning-after-coronavirus#gref

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