With health and cleanliness concerns more important than ever, many employers are now considering how to ensure a safe environment for their staff. Here, John Abernethie CEO at SANIQUE looks at the practical steps to take and the social distancing and hygiene products available to help with a seamless return to work.
As offices and businesses prepare to open up across the country, it is important to keep in mind the social distancing guidelines outlined by the Government to reduce the spread of coronavirus. In preparation for employees to work in an environment that is coronavirus secure, installing screens, signage and sanitisation methods is advisable.
While it is recommended to remain at least one meter apart, if not two, for many office spaces with desks in close quarters, this may not be possible. If this is the case, additional safety measures should be put in place. The installation of hygiene screens is an ideal solution in this type of scenario. While successfully separating staff members, the use of clear plastic screens still allows interaction and visual contact to be maintained but controls the spread of infection. Screens are easy to install, can be moved if necessary and are also, crucially, easily cleaned.
There are a range of different screen options available on the market to suit the needs of different workplace layouts. For example, for tight cubicles with limited space around them, desk mounted screens can be used to reduce the risk of virus transmission between individuals. Alternatively, if desk space is limited, wire hung, ceiling mounted screens are also an option. For larger offices or warehouses, floor standing screens can be placed between desks and also used in corridors and walk ways to separate the direction of flow.
Companies should also install hand sanitiser stations throughout the workplace and encourage staff members to use these as often as possible. One-way systems should be used in walk ways and communal areas to ensure staff members are following a single flow of traffic and not compromising social distancing measures. To ensure the safe and correct use of these systems, signage will need to be added throughout a space to illustrate the measures in place and the hygiene methods that should be maintained.
It is also recommended under government guidelines that work areas and equipment should be frequently cleaned between uses. Commonly touched items in a workplace include door handles, keyboards, and counter tops. In order to sanitise surfaces efficiently, businesses should consider purchasing electric sanitising sprayers, which atomise disinfectant into a fine mist, offering an effective solution for cleaning a wide variety of surfaces. Partnered with an EPA approved disinfectant, sprayers like SANIQUE’s own S-3 and S-9, can help businesses ensure that all employee work environments are sanitised in less than five minutes with no further wipe-down required.
Furthermore, the use of personal protective equipment is now being more widely advocated by the Government. As such, companies should provide staff with access to personal protective equipment to use within the workplace environment. This includes access to facemasks, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser so that employees can take whatever measures they feel appropriate to feel as safe as possible within the workplace.
As part of our new PPE equipment range, SANIQUE is offering a useful Personal Protection Kit, containing a 100ml 75% alcohol hand sanitiser, five sets of facemasks, protective gloves, and a pack of sanitising wipes. The idea is to provide companies with an easy way to ensure that all employees have what they need. Kits can also be purchased in bulk quantities, to provide top-ups for employees when required.
As companies across the country gradually return to work, it is essential that measures are put in place to allow this to be carried out as safely and efficiently as possible. The installation of screens, the implementation of one-way systems and access to PPE equipment should all help to minimise the spread of the virus, protect employees and ensure that they feel comfortable returning to the workplace.
To find out more about the SANIQUE range and how we can help businesses reopen safely visit www.sanique.co.uk. Ten per cent from the sale of our Personal Protection Kits, that contain everything each employee needs, is being donated to NHS charities.