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How Has The Pandemic Redefined Health And Safety Rules For Businesses

When the pandemic hit in 2020, no one could have foreseen the changes it would bring to the workplace, socializing and life in general. It brought with it a new normal and where some people have adjusted, others are struggling to adapt to the new way of doing things. Businesses have been hit the hardest, especially when it comes to health and safety rules. Here is a quick look at the new norms and standards. 

Getting to know the new standards

Employers and employees have an equal stake in the health and safety of the office. However, employers need to initiate the new protocols and ensure that the regulations are implemented and adhered to. To better acquaint themselves with the new rules, they need to find an EHS software package that can assist in developing a new health and safety protocol. 

Regardless of the industry, ETQ has several solutions to ensure that you are compliant with the latest regulations. It all starts with a job safety analysis to determine where the weak spots at the office are. From there, custom solutions can be developed and deployed to ensure the safety of everyone at the office. 

Keeping clean

The pandemic put a new emphasis on cleanliness, especially in business. Health and safety rules now state that there should be visible disinfectant stations throughout the business area. 

All bathrooms need to be fitted with disinfectant spray and every entry and exit point should also have a space where people can sanitize. This is a basic measure that every business now has to budget for to ensure that their staff is always able to sanitize. 

After a day’s work, the entire office or workspace needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Lastly, no one in the office should be able to say that they did not know. Therefore, clear messages, policies, and practical guides should be posted for everyone to boost awareness. 

Having a plan B

After businesses started to open their doors again, everybody quickly realized that how the business operated had changed forever. In the past, it was a given that everyone needed to clock in, in the morning and leave at the end of the day. Now, businesses have to allow staff to work remotely. 

Not only do they need to allow their staff to work remotely, but they have to insist thereon when a staff member shows any symptoms. This means that companies need to be geared to accommodate remote work, whether it is by choice or not. 

Setting new social distance rules

Office space has changed dramatically because of the social distance that workers need to keep from one another. As per the new rules and regulations, a distance of more than one meter should be maintained at all times. 

Co-workers can no longer work with their desks facing each other. Cubicles are out of the question and communal areas may not exist anymore. As far as is possible in a closed business space, staff should keep to their equipment and stationery to minimize the risk of spreading disease. 

Monitoring

A staff member can no longer merely state that he or she was under the weather and could not come into the office. Temperature monitoring and daily symptom questionnaires are but some of how employers need to keep track of the well-being of their staff. 

When someone shows any sign or symptom, then it has to be reported and investigated. This might feel like an invasion of one’s privacy, but for the sake of everyone should be done nonetheless.   

Posted by Emily Dawson on Aug 19, 2021 5:11 PM Europe/London

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