Working safely during COVID-19 checklist

By Linda Jackson on 29 June 2020

This checklist gives some practical considerations of how social distancing can be applied in the workplace.

This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities, and it is important that as a business or an employer you continue to comply with your existing obligations including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics. It contains non-statutory guidance to consider when complying with these existing obligations.

When considering how to apply this guidance, also think about agency workers, contractors and other people, as well as your employees. Don’t forget you need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as you would for other Health and Safety related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with unions or workers.

Suggested practices
Further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.
Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.
Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face to- face) whenever possible.
Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).
Social distancing applies to all parts of a business, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms and canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.
Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.
Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty.
Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace.
Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace.
Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points.
Providing handwashing facilities, or hand sanitiser where not possible, at entry and exit points
Providing alternatives to touch-based security devices, take care with shared pens
Defining process alternatives for entry/exit points where appropriate, for example, deactivating pass readers at turnstiles in favour of showing a pass to security personnel at a distance.
Reducing movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example, restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of radios or telephones, where permitted, and cleaning them between use.
Reducing job and equipment rotation.
Introducing more one-way flow through buildings.
Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts, and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible.
Regulating use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing.
Staggering break times to reduce pressure on break rooms or places to eat.
Using safe outside areas for breaks – taking into account your PPE requirements
Creating additional space by using other parts of the worksite or building that have been freed up by remote working.
Using protective screening for staff in receptions or similar areas.
Providing packaged meals or similar to avoid opening staff canteens, where possible.
Reconfiguring seating and tables to maintain spacing and reduce face-to-face interactions.
Encouraging staff to stay on-site during working hours.
Considering use of social distance marking for other common areas such as toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms and in any other areas where queues typically form.