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Coronavirus COVID-19: What more can employers do to help reduce the spread?

As we end our 5th week of our third national lockdown, it’s hard not to think ‘will this ever end’. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The spread of COVID-19 is reducing. Yesterday, the death toll was 754, compared to 1,820 at the height of the second peak. But that’s still too many.

Written on February 11, 2021 by Xeinadin Group

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So, what more can you do as employers to reduce the spread in your local area and keep your workforce working?

Communication

We are all aware of the straplines ‘Stay Home; Protect the NHS; Save Lives’ and ‘hands; face; space’, but are your workforce? Is there more you could be doing to promote these messages?

To reinforce the message and to show your commitment, you could use the following mediums and resources:

  • Posters – Put up government (or your own) posters raising awareness of the basic messages;
  • Videos – Stockport Council have produced an awareness video that you could show on communal TVs around your site or send via email (the video is attached to the covering email of this mailer). You could also use short videos of your own;
  • Team Meetings – Hold them virtually where possible, or if not, then ensure that your Management are a role model and any meetings are held in an appropriately socially distanced, safe way;
  • Email – send regular emails supporting the main messages.

Going the Extra Mile

The government guidance and risk assessments cover the bare minimum of what you need to do in order to be compliant whilst working during the pandemic. But there is so much more that could be done. In a recent focus group, the following ideas, suggestions and initiatives were discussed.

These are detailed below:

  • Enforce the wearing of masks in all areas;
  • Create a 24 hour ‘hotline’ for the immediate reporting of positive coronavirus test results;
  • Pay full pay to anyone who is absent from work with COVID-19 or self-isolating;
  • Introduce proximity alarms – these go off if anyone is within 2 metres;
  • Set up a coronavirus email inbox, so that anyone can ask a question re: coronavirus at any time;
  • Increase the number of smoking shelters, or at the very least, restrict the number of employees present at any one time;
  • Hazzard tape on touch points;
  • Disciplinary action for repeat violations to the rules;
  • Upskilling managers so that they can handle a pandemic world – metal health; bereavement; remote working; conflict;
  • Discouraging car sharing, perhaps by promoting the governments bike to work scheme;
  • Promote wellbeing by providing the ‘Headspace’ App;
  • Carry out regular employee surveys;
  • Self-cleaning door handle wrap;
  • Install air cleaning and filtration units;
  • Print hi-vis vests and other items of uniform with government slogans on.

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