Reopening and checking work safety British Florist Association

Reopening and checking work safety

It’s been a week already since retail opened and doesn’t time fly!

Here’s a quick guide to the rules on social distancing at work. Plus a new poster for you to use in your business. Always good to keep up to date!.

There has been a recent update on guidance with the statement ……….

This document has been prepared by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

As always there may be slight differences for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland going forwards. The links are below together with the dates they were last amended.

For Wales CLICK HERE. Please note that this guidance was last updated 9th April 2021

For Scotland CLICK HERE Please note this guidance was updated 1st April 2021

For Northern Ireland CLICK HERE. Please note this guidance was updated 5th June 2020

For England CLICK HERE. Please note this guidance was updated 15th April 2021

We have picked out the relevant areas for florists but you may like to go over all the information above yourself to ensure you have covered everything relating directly to you. We know most of this you may have already implemented but keeping up to date now is essential to make sure we can continue on this path and avoid any more setbacks to our businesses.

Employers are expected to respond to any advice or notices issued by enforcing authorities rapidly and are required to do so within any timescales imposed by the enforcing authorities. The vast majority of employers are responsible and will join with the UK’s fight against COVID-19 by working with the government and local authorities to protect workers and the public. However, inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.

This information is about working safely in different types of workplace, designed to be relevant for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Managing risk

  • In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.
  • Fresh air helps to dilute the virus in occupied spaces so provide adequate ventilation through doors, windows and vents, by mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both.
  • Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity can be redesigned to maintain a 2m distance or 1m+ with risk mitigations where 2m is not viable.

Further mitigating actions include:

  • – further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning
  • – keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • – 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)
  • You should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. A bit party pooper but necessary.
  • Remind customers and staff to wear face coverings where they are required, for example, through use of signage.

 Workplaces and workstations

  • Workstations should be assigned to an individual as much as possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest possible number of people.
  • Reviewing layouts and processes to allow workers to work further apart from each other.
  • Rethinking demonstrations and promotions to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.
  • Sharing tools. Avoid sharing your scissors and knives in the workroom. Don’t share pens and pencils
  • Clean telephones, card machines and all other touchable technology.
  • Minimising contacts around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments.
  • Providing hand sanitiser in all work rooms.
  • For people who work in one place, workstations should allow them to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

 Common areas

  1. Staggering break times to reduce pressure on the staff break rooms or places to eat and ensuring social distancing is maintained in staff break rooms.
  2. Using safe outside areas for breaks.
  3. Creating additional space by using other parts of the working area or building that have been freed up by remote working.
  4. Installing screens to protect workers serving customers at till points.
  5. Reconfiguring seating and tables to optimise spacing and reduce face-to-face interactions.
  6. Encouraging workers to remain on-site and, when not possible, maintaining social distancing while off-site.
  7. Considering use of social distance marking for other common areas such as toilets.

 Minimise the contact resulting from visits to stores or outlets

  1. Calculating the maximum number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m+ with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) within the store and any outdoor selling areas. Take into account total floorspace as well as likely pinch points and busy areas.
  2. Limiting the number of customers in the store, overall and in any particular congestion areas, for example doorways between outside and inside spaces.
  3. Encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products while browsing.
  4. Encouraging customers to avoid handling products whilst browsing, if at all possible.
  5. Suspending or reducing customer services that cannot be undertaken without contravening social distancing guidelines. This may include re-thinking how assistance is provided, for example, using fixed pairs of colleagues to lift heavy objects rather than a single colleague lifting with a customer.
  6. Encouraging customers to shop alone or in household or support bubble groups where possible, unless they need specific assistance.
  7. Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
  8. Looking at how people move through the shop and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact between customers, for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.
  9. Ensuring any changes to entrances, exits and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled shoppers. For example, maintaining pedestrian and parking access for disabled customers.
  10. Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to provide additional parking.
  11. Having clearly designated positions from which colleagues can provide advice or assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance.
  12. Switching on ventilation systems that draw in fresh air or opening windows (partially if it’s cold).

To download the poster CLICK HERE

Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and put in place sufficient control measures to manage the risk may be considered a breach of health and safety law.

The British Florist Association is dedicated to relaying factual information to all our members so that you may all feel comfortable and confident to make operational decisions based on your specific businesses. Please note: always check with your local council for updated information on your area. During this time we urge you to follow government guidelines.

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