New announcements on Covid-19: What next for Florists and how to prepare. - British Florist Association

New announcements on Covid-19: What next for Florists and how to prepare.

Currently florists are still non essential and as such must stay closed but may continue to trade online and over the phone. 

Confirmed by government today via the website ……….

All retail, other than those exempt, must close their premises to members of the public. However, staff may be present to make deliveries or provide services in response to orders such as those through telephone, online, or mail. Click and collect services can also operate, though customers must not enter premises.

The advice which has been released in the last couple of days is so that you may plan properly for when the time comes when you have the choice to reopen for the public to enter the shop/store. For those of you who have decided to stay at home and not offer deliveries and online sales, now is the time to decide if you continue on with the same stance or decide to start planning for your return. Either way the following information and series of links will hopefully assist you whatever you decide is right and appropriate for your situation.

British Florist Association Risk Assessment

Firstly, carry out a risk assessment. The BFA has prepared a template which may be used or adapted for your specific business needs. Make sure it applies to staff, customers and any other person who may come into contact with your business premises or personnel during work. In the beginning your risk assessment may seem quite large but remember that that is because you are changing to a ‘New normal’ After you have adjusted you can re do the Risk assessment and it will show you how much you have achieved.

‘If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to.’ 

It is good practice to complete a written risk assessment and we would always recommend that you do so. As this is a stressful time it is also good to refer to for yourself and means that you don’t have to keep the information in your head.

Remember to talk to your employees and discuss their ideas too for working safely. Sometimes staff members have great ideas and can point out things which you may have overlooked.

British Florist Association Social Distancing

Social distancing of 2M between people should be made possible where the space allows. 

‘Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff.’

Consider using screening between people and at the payment desk, working back to back or side by side (If 2m distancing is impossible) and shift working in fixed teams to allow staff to mix with the fewest colleagues possible.

Remember to provide support to your staff regarding mental health and wellbeing, talking to them, checking how they are feeling and providing telephone numbers of support helplines. This link below has help on how to do this

Think about using staggered arrival times and departure times at work and perhaps different entrances. By simply entering through one door and exiting through another door you can eliminate passing someone closely.

Use flooring marker lines for safe distancing especially when the time comes to allow the customer to enter the premises.

For smaller premises you may want to consider a one way system or walkway to ensure people do not pass each other in close proximity. Arranging buckets of flowers to create the walkway can be an easy way to do this.

Think about personalised workstations. Personal tools and space lay out will minimise the risks that sharing presents.

Ensure that you provide PPE where appropriate and promote frequent hand washing and/or sanitising

Do not force workers to come back if you can not follow the guideline for safe working and always make the necessary adjustments for protected characteristics both for within your workforce and potential customers.

Remove rubbish and clean down workstations at the end of each day including tools. This will be a good practice to enforce

Display the risk assessment poster in store or on a window to show compliance and consider publishing on your website to show consumers and staff that you are working within guidelines. Links available for at bottom of page to access the poster.

If there has been a case of Covid-19 or risk of an infection within the workplace then this link will give you the cleaning advise you need to sanitise your space.

British Florist Association Health and Safety template

‘The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms. A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose.’

If your staff wish to wear face masks then the link below tells you how to make them and wear them safely. If this is the direction you wish to go in then why not have a flowery theme or use your branded colour scheme for masks.

British Florist Association Contactless deliveries and click and collect. Copy Tracy Tomlinson

Many of you are already offering contactless delivery service but if this is new to you and you decide to go ahead. Drivers should also have the ability to hand sanitise,  and have the option of wearing gloves and face masks. Drivers can place the bouquet on the floor, Ring the bell or knock on the door. They should step back 2m and await for the answer to see the person collect the flowers. Some people do not or can not come to the door and you may wish to post a delivery note through the door to let the person inside know there are flowers outside for collection.

When it is allowed to have customers inside your premises consider how they will move around inside? How many may safely be inside at any one time? How you will promote and share your store policies so that everyone is clear about how to act? How you will manage people queuing, payments, collections, and ordering? Careful planning will mean less stress for you, give the consumer confidence and keep your staff empowered and safe.

NI, Scotland and Wales gov websites must be checked to make sure that any differences within the guidelines are correct for the area you live and work in. We are doing our best to give universal information. Currently there is no reason why you can not make preparations.

Remember communication is the Key, make new systems clear and obvious. Cater to what you need staff to know and what you need consumers to know. Put yourself in their shoes, think about how they will work and move around. Role-play walking around the premises as a worker and a consumer which will help you to identify where to put notices and what procedures to put in place.

The safer we all operate the better. With such a fluid situation everyone working together will be our strength. Connectivity will allow us to act fast and confidently as an industry within the rules and guidelines.

As an industry we must be safe, clear, vigilant and kind. Don’t forget to contact the BFA if you are unclear or have any questions and we will endeavour to answer and/or locate the information you need. Our email is at the bottom of the page.

The Governments full document on working safely in shops and branches is here

The Governments full document on working safely in warehouses is here

In addition to the links added in this post members can also click the link below which will take you you to our members area. Log in and go to Useful Documents where you will find templates, posters and documents that you can easily download and use.

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