When jewellery stores re-open, employers will need to continue putting the safety and wellbeing of those on their payroll at the forefront.
To do this, they will need to adjust to a new normal – one that protects them from catching and/or spreading a deadly virus.
First and foremost, employers will need to follow the government advice for workers that show signs of COVID-19. This advice is: “If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance. If you or an employee are experiencing symptoms, visit NHS 111 online or call 111 if there is no internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.
“If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection. It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes. You should keep monitoring the government response to coronavirus for further updates.”
To help reduce the spread of the virus, staff will need to follow social distancing measures and lead by example.
As part of new guidelines for life after lockdown for non-essential retailers, the BRC recommends jewellers implement the following to ensure all colleagues understand what is being asked of them
- Ensure all staff are aware of the social distancing measures that are in place and trained on how they should support these measures being observed. Remind staff that social distancing applies in all areas of the store, including non-customer facing areas.
- Regular and visible written or verbal communication of the government messages.
- Frequent reminders using the following: Additional signage to ask staff not to turn up for work if they have symptoms; written communication; posters and signage; daily reminders to all staff via noticeboard and/or in morning meetings.
LIMITING SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE WORKPLACE
Businesses and employers can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice – to wash your hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.
All employees should be asked to wash their hands as soon as they get to work (or return from a lunch break) and after they have blown their nose, coughed or sneezed.
Government advice is clear PPE, including facemasks, is only necessary for those working in clinical situations. However, experience from supermarkets show that some colleagues remain concerned and good practice is to supply masks or visors, and gloves to those who request them. It is important that these are used correctly to minimise the risk of infection.
Following this advice from the government, BRC recommends jewellers consider the following to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the workplace:
- Regular and visible written/verbal communication of the government messages.
- Daily reminders about hand washing and correct coughing etiquette
- Provision of hand sanitiser in high traffic/customer interaction areas such as till points, staff rooms and delivery areas.
- Regular cleaning of multi-person contact points including door handles, keypads.
- Facilitate regular handwashing breaks for all staff.
- Introduce frequent deep cleaning of work areas, with attention to multi contact points. For example, between shifts, staff change overs and/or during breaks.
- Encourage use of disinfectant wipes to clean all equipment before and after each use.
- Stagger staff shift start, end and break times to avoid crowding.
- Arrange shifts to maintain same staff working together, where possible.
- Offer staff alternative tasks if concerns are raised.
- Have available sufficient gloves, masks and/or visors for those colleagues who require them. If you supply re-useable visors ensure colleagues are reminded to clean them regularly during use, and before and after each use.
- Remind staff not to share items for example, pens when signing in or out.
- Consider how staff security checks can be managed while maintaining social distancing.
The Government says it is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food, and therefore workplace kitchens may remain open, although staff should remain two metres apart.
The same goes for staff rooms/ back offices in general – there is no need to close these, but staff should be stay two metres apart from one another. This can be encouraged be reducing the amount of seats and spacing them out. Sofas could also be removed to encourage staff not to sit close together.
On the whole, whole employers have to implement new measures, they should encourage staff to act responsibility and follow government advice in the workplace like they would at home.
Lastly, the BRC says that all new measures should be regularly reviewed, and employers should check that staff understand what is expected of them.