Covid-19 – Changing the face of Health and SafetyKatie Evans
By Alex Baker – Spectrum Industrial
Covid-19 – Changing the face of Health and Safety
New changes across the country are happening daily and these changes are substantial. Businesses are changing the way they work. Some are unfortunately having to close their doors for good and others are having to pivot into new areas and ways of production to survive.
It got me thinking and raised some questions for speculation:
- Once we’re back to ‘normal’, will we all return to how we operated before?
- My expectation is that the current restrictions will be lifted across the country in stages. Potentially through a tiered approach, depending on how essential the sectors are. However, due to the highly contagious nature, the symptoms many carry but don’t experience and the unknowns surrounding Covid-19 means standards and restrictions will play a considerable role in the re-opening of businesses nationally. Once again helping control any re-contamination of the population.
- These restrictions could include:
- Keeping the social distancing regulations in place for the foreseeable future
- Ensuring cleaning stations on anything communal is present
- Minimising or reducing the frequency and size of gatherings – eg. concerts, sports events, audiences for TV shows etc.
- The countries operations will have a new outlook and approach. Given how easy the spread took hold of the nation/world. Certain measures and controls we see now, are predicted to be the future and will become part of our daily routines, plans and ultimately, what we will come to expect from all forms of establishment.
- Will these substantial changes now be the standard for UK business?
- As mentioned, something as large and detrimental as what we are going through as a country, simply will not vanish when the government declares the virus is under control. I’m sure that eventually the scientific world will find a vaccine. However, given how easy and the speed of which Coronavirus condemned the UK, I can imagine that small but highly effective control measures will continue. Minimizing anything new being caught/spread, reducing fear amongst the population and ultimately helping the economy flourish & kept under control.
- Being the easiest to implement, control and adapt. Social distancing seems to be something that will be visible for years to come. Ensure you are ready for this. Help yourself open sooner, stay open longer and apply the notion the you are doing all you can to look after your customers in the ways you can.
- Instilling confidence in customers to shop with you instead of another store who may not have controls in place.
- How will a future Health & Safety role be conducted?
- This question could cover many topics and conversation. However, one aspect I looked towards, is that virus control and staff hygiene will become more paramount and possibly become an area health and safety managers, officials and experts will look to implement into a standard for all businesses, not just food manufacturing or other high-risk industries.
- I feel it will become part of inductions you receive when joining a new business or Health & Safety Inductions received when visiting a site.
- We will see experts develop into this field as a specialist sector and advise on how businesses can improve virus control and hygiene for all.
- That’s not to say that business don’t already do this, they do. However, given the recent pandemic, I expect this sector will now become as high on the agenda as a life critical safety audit with products and training to support implementation.
At Spectrum Industrial, we have created and developed a range of social distancing signs and products. This is to ensure businesses can get social distancing right, at a high quality and to prepare for the inevitable changes our UK infrastructure is bound to see.
Alex Baker – Lockout Tagout Safety Specialist, Spectrum Industrial