COVID-19

Procedures for Unity Health Group Ltd staff using company premises during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contents:

Introduction

General rules

Face coverings and Disposable Gloves

Health at work

Ongoing office cleaning

Office opening & closing arrangements

Use of Hand Sanitising Gel

Ventilation

Fans

Desk use

Photocopying and printing

Communal areas

Kitchen areas

Toilets

Stairs

Visitors

Office deliveries

Office support

 

Introduction

This document is intended to ensure that Unity Health Group (the Company) staff understand how to work as safely as is reasonably practicable in the Company’s offices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company consists of Pure Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation Direct and MLAS.

It follows the UK Government guidelines (the Guidelines) and best practice advice as at the date of this document. We are mindful that guidance will change over time and we will endeavour to maintain this document as the UK Government provides further updates to their guidance on controlling the spread of COVID-19.

 

The UK Government guidance can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The Company fully supports staff to avoid working in its premises by home working but recognises that in certain cases it will be necessary for staff to attend the Company premises to fulfil their responsibilities. Examples of this include training and supervision, staff not having an appropriate home-based workspace, issues of staff wellbeing, dealing with post and deliveries.

The Company is committed to ensuring the safety of all our staff by following measures advised by the Government, this includes carrying out a risk assessment, along with a survey of each office to ensure we continue to provide an environment that is, as far as reasonably practicable, safe and free from harm.

 

The primary controls to achieve a safe workplace are:

  • Maintaining a distance of no less than 2m from anyone else
  • High levels of cleanliness
  • Good hygiene practices
  • Communicate regularly with our staff to ensure that arrangements are clearly understood and being implemented

This document contains, details of our safe working practices and our requirements of and expectations of our staff to work to enable us to maintain a safe workplace and safe working practices.

These procedures apply to all employees and visitors to the Company. Additional measures may apply to premises managed by Pure Physiotherapy.

 

General rules

Throughout this document, there is repeated reference to particular measures that we have introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to maintain a safe working environment for our staff. The following are basic, general rules that we expect all our staff to follow;

  • To maintain 2m separation from other staff visitors at all times in any part of the offices
  • To wipe down your workstation and any other office surfaces/items that you touch with anti-bacterial wipes or with a disposable cloth and anti-bacterial spray at least once during each working day
  • If you use anti-bacterial wipes or disposable cloths, they must be discarded in the bins provided
  • Regular hand washing and maintain good hygiene
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at designated areas around the offices
  • To cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing the hands immediately afterward (or use hand sanitiser). You should endeavour to cough into the crook of your elbow
  • Do not hold conversations in locations around the offices unnecessarily; to do this will reduce the flow of movement around the office and maintain 2m separation

 

Face coverings

Facemasks are compulsory on all communal areas. The following rules apply to facemasks:

  • Provide your own
  • Not leave it on any surface in the office after use
  • Take it home at the end of each day and dispose of it if applicable
  • Regularly clean the reusable face covering or have more than one so that you can alternate

 

Health at work

You must take personal responsibility for notifying us about any new health issues that you develop, particularly:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

If you show any of these symptoms while at home, you must:

  • Not travel to work
  • Notify your Head of Department

If you show any of these symptoms while at work, you must;

  • Stop work immediately and wipe down your work area with anti-bacterial wipes
  • Return home immediately
  • Notify your Head of Department

You must follow the government guidance on self-isolation and particularly the guidance on households and vulnerable people.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for- households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

 

Ongoing office cleaning

Ongoing cleaning has taken place whilst the offices have been open, with the aim of reducing the risk of and controlling the spread of COVID-19.

To facilitate effective cleaning every member of staff must:

  • Clear their desk at the end of a working day
  • Not leave crockery and cutlery on their desks or in the welfare All staff are responsible for cleaning and putting away their cutlery and crockery

Subject to availability, each room in occupation will have anti-bacterial wipes or anti-bacterial spray and cloths.  These should be used by the person using a desk or table or other work equipment throughout the day and at the end of a working day to wipe down surfaces.

 

Office opening & closing arrangements

On arrival at the premises, staff must not gather at the entrance. Staff waiting to access must maintain 2m distancing.

Staff must use the hand sanitiser in the reception area immediately after entering and before exiting the building.

Whilst the attendance at our offices of clients is to be avoided where possible, this may not be possible in all circumstances and some meetings may need to take place. Where this is the case, the meetings shall take place in a designated room within the offices and shall be by appointment only. The number of persons attending the meeting will be kept to a minimum and the requirements for social distancing shall apply.

Before attending our offices, clients and visitors will be asked to confirm that they are in good health and have not in the last 14 days suffered with any symptoms which may be related to Covid 19 or been in contact with any other person who has shown such symptoms or been diagnosed as suffering from Covid-19. They will also receive specific guidance on how the appointment will be conducted and the requirements in place upon their entering our offices.

Following each meeting the door handles, chairs and tables used will be cleansed using anti-bacterial wipes or with anti-bacterial spray and cloths provided as above.

Use of hand sanitising gel

Staff and visitors should be aware of the dangers associated with using and storing hand sanitising gel due to the substance being a flammable liquid and vapour. The use of hand sanitising gel may cause eye irritation. Repeated exposure may also cause skin dryness or cracking. If staff or visitors have any allergies to the solution, they must notify their manager and use an alternative.  Staff and visitors should avoid breathing in the vapours, if swallowed immediate medical attention should be sought. In the event of eye irritation, eyes should be rinsed cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses if present and easy to do so. Continue rinsing if eye irritation persists and get medical attention. Hand sanitising gels should not be inhaled, If inhaled, remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing, in the event of ingestion or unwell feelings, read the manufacturers advisory labels on bottles provided regarding action to take and or contact 111 for further advice. An adult should supervise children at all times.

Storage: hand sanitising gels should be kept away from hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources, no smoking and used in ventilated areas/stored in a well-ventilated place and should be kept cool. In case of fire, use of foam, carbon dioxide or dry powder to extinguish.

 

Ventilation

During the COVID-19 period, air conditioning units will not be used. Where possible we encourage staff to open windows to allow a flow of fresh air. As the internal doors in the offices will be open, this will allow an effective flow of air and reduce a build of heat during hot, sunny days.

If you open or close a window, you MUST wipe down the window handle with anti-bacterial wipes or with anti-bacterial spray and cloth immediately afterward.

Fans

To minimise the greater spread of any moisture droplets pedestal or desktop fans are only permitted to be used in single-occupancy offices, the user should be responsible for such whilst ensuring safe usage in terms of airflow direction. Do not aim the fan towards room access/exit points, they should be switched off if two or more people are present within the room, regardless of whether social distancing is being observed.

 

Desk use

Desk users are expected to wipe down surfaces in their work area regularly throughout the day and at the end of the day.

To provide 2m separation between individuals, wherever possible the desks will be allocated so that they are occupied in diagonal or side-by-side manner.

Staff have a responsibility to ensure their safety and the safety of others within the workplace, they must try not to pass behind others to leave or access their workstation. Where this is not possible staff should give appropriate warning to others who will be affected, thus ensuring social distancing measures are adhered to.

In accordance with the individual office risk assessments attached hereto, desks which are not to be used will be clearly marked. – if it has been identified with a DO NOT USE sign, then don’t use it.

Perspex barriers will be deployed to reduce transmission risk further.

 

Photocopying and printing

Documents should only be printed when absolutely necessary. If you have to use a printer, you must ensure that there is no-one else at the printer before you go to collect your items. You must also:

  • Only collect items that are yours; do not collect items for other staff members
  • If you touch any of the machine controls, you must wipe down immediately after use with anti-bacterial wipes
  • You must not wait in a queue for the machine – this will limit the amount of space within the office and severely inhibit the ability of staff to maintain 2m separation

 

Communal areas

Communal areas are the areas in the office that will provide the greatest challenge to us all in maintaining 2m separation. It is vitally important that each member of staff remain vigilant throughout the day to ensure that good hygiene and 2m separation is maintained.

 

Kitchen areas

Only 1 person is allowed in each kitchen area at any one time.

Staff should ensure that breaks are staggered and should there be difficulty in making arrangements then break times will be allotted by Heads of Department. Staff must make every effort to bring packed lunches and refillable drinks bottles to reduce the need for using kitchen utensils and work surfaces.

If you get to the kitchen and it is occupied, you must wait away from the area ensuring that the 2m social distancing requirement is complied with. If no area is available to allow this to happen then you must return to your desk until the kitchen becomes available.  It is not appropriate to simply wait outside the kitchen as this will severely restrict the ability to maintain 2m separation as people move around the offices.

 

After using the kitchen area, you must wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes the areas with which you have come into contact including;

  • Kettle
  • Fridge door
  • Milk carton handle
  • Anything that you have touched that does not get washed and put away

 

Toilets

If you get to a toilet and it is occupied, you must either wait at a safe distance or wait at your desk until the toilet is free. It is not appropriate to wait outside the toilet area as this will severely restrict the ability to maintain 2m separation as people move around the offices.

 

Stairs

The stairs in our offices are not sufficiently wide to allow 2m separation whilst passing on them. The following measures must be adopted when using the stairs:

  • Stand at the top or bottom of the stairs and if possible, check that they are not being used
  • When the stairs are clear begin and complete your ascent or descent
  • DO NOT stop on the stairs for any reason
  • Avoid holding the handrail if it is safe to do so

 

Visitors

Visitors to the offices of any kind are to be discouraged during the COVID-19 period and until further notice save as provided elsewhere in this document.

If you are required to hold a meeting with visitors from outside of the office then you should if possible make full use of the IT software that we have available to us. Where attendance is required the steps set out in the client office attendance procedure attached hereto must be followed.

 

Office deliveries

Deliveries must be accepted in the following method:

  • If the delivery personnel are observing 2m social distancing and have withdrawn 2m, they may open the door
  • Do not sign for items
  • Delivery personnel are encouraged to take a photograph to prove that they have delivered the items
  • Larger items will be left on the floor
  • Check items are at the correct address, if not redirect the delivery personnel with the goods
  • Goods may be brought inside and placed in reception for the intended recipient to collect, Hand washing should take place immediately following handling of deliveries
  • Staff must not arrange for personal deliveries to the workplace

Office support

If you have any concerns regarding wellbeing, speak with your Head of Department. If you have any health & safety problems at work including issues with arrangements for COVID 19 please raise this in the first instance with your Head of Department.

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