Coronavirus will be with us until an effective vaccine becomes widely available or there is enough immunity among the population. That means we all need to do our part to ensure we minimise the transmission of the disease as we re-open the economy after months in lockdown.
The government has made absolutely clear that frequent hand washing and social distancing are the two most effective ways to slow the spread of the virus, but in these turbulent times, all the information floating around about what is allowed and what is not allowed can be both confusing and daunting.
So, we've put together this quick guide to help you re-open your business safely and stick to the government guidelines, ensuring you keep your customers and employees as safe as possible.
Legal hygiene requirements for preventing the spread of COVID-19
Before re-opening for business, the vast majority of businesses will want to do everything possible to protect their staff and customers. However, it's important to recognise that new public health measures are not optional.
You are required by law to conduct a new health and safety risk assessment for your business. It doesn't matter how recent your last assessment was - you must do this. If not, you can face criminal prosecution and fines.
Here's what your risk assessment should take into consideration:
- Where and how your work is carried out?
- Who must come into the physical workplace, and who can do their work sufficiently from home?
- Is any PPE necessary to keep your employees safe at work?
- Is it possible to maintain social distancing between your members of staff and customers?
- How will you keep members of staff and customers informed about the latest legal requirements?
- How will you provide hygiene products such as soap and water and/or hand sanitisers, which are crucial to slowing the spread of the virus?
Another essential part of the risk assessment includes showcasing how you will ensure you are following the latest public health guidance, such as:
- Placing a poster in their windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures
- Storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
- Placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas
- Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals, for example
Preventing the transmission of COVID-19 on your premises by promoting regular and thorough hand washing by staff and customers
Regular hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the disease, as advised by the UK government. You can encourage this by:
- Installing hand sanitiser dispensers in prominent places around your shop or workplace
- Making sure hand sanitiser dispensers are topped up regularly
- Placing informational posters around your shop or workplace about how to maintain good hand hygiene (you can download an excellent poster from the WHO here)
- Making absolutely sure that your members of staff, customers and any visitors (suppliers and contractors, for example) have easy access to hand washing or sanitising facilities)
Strong, alcohol-based hand sanisiter will kill the virus and stop it spreading further.
Hand sanitiser dispensers: An essential part of re-opening your business safely
Installing and promoting the regular use of hand sanitiser dispensers in your shop or workplace is one of the easiest ways to ensure you are following the government guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.
Hand sanitiser dispensers are the most convenient and hygienic way to ensure you are providing hand washing facilities to your staff and customers. Holding far more hand sanitiser than regular sized containers, they do not need to be re-filled or replaced nearly as often.
When placed in prominent, regularly passed locations in your shop or workplace, hand sanisiter dispensers give staff and customers get a regular, hard-to-ignore reminder to keep their hands clean.
Does hand sanitiser kill coronavirus?
Although washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water will clean your hands better than sanitiser, hand sanitiser can be just as effective as soap at killing coronavirus.
Coronavirus cells are vulnerable to alcohol. As such, using a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content will kill coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation have an approved hand sanitiser formula that has been proven to kill the virus. We produce our hand sanitiser to this exact formula.
To use the sanitiser effectively, simply add a small amount to your hands and rub into all areas of your hands until they are dry.
How we can help you reopen your business safely and hygienically
Most businesses want to make sure they are re-opening in a safe and hygienic matter. However it is important to remember that doing so is also a legal requirement, with big penalties for those who do not follow the government guidance.
We offer a range of products to help you ensure that hand hygiene is accessible for both your staff and customers.
You can learn more about our products here.