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Five Essentials of an Effective COVID Safety Plan

Published January 05, 2021 (last updated January 24, 2022) -
employer with covid safety plan

As employers it’s easy to worry we haven’t got an effective Covid safety plan, with a sea of information online, it can certainly feel overwhelming wondering if we have implemented correct protocols. We want to keep our business running and our people safe, so it’s vital we have a robust Covid safety plan. But how do we know we have an effective plan in place?

In this post we’ll be considering what are the 5 essentials of an Effective Covid Safety Plan to you as an employer and why they are so essential.

Why is a Covid Safety Plan so important?

It’s a sobering realisation that just one case of Covid in your workplace could shut down your business operations rapidly for an extended time. Figures can escalate extremely quickly. Would you be able to cope if your key staff were all off sick at the same time? Losing custom due to sudden closures or reduced staff could seriously impact your staff retention, profits, and customer satisfaction. A Covid Safety Plan shows you have worked with your staff to protect your workplace as best you can. You’ll feel more confident that you are prepared for all circumstances.

The Five Essentials

  1. Risk Assessment
  2. Physical Distancing and PPE
  3. Hygiene and Cleaning
  4. Response Planning
  5. Record Keeping and Contact Tracing

1. Risk Assessment

Complete a workplace Covid risk assessment. We’ve made you an important free template to support you with our expert advice. A risk assessment may seem like extra work, but it’s an incredible asset to ensure your safety plan is super effective. Your employees should be involved in performing the risk assessment, they know your business in and out, they will be able to offer crucial hands-on input. You’ll be considering how people move about the workspace. And factoring in how correct hygiene will be continually implemented whilst staff perform their daily tasks. Need help? See our Expert e-guide to download templates on how to correctly perform a risk assessment.

2. Physical distancing and PPE

Physical distancing has been shown to be one of the most effective infection control measures we have against Covid-19. Use signage to remind people of the 1.5m rule.  Communication is key in making this effective in your Covid Safety plan. Training employees with Covid safety procedures is paramount to ensuring a safe workplace. Train your staff to use face masks effectively. Practically you may need to move desks and adjust workspaces to support physical distancing. It can be helpful to measure areas in the workplace, to ensure you have the correct amount of people in each space. You might discover you have a small kitchen area, which only allows for 1 person at a time to adhere to the 1.5m rule. This is where your risk assessment will be worth its weight in gold.

3. Hygiene and Cleaning

Infection control is paramount to any infection safety plan. Imagine if a key staff member travelling to your business, simply washed their hands after touching an infected object? This simple act could be the difference between a costly Covid shutdown and continuing operations. Educate employees on the how, when and why simple hygiene measures are so important. Train employees how to easily integrate new hygiene tasks around their regular duties.

4. Response Planning

Write a COVID-19 emergency response plan for the workplace, it should outline how you will respond if there is suspected infection. Confirm who will notify public health, who will communicate procedures if key managers are unwell, how you will clean the workplace after an infection, and outline how your business will continue to trade or re-open.

5. Record keeping and Contact tracing

Dealing with a moving virus isn’t easy, keeping records such as equipment used by whom, recording where your staff are, when they attend work, are important tools in the ability to deep clean, re-open and inform public health authorities.

In a Nutshell

Identify risks with your employees. Adjust and support physical distancing and apply new hygiene routines. Plan a response for possible Covid-19 infection in the workplace. Keep records and clearly communicate. These essential elements of your Covid Safety plan are powerfully effective to keep your business running and staff safe.

Need more support?

If you think you need our experienced help, our experts are available with free initial advice. Click on our free e-guide and free templates to quickly and easily build your business an effective Covid Safety plan.

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Call Employsure now for free, initial advice.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 30,000 clients in ANZ. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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