Four health and safety steps to take with on-site accommodation during COVID-19
Businesses across the country are currently working hard to find ways of maximising their productivity at a time when the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant operational challenges.
For many companies - particularly in fields such as agriculture, construction and energy - making use of on-site accommodation is an important way of achieving this. By keeping staff on-site, it becomes possible to maintain a controlled environment for your workforce, eliminating the need to commute and reducing contact with members of the general public.
However, as with all aspects of life in this pandemic, this also requires specific health and safety precautions to be taken to ensure that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is kept to a bare minimum.
Here, the team at SafetyBuyer, one of the UK’s leading retailers of health and safety products and equipment, shares some of the best ways of keeping your on-site accommodation safe during these exceptionally unusual times.
Carry out regular disinfection of your accommodation
Disinfection and hygiene have been key priorities for all members of the British public over the last few months, so naturally the same principle needs to apply when setting up accommodation for workers.
Of course, cleanliness should always be an important consideration for sleeper cabins, toilets and shower facilities, but at the current time cleaning should occur on a regular basis. Whenever a facility has been used, it should be cleaned as soon as possible, with surfaces wiped down using high-grade disinfectant sprays, wipes and other similar products.
This goes double when a worker has vacated their accommodation, as the space will need to be deep-cleaned before it can be safely occupied by another member of staff.
Create rotas and new precautions for communal areas
Accommodating staff on-site means the use of communal facilities for dining, food preparation, washing and personal hygiene. These areas need to have special precautions in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should be keeping these areas well-ventilated and stocked with hand sanitiser and other hygiene products at all times, allowing users to disinfect their hands and other surfaces regularly. You can also use floor signs and other markings to remind workers of the need to maintain social distancing guidelines or to implement a one-way system if necessary.
It may also be necessary to implement a rota system for use of showers and food preparation areas to prevent too many people from congregating there at the same time. You can utilise special safety signs to remind workers of these responsibilities, and the need to stay vigilant.
Carefully control the layout and accessibility of accommodation areas
When setting up your on-site accommodation, you should make sure that you have planned the layout and occupancy of the facilities in line with the current COVID-19 guidelines. This may mean setting up different camps or locations to ensure that different teams are kept isolated from each other.
This is particularly important when you are bringing in seasonal workers from overseas, who may be required to quarantine, or for shielding those who need to self-isolate. Safety signs can help to communicate key messages about where workers can go, and where to avoid.
By paying close attention to who is entering and leaving your worksite and accommodation areas at all times, you will stand a much better chance of preventing any viral transmission.
Provide additional PPE for staff staying on-site
Most industries that regularly make use of on-site accommodation are also likely to regularly provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for their staff. In the current pandemic conditions, it is even more important to take this responsibility seriously.
This means providing face masks, shields and protective gloves for those who are spending a lot of time on your worksite, especially those who are responsible for the cleaning and disinfection work that will keep your other workers safe. These will need to be regularly disposed of and replaced, so you will need to make sure you have stocked a plentiful supply.
Strategically-placed safety signage at regular intervals across the site and accommodation will serve to remind everyone of their responsibilities to wear their PPE whenever necessary, as well as to maintain high standards when it comes to hand hygiene and social distancing.
By taking these precautions and investing in the right safety products, you should be able to safely accommodate your staff on-site, and make sure that your business is able to carry on running smoothly in spite of the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses.
Many thanks to the team at SafetyBuyer for providing these tips! If you are looking for high-quality safety products to keep your workers safe during the pandemic check out their complete range of coronavirus safety products and solutions, including safety signage, face masks and hand hygiene products.
If you want to find out more about how to flexibly provide your workers with high-quality on-site accommodation, you can get in touch with the Bunkabin team by calling 0345 456 7899, or by filling in our online enquiry form.