How to protect frontline staff from coronavirus - the legal requirements

How to protect frontline staff from coronavirus - the legal requirements

The coronavirus has been the direct cause of death and has caused mass disruption to business and the economy. It has swept the globe and therefore forced countries to introduce lockdown measures. These troubling times have brought about uncertainty for both staff and employers. Our helpful guide has been designed to provide clarity for both employers and employees. This guide will give a helpful breakdown of the protection required for staff as well as the legal requirements.

A shortage of PPE had previously meant that staff could not get the adequate protection required. At Site King, we are privileged to be well stocked with various protective equipment such as gloves, masks, face shields and hand sanitiser. We sell our PPE to protect the general public as well as workers.

Our guide provides a breakdown of four frontline industries and provides guidance on what protection may be required. The buttons below will take you to the applicable content.


coronavirus rights and laws

Your rights as an employee

As an employee, you have the right to remain safe. This includes protection from physical hazards as well as illnesses. If you feel unsafe at work and believe that your employer could do more, you need to express this to them. It is their responsibility to keep you safe.

Your duty as an employer

The health and safety of your employees is your responsibility as an employer. These uncertain times have seen a shift in health and safety risks. You may need to enforce social distancing measures or work from home when applicable. PPE must be provided where there is a risk and our website is home to a lot of protective equipment. Check out our critical supplies page for more information.

What UK law states

Regulation 4 of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 states:

“Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.”

Ref: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/ppe.htm

Not only do employers have to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, they also are required to train employees on how to maintain and use PPE correctly. PPE must be readily available with documentation to refer to. It is worth noting that an employee does not need to pay for his or her own safety equipment, as this is the responsibility of the employer. This is shown in section 9 of the health and safety at work act.

Section 9 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states:

"No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of the relevant statutory provisions"

Ref: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/ppe.htm

Our guide provides a breakdown of four frontline industries and provides guidance on what protection may be required. The buttons below will take you to the applicable content.

hospitality staff

How to protect your hospitality frontline staff?

The hospitality industry has been hugely affected by the coronavirus. A lot of venues within the UK have been forced to shut or remain only partially open. This includes businesses such as hotels who may be remaining open to support key workers.

If you employ frontline hospitality staff, it is important to ensure that they are protected from the coronavirus. This means that your business would need to enforce social distancing rules for the public. It also means that your staff should be equipped with protective equipment such as face masks or coverings.

Weddings have been postponed and are likely to face restrictions going forward. As a hospitality business owner, your staff will be in contact with the general public. It is important that you and your staff are prepared to handle the general public when the time comes. This is to ensure that your customers and your staff can remain healthy.

Encouraging your staff to wash their hands as often as possible is vital to stop the spread of disease. Hand sanitiser can help kill viruses and bacteria. Face masks and face shields can help prevent the spread of viruses.

Bars & Restaurants

Bars and Restaurant staff will encounter a lot of the general public. These type of businesses will also be handling food and drink, which means there is a greater risk of transmission. If you are a bar or restaurant owner, it is vital that you adopt a strong cleaning policy as well as equip your staff with PPE

Hotels

Hotel Staff have to be very close to the general public in order to fulfil their duties. If you own a Hotel, you will have to ensure that your staff are washing their hands as often as possible and that surfaces are cleaned and sanitised. Face masks and shields are also required.

Below are some of the protective equipment we recommend for the hospitality industry


face shields frontline staff medical masks frontline staff face masks frontline staff
hand sanitiser frontline staff
retail staff

How to protect your frontline retail staff?

Retail staff provide a public service and therefore come into contact with a lot of the population. Retail staff are at risk from the spread of coronavirus. If you are a retail business owner, it is important that you provide protection for your customers and staff.

A lot of supermarkets have imposed social distancing measures to help counter act covid-19. This includes enforcing customers to keep a 2 meter distance between each other. This can be done by using floor mats to highlight the safe two meter distance. In addition to this, cleaning stations which have hand sanitizer dispensers and wipes are essential for the protection of staff and customers.

Face shields are also a great way to protect your staff. The shield provides a barrier to stop coronavirus. Wearing face masks is another way you can protect your customers and staff as these will reduce the risk of spreading.

Retail staff members should be encouraged to wash their hands as often as possible and should be provided with all the essentials to improve their hygiene. This is particularly important when handling food.

Below are some of the protective equipment we recommend for the retail sector.


face shields frontline staff medical masks frontline staff face masks frontline staff
hand sanitiser frontline staff
protection for teachers

How to protect your frontline educational staff?

If you employ educational staff, it is important that you protect them from health risks.

When schools, universities and colleges are open, teachers and other educational staff will be exposed to more risks. It is important that you protect your workers from the dangers of coronavirus. Educational establishments are very busy and therefore would require extensive cleaning in order to protect the occupants.

Educational buildings such as schools are very busy with both staff and pupils. Studies show that fortunately, the risks of coronavirus is lower in children, however this does not mean that staff should not be protected.

Ensure your staff wear protective equipment such as face masks or face shields. There should be policies in place for pupils and staff for washing hands. Hand sanitiser and cleaning equipment should be readily available for all occupants to stop the spread of infection.

It is important to consider that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces. Classrooms should be cleaned as often as possible to prevent the coronavirus surviving on surfaces.

Schools

School environments can be a breeding ground for infection. It is important that surfaces are cleaned as often as possible to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Face masks should be worn by all staff. Pupils should also be encouraged to wash their hands as often as possible. Hand sanitiser should also be provided.

Colleges & Universities

Colleges and Universities are complex structures, which are extremely busy. As an employer, it is your duty to protect your employees as well as students. We suggest adopting a clear wash your hand's policy as well as equip PPE that can be found on our website. Hand sanitiser is extremely effective at killing viruses and bacteria.

Below are some of the protective equipment we recommend for education.


face shields frontline staff medical masks frontline staff face masks frontline staff
hand sanitiser frontline staff

How to protect your frontline office staff?

As an employer, it is your duty to protect your staff. This means that any health and safety risk (including coronavirus) needs to be considered. It is good practice to enforce “wash your hands” and social distance policies where possible.

If your staff can work from home, you should allow them to do so. If your staff are unable to work from home, you should provide them with the correct protective equipment to minimise risks.

Your staff should have access to face masks and face shields. As an employer, you should be providing this to your staff. Ensure that masks are issued in a timely manner.

Staff should have access to hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities. Work surfaces need to be cleaned as often as possible.

Remember that the HSE state that it is your responsibility to ensure that your staff are protected from risks. You could risk fines and penalties if you do not follow these rules.

Below are some of the protective equipment we recommend for general staff.


face shields frontline staff medical masks frontline staff face masks frontline staff
hand sanitiser frontline staff

How to protect your frontline personal grooming staff?

Personal grooming is likely to be a booming industry when lockdown restrictions have been lifted. The reopening of beauty salons, barbers and hairdressers may be prone to health risks. For this reason, it is important that you put in measures to protect both your staff and customers.

Ensure that the correct PPE is worn to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Face masks and face shields can reduce the spread of infection.

As an employer, you should be providing PPE to your staff. The law states it is your responsibility to protect your staff

Staff should have access to cleaning facilities. Hand sanitiser and soap and water are essential. Work surfaces need to be cleaned as often as possible.

As a personal grooming employer, your staff will be in contact with the general public. It is vital that hands are cleaned as often as possible to avoid the spread of the virus.

Social distance from other people as much as you possibly can

Barbers & Hairdressers

Barbers and hairdresser owners are advised to wash their hands as often as possible. Face masks are also advised by us as they can help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Hand sanitiser is another essential item that should be well-stocked in hairdressers and barbers.

Spas and Salons

Spa treatments require very close contact and therefore measures must be in place to control the spread of coronavirus. Face masks and face shields can help prevent the spread and are widely used. A strong "wash your hands" policy is required between sessions.

Below are some of the protective equipment we recommend for personal grooming staff.


face shields frontline staff medical masks frontline staff face masks frontline staff
hand sanitiser frontline staff

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FRONTLINE MEDICAL STAFF?

The medical industry is at risk of the spreading of the coronavirus. It is for this reason that appropriate measures must be in place to ensure that the spread of coronavirus is kept to zero. (or minimal)

As a medical employer, your staff will be dealing with the general public. These people may be vulnerable and high risk. As an employer, it is your duty to protect your employees as well as the general public.

There are many ways you can protect your staff. In the medical industry, it is not entirely possible to enforce a total social distancing policy. It is for this reason that PPE and hand washing policies can be highly effective. Correct PPE can combat coronavirus and prevent further spreading.

Hand sanitiser can kill germs and viruses and therefore prevent spreading. We recommend that medical staff wash their hands as often as possible as well as sanitise

Face shields can prevent particles from contacting other people. Face masks can also prevent the spread of coronavirus

If you are a medical employee and fear for your health and safety, you need to address this with your employer. The law states that they must protect you.

Hospitals

There have been complaints that hospitals have been unable to source adequate PPE. As a PPE supplier, we have helped the hospital staff to be safe. Hospital environments will need to be cleaned effectively to help prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. Hospitals have high-risk patients and therefore we stress that all precautions are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dentists

As an owner of a dentist, you should be aware of the dangers of coronavirus. Your staff will encounter the general public and therefore will need to be extra careful. We suggest adopting a clear wash your hand's policy as well as gear up with PPE that can be found on our website

Chiropractors

Chriopractors have to be very close to the general public in order to fulfil their duties. If you own a Chiropractors, you will have to ensure that your staff are washing their hands as often as possible and that surfaces are cleaned and sanitised. Face masks and shields are also required.

Chiropodist

If you are a Chiropodist, you will be in close contact with the general public. If you are a business owner who employs Chiropodists, you will need to ensure that your staff and clients are protected from the risks of COVID-19. There are many ways you can protect your staff. We suggest adopting a strict wash your hand's policy and using sanitiser on the skin to eliminate viruses spreading. Face masks and shields can reduce the level of infection and therefore protect the public as well as your staff. Our 3 play masks are commonly used by medical staff and are ideal for Chiropodists

We recommended the following PPE for medical staff


face shields frontline staff medical masks frontline staff face masks frontline staff
hand sanitiser frontline staff