To help keep our employees safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic Falkirk Council is following the Scottish Government's guidance for physical (social) distancing in the workplace.
Physical (social) distancing is important to reduce the chance of someone who is not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 transmitting the virus to others through droplets that leave their mouth and nose when they talk, cough or sneeze.
All employees working within Social Care should follow the relevant advice for wearing Personal Protective Equipment when providing direct care to service users.
This means all employees should:
- Maintain a distance of 2 metres between each other where ever feasible, including breaks.
- Where this isn't feasible and you are involved in delivering an essential service, a brief risk assessment should be undertaken as to whether the task is essential and if so, employees should be no closer than 1 metre (excluding breaks where the 2 metre distance should be maintained).
- Always follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Some easy ways to achieve physical (social) distancing in your work area include:
- Promote working from home. Where employees can work from home, they should be.
- Replacing face to face meetings with teleconferencing or video calls. Where this can't be done, ensure that physical (social) distancing is observed during a face to face meeting.
- When travelling in a vehicle on essential Council business, consider alternatives to ensure 2 metres of physical (social) distancing can be observed, including the use of additional vehicles. Where this is not possible ensure that there is 1 metre between passengers, using a diagonal seating arrangement where possible.
- When working in an office with others spread out to ensure there is a 2 metre distance between everyone. Consider creating a rota for reducing numbers of employees sharing a work environment at one time.
- Stagger start and finish times and break times to limit the number of people in common areas.
- If employees are required to undertake a home visit as part of their duties, this should only be for essential services and a Specific Risk Assessment should be in place for this.
- Remind staff to continue to wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitiser if available, especially when using the same equipment
- Discourage staff from gathering outside the workplace
- Discourage unnecessary gatherings for example during break times or lunch provision
- Ensure that the staff attending work are aware of the most up to date COVID-19 information on the NHS inform website.
Consideration should be taken on how staff travel and arrive at the workplace such as:
- Reduce any unnecessary travel on coaches, buses or public transport
- If staff are using public transport, they should physical (social) distancing where possible and practice thorough handwashing on arrival at work and at home again following their return journey. Staff should be aware that from Monday 22 June 2020, face coverings became mandatory on public transport. This applies to all passengers and public transport staff in public areas, although there are exemptions especially for those who are not able to wear a face covering for specific medical reasons.
- Ideally staff should travel in their own vehicle, where practically possible and avoid lift sharing.