To all health care workers, first responders, supermarket employees, pharmacists, petrol station workers, and any other individual that is working to protect our health and help us maintain our daily lives, THANK YOU. 

Social distancing at work

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, the government have advised that all employers allow their employees to work from home wherever possible. However, if this isn’t the case, there are other measures that must be considered when working. Social distancing being one of them.  Below we will run through a list of dos and don’ts when social distancing at work.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a new term to the majority of us, therefore it’s important that we understand what it means and how to best practise it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social distancing is defined as:

“Remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance. Approximately 6 feet or 2 meters from others when possible”

In other words, you must keep a physical distance between yourself and others. This does not include members of your own household. This is one of the best weapons we have in avoiding the spread of the virus.

Social Distancing at work: Do’s

  • Do maintain at least 2 meters between you and your colleagues
  • Do wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Do use alcohol-based hand solution when soap and water is not available
  • Do clean shared surfaces such as tables, keyboards, counters, pin pads and sale locations
  • Do regular cleaning and disinfecting shared surfaces
  • Do cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Do avoid public transportation if possible
  • Do have meetings with clients via video communication channels
  • Do implement a no-visitor policy
  • Do wear PPE if appropriate to your role
  • Do implement staggered shifts if possible
  • Do use a CLOTH facemask where appropriate

Further reading: Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Social Distancing at work: Don’ts

  • Don’t have in-person meetings with clients if not necessary
  • Don’t allow visitors if not necessary
  • Don’t use public transport if avoidable
  • Don’t attend work if you experience symptoms 
  • Don’t attend work if members of your household have symptoms
  • Don’t come into close contact with one another if not necessary
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Don’t use a facemask intended for a healthcare worker

Further reading: Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19)

What if my job makes it necessary to have close contact with the public or others?

Interactions with one another, the public, clients or patients may be unavoidable at times. There are still measures you can take to keep safe at work. This may include wearing PPE to do your job safely.

What is the government advice on social distancing at work?

The government’s guidance on coronavirus and social distancing at work can be found here. It includes advice tailored for different scenarios and industries. 

Including:

  • Shops running a pick-up or delivery service
  • Tradespeople and working in people’s homes
  • Tradespeople working in people’s homes (NEW)
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing and processing businesses
  • Retail
  • Logistics businesses
  • Outdoor businesses
  • Farming: visiting farms for animal health and welfare
  • Fishing or other short-term offshore work
  • Cargo-shipping or other long-term offshore work
  • Transport businesses
  • Waste management businesses

Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19)

How does social distancing help?

Social distancing helps to stop the spread of coronavirus. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and droplets from their mouth or nose are transmitted into the air and then comes into contact with others (CDC). It may also be possible that the virus can be spread by touching surfaces an infected person has touched.

Social distancing helps to limit contact with others and surfaces that may be infected or contaminated.

How long will social distancing last?

According to the government’s Chief Medical Officer, social distancing will be needed until at least the end of the year. This is to prevent fresh outbreaks.

We recommend regularly checking the government website to receive updates on social distancing measures and general updates.

How can we help?

We have been producing safe and social distancing signage for a number of clients over the past few weeks. In addition to this, we have also created bespoke signage that can be used around offices and manufacturing facilities to keep staff safe while at work.

Please visit our Social Distancing Signage page for more information.