Whether you have been working through the pandemic within government guidelines or are planning on a return to work in the near future as businesses begin to open as restrictions ease, managing safety on site for yourself and your employees is key to staying well.
Paula Warman of The Landscapers Circle offers these top tips on managing safety at work after lockdown
- Site Safety/Planning – Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), gloves and hand sanitiser are essential when going back to work. Some guidelines set out are to carry out risk assessments for each site as part of the Construction Design and Managament (CDM) Regulations. These ensure a minimum number of workers are in, tools are regularly sanitised (where possible each person has their own set), frequently touched points on vehicles are disinfected, as well as on tools and machinery. Supply of portaloos, which are well sanitised. Non-essential visits to site inhibited. Ensure to brief staff on social distancing, symptoms of Covid-19 and make aware of the procedures in place.
- Social Distancing – Can this be maintained on site? Does it mean lone working? If so, do you have a lone workers policy in place to ensure staff safety. When on site there should be no face to face client contact, so no refreshments and all communication delivered electronically. If you need to work within the 2 m guideline then work side by side or facing away from each other and limit the time working in this space.
- Travel – Ideally workers should travel separately in their own transport or work vehicles. If travelling together then keep the same teams together consistently, and keep vans well ventilated and consider wearing a face covering (does not have to comply with PPE regulations). Keep company vehicles cleaned regularly using gloves, especially high touch areas.
- Suppliers – Manage your materials and reduce multiple trips to multiple suppliers. Pre-order to ensure builders merchants have stock before travelling and take advantage of site deliveries where possible. Reduce travel and risk.
- Staff – Ensure staff are asked everyday if they are symptom free and fit to work. Make sure they know to advise you should they or a household member they live with develop symptoms or feel unwell. Ensure they adopt good hand sanitisation practice at all times. Staff should be encouraged to bring their own food and refreshments with them to site. Once on site they should avoid leaving. Breaks to adhere to social distancing rules and waste disposed of immediately.
- Virtual meetings – When it comes to site visits and quotations try to conduct these virtually or adhere to social distancing measures if you have to meet in person. If meeting a client they should be made aware of how the site visit will be conducted and what measures you have put in place. All quotes should be emailed, and samples sent direct to the client making it as contactless as possible.
- Business Planning – this is the key to continue to grow and thrive as a business. Planning for setbacks (such as, another potential lockdown or delay in getting materials to site), developing the business and having a plan to come through the other side is key to your success. Having a clear plan for your finances (making the most of any government help that’s available to you), planning out and scheduling your marketing activities and planning in work ahead, will all ensure that although you are back on the tools you will still be working on the business. By spending time planning it will help you avoid overwhelm and if you can schedule your marketing activities (where possible) will save you time.
- Mindset – to continue to thrive in this current climate is largely down to your mindset and the mindset of the people you surround yourself with. It’s easy to say ‘be positive’ but the truth is if you can pivot your thoughts to look at all situations from a positive angle and you work on your mindset (through listening to podcasts, reading, journaling, meditation, exercise and anything else that works for you) then you are more likely to be able to be strong enough to ride out the storm and (more importantly) be able to see the opportunities ahead rather than the obstacles.
For more information on how The Landscaper’s Circle can help with getting your mind in the game and working on the business whilst being in the business get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other resources for working guidelines include:
Picture Caption: Courtesy of STHIL