While social distancing is fundamentally a public health measure introduced to reduce the spread of infection, we recognise the concerns raised on social distancing within the workplace. Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home. Where it is not be possible to work from home you can still travel for work purposes provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.
Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able, where possible, to follow Public Health Guidelines on social distancing (including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others), and good hygiene (washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds).
Follow Government Guidance on how to keep your employees safe.
If you have concerns about how premises are currently managing social distancing, you can contact our Environmental Health team and we will investigate the matter further.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org providing details of the premises you are concerned about.
General Duties of Employers
- ·Under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA), employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. This would extend to managing and controlling risks of infection from coronavirus in the workplace.
- ·Section 3 of HSWA provides that employers and the self-employed have a duty to conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employment who may be affected are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. This would cover members of the public (customers) and contractors.
- ·Section 4 of HSWA imposes a duty in relation to persons who have control of non-domestic premises to ensure that they are safe and without risks to health.
- ·If an employer is following the relevant PHE guidance for their sector in terms of controlling the public health risks, generally they will be taking reasonably practicable precautions to control workplace risks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) websitehas the latest information and advice for businesses operating during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes information on adequate ventilation for businesses.
Disinfecting premises during the Coronavirus outbreak
The HSE has put together guidance on selecting the best treatment for disinfecting large spaces in your workplace.