Safety First Options For Manufacturing And Retail Sectors


Both of these sectors require people to work in close proximity to each other. The UK Government have issued broad guidelines to reduce the risks for workers from Coronavirus.

Manufacturing and processing businesses

Manufacturing plays an important role in the economy. It can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible.

Where it is not possible to follow the social distancing guidelines in full in relation to a particular activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to continue to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between staff.

If work is essential 

  • Staff should work side by side or facing away from each other rather than face-to-face if possible.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning procedures, pausing production in the day if necessary for cleaning staff to wipe down workstations with disinfectant.
  • Assign staff to the same shift teams to limit social interaction.
  • Do not allow staff to congregate in break times; you should consider arrangements such as staggered break times so that staff can continue to practice social distancing when taking breaks.

Hand washing stations 

You should communicate to all staff that they should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more at the beginning and end of every break, when they arrive at work and before they leave. To help with this, you should consider adding additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities, providing soap, water and/or hand sanitiser.

Safe distancing 

When entering and leaving, you should ensure your workforce stays 2 metres apart as much as possible. To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.

For further advice on how to financially support you or your business during the pandemic, visit our help page. 

Retail

You run a retail outlet which, in line with the government advice on retail, remains open. To protect staff and customers, you should…

  • manage entry into the store, only allowing a limited number of people into your store at any given time.
  • put up signage to ask customers with symptoms not to enter the store, and to remind both staff and customers to always keep 2 metres from other people, wherever possible.
  • regularly encourage staff to wash their hands with soap and water as often as possible and for 20 seconds every time.

If feasible, you should also put up Plexiglas barriers at all points of regular interaction to further reduce the risk of infection for all parties involved, cleaning the barriers regularly. You should still advise staff to keep 2 metres apart as much as possible.

To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.