As mentioned in the previous section, employers have an obligation to protect staff in the workplace.
Each of the home nations governments, have provided guidance on how to protect workers and to manage the risk of spreading the Coronavirus when they return to the workplace. The general arrangements that employers are required to put in place, include:
Completing a Covid-19 risk assessment and share it with staff. Please refer to the HSE information in the Links section of this section of the website.
Conducting cleaning more frequently, especially those surfaces that are being touched a lot
Instruct staff and visitors to use hand sanitiser frequently
Ensuring that where possible, those members of staff that can work from home, do work from home
Providing an environment for effective social distancing and enforce this with clear signage
Increasing ventilation in workspaces, by keeping doors and windows open if possible and running ventilation systems at all times
Minimising the possibility of visitors to those attending for essential purposes.
Keeping a register of those people who do visit the premises within the last three weeks, with full contact details
Requesting that those people who do visit premises, wear a mask
Staff using the Test and Trace app for their country, which will track if they have been in contact with an infected person recently – please see further details below
Turning away anyone (staff member, or a member their household, or visitor) who attends with Coronavirus symptoms, such as:
Have lost their sense of taste, or smell
TEC Monitoring Centres
We have already been informed by the Government, if staff can work from home, then they should. However, we understand that a lot of monitoring centres cannot provide home-working solutions and teams will need to attend the work location for this purpose.
In addition to the general guidance for staff working safely in work environment, TEC Monitoring Services may wish to consider taking the following additional precautions to help protect teams:
Review call volumes and call flows and plan for the minimum number of staff required to be on site. It is possible that admin functions, or other non-call handling activities could be conducted from home.
You will need to make special arrangements for those you are classed a clinically vulnerable. Definitions of this can be found here.
Obtain a personal computer keyboard and mouse for each member of staff. These can be easily exchanged as each member of staff finishes and takes over duty and is a low-cost safety measure.
Ensure the monitoring centre is cleaned more frequently (at the end of each shift) than other office spaces, due to the 24-hour nature of the call handling environment.
Identify areas where there is a likelihood of staff to congregate in groups and limit access to these areas.
Identify situations where staff may pass things to each other, such as parcels, keys, equipment, or post an eliminate direct contact.
Consider splitting staff into dedicated teams where possible, to limit the cross flow of staff between operations.
Create an Alarm Centre “bubble”, which restricts staff entry to authorised personnel only
Limit the access to the call handling area to operators only. Other members of staff, such as admin, managers and team leaders may be able to work from home, or separate parts of the building
Where possible, rotate home working and site working between staff. This will reduce the feeling of isolation for some home workers.
Position Perspex screens between workstations, to limit the possibility of airborne virus contamination
Stagger shift start times, by 15, or 30 minutes, to limit the contact between operators at shift handover times.
If the space and amount of equipment permits, rotate the use of computer workstations, so that some are left un-used on alternating shifts.