Signage to make your workplace COVID secure
As our country begins to lurch back into life, and businesses can finally operate again, we all have to get used to a way of living. Social distancing and bubbles have become heavily used terms.
It's one thing stumbling through this as a member of the public, working out the new normal as you go. But as business owners, there is an obligation to ensure the people who are on your premises or acting on behalf of your company are taking the necessary precautions.
Staff training will obviously play a massive part in this, but clear and effective signage is also going to play a crucial part in your strategy. Especially if you have stakeholders, suppliers or customers coming on site.
What do I need to do to make my workplace safe?
The Health and Safety Executive has set out guidelines for businesses to follow to ensure your site is, as they are calling it, COVID secure. Many of the requirements you will already be familiar with through first-hand experience of them during lockdown.
You can find the overview of the guidance here and on this page they have gone into further detail about specific areas and activities, such as break rooms, safely managing your employee's arrival and departure and when vehicles need to be used for work activities.
You'll have to figure out how to apply the generic guidance to your unique business, thinking about how each of your employees have to work and the layout of your premises, through conducting a full risk assessment.
Why will I need signage?
Some of the guidelines set by the HSE explicitly mention signage, which you should obviously adhere to. But, in the vast majority of cases, you'll also need to install additional signage to this.
Unless you're prepared (and able) to have members of staff in each area of your workspace at all times to inform and remind people of your new procedures, you need signage to not only pass this message on but also illustrate to them how you expect them to do it.
This is one situation where the saying 'less is more' does not apply. You can't expect people to guess what you need them to do. You need to be explicit and provide plenty of reminders to avoid old habits re-emerging by accident.
This situation is a learning curve for everyone, and the easier you can make it for the people who visit your organisation the better it will be for them – and your organisation.
What signage will I need?
What signage you will need to procure will obviously vary depending on the results of your organisation's individual risk assessment, but the list is likely to include:
- A variety of posters to cover the different areas you have and the various instructions you will need to give within them
- Floor stickers or markings to illustrate directional instructions for people moving around and to denote the required spacing between people
- Small signs or stickers to remind people of sanitising instructions relating to specific pieces of equipment or to say not to use items
- Signs to remind people to wash their hands more frequently and with the right technique
- Signage to highlight areas or offices that have temporarily been given a different function to allow for social distancing
- Checklists or sign off sheets for the increased cleaning regime that you will require
Is there anything else to think about when buying signage?
There is plenty of generic signage available, but it's worth having some bespoke materials created for your organisation. This means the messaging can be tailored to your business' unique requirements, as well as the layout of your workplace.
It also means you can have your logo on the materials and use your brand colours in the design. On a cosmetic level this will help you maintain an appealing, professional appearance in your premises. There's no denying that the signs are going to be everywhere, so it's worth making them look as good as possible.
A more fundamental reason for having branded materials tailored to your organisation's unique social distancing requirements is that it shows your employees, stakeholders, customers and any other visitors, that you really care about their health and safety. That you aren't just going through the motions to meet the Government's requirements so that you can trade and you are not taking this exercise lightly.
At a time when everyone is having to navigate their way through uncertain times and learn new behaviours, this does get noticed.
If you'd like to find out about how we can help you create COVID signage that meets the new regulations – and shows you care – get in touch today. We can also provide branded PPE and hand sanitiser to complete the package.