As restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease, you must ensure that your employees are ready to return to work by making safe workplace arrangements that adhere to current guidelines, along with providing the appropriate PPE and training when needed.

Workplace Arrangements and Social Distancing

With social distancing guidelines serving as a focal point for businesses as they begin to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, SOCOTEC will work with your organisation to ensure that the correct working practices and safety measures are in place to safeguard employees and keep any potential spread of the virus at bay. Current systems of work will be analysed to ensure that they are in line with current Public Health England requirements, and travel arrangements to, from and between multiple sites will also be reviewed and adapted accordingly.

SOCOTEC will address how companies can maintain the required two metre social distance between employees based on their individual workplace environments. Areas that will be considered include a potential redesigning of the work premises to facilitate social distancing, as well as assessing how the safe transfer of personnel can be achieved, maintained and monitored at all times.

Pinch points will be identified across each occupational environment in which interpersonal interactions are difficult to avoid, such as at secure entry points, lifts, stairs, canteens and toilets. A series of safety measures will then be implemented to allow employers to regulate and monitor their usage, such as through staggered shift patterns, as well as alternating start, break and lunch times.

Finally, for clients with large numbers of personnel and/or off-site visitors on the premises, arrangements for Elevated Body Temperature Detection (EBTD) can be made to scan every individual before they are permitted onto the premises. By detecting above average body temperatures, this will help to prevent the potential spread of any COVID-19-infected persons.

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Respiratory Protective Equipment and Face Fit Testing

With the primary source of COVID-19 infection caused by respiratory droplets produced from coughs or sneezes, having appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) to help protect against the virus, alongside other hazardous airborne contaminants, is essential.

SOCOTEC’s Health & Safety Consultancy can carry out Face Fit Testing nationwide for all appropriate personnel to ensure that RPE is fitted properly and securely. Testing is based on the worst-case scenario under the hierarchy of control for RPE/PPE to ensure that the highest level of protection is provided. Please note that delivery is based on a maximum of six operatives per order, all of whom must be fit, healthy, clean shaven and in possession of their own FFP2 or FFP3 masks.

Arrangements can also be made to equip your workforce with the training required to raise awareness of new developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes understanding safeguards – for example control of exposure - and risk controls such as hygiene protocols, symptoms, response, and reporting procedures, use and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Click here to find out more.

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Lone Working

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have adapted to these uncertain times by facilitating many of their employees working from home, or instructing them to carry out isolated activities on sites in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. The updated HSE Protecting Lone Workers: How to Manage the Risks of Working Alone guidance advises employers and employees on assessing and managing the risks to lone workers’ health, safety and wellbeing.

SOCOTEC’s Health & Safety Consultancy team offers related online training courses on lone working, mental health and wellbeing. Additional guidance on protecting worker’s wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can also be found here


While the current situation has made training difficult at this time, SOCOTEC has developed an alternative, innovative solutions to ensure that you can still access and receive the training you require. 

A large proportion of SOCOTEC’s health and safety training courses – such as Fire SafetyManual Handling Principles and Work at Height – are also available for delivery via remote learning.

Additionally, SOCOTEC has a range of e-learning courses that can be taken as either single modules or carry out a full licence arrangement for larger companies for a one-off fee. This includes the Pandemic Awareness and Coronavirus Online Training which aim to provide delegates with an understanding of how good hygiene prevents contamination in the workplace.

Read more on SOCOTEC's remote health and safety training courses here

Business Ready Support Packages

To ensure that your facilities are safe, compliant and operational in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, SOCOTEC’s range of testing, inspection and compliance services provides a complete solution to support and guide organisations through these challenging times. Packages include:

Want to find out more about our Business Ready support packages? Contact us

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