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5. Make your workplace COVID-secure

If through your risk assessment you have identified people who cannot work from home (for example people who operate machinery or work on a construction site), then you should consider what changes you might need in your workplace to reduce risk and make it ‘COVID-secure’.

Entrances and exits

Stagger arrival and departure times so that people do not use entry and exit points at the same time.

Provide handwashing facilities so people can wash their hands when they get into and leave work (provide hand sanitiser where this is not possible).

Social distancing

Keep work areas 2 metres apart and allocate one person only to each work area. If this is not possible, then keep the number of people in each work area as low as possible.

To help workers to social distance you can:

  • use floor tape or paint to mark work areas
  • provide signage to remind people to keep a 2 m distance
  • use screens to create a physical barrier between people
  • have people working side-by-side rather than face-to-face
  • limit movement of people
    • rotating between jobs and equipment
    • using lifts and work vehicles
    • in high-traffic areas like corridors, turnstiles and walkways
    • allow only essential trips within buildings and between sites

Find out more about social distancing in the workplace.

Additional information is available from the Scottish government’s coronavirus guidance for employers in Scotland and from the Welsh government's guidance on maintaining physical distance in the workplace.

Breaks and canteens

Stagger breaktimes so that people are not using break rooms, canteens or rest areas at the same time.

Use outside areas for breaks and encourage staff to stay on-site during working hours to help workers with social distancing on their breaks.

Providing packaged meals could help to avoid fully opening canteens. Reconfigure seating and tables in welfare areas to maintain spacing and reduce face to face interactions.

Face covering and masks

Read our separate guidance on face masks during the coronavirus outbreak.

Updated 2020-06-26