It is important you understand how the workplace/ building and its facilities can create transmission risks, for example how enclosed the building is can increase transmission or through the interaction close of people, and what controls can be put in place to manage the risks. If any of the buildings you use in your business or organisation are more than 50% enclosed including the roof and its sides, this is considered an enclosed space and you need to consider suitable mitigation and measures.
- are you the sole business or organisation occupying the building?
- if you do not operate the whole building, have you liaised with the building management?
- have you liaised with other businesses or organisations occupying the building? (e.g. on communal spaces/corridors/ toilets)
- how are the communal spaces being managed in the building? (With regards to cleaning, distancing etc.)
- are there sufficient distancing and cleaning controls on shared entries/exits?
- are contact details collected centrally for visitors, or by individual businesses/organisations within the building?
- is there a risk assessment for the wider building?
- have you reviewed your fire safety risk assessment in the light of any changes?
- if you occupy multiple buildings/enclosed spaces you must consider every space.
Physical distancing is an important measure that helps reduce the risk of transmission. You should also make sure you understand where physical distancing cannot be implemented in the different parts of your business or organisation, and any necessary additional mitigation measures that are required. The Scottish Government advises maintaining 2 metres distance from others to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus. Where physical distancing is not possible, owners and operators as well as the general public, are advised to do everything they can to reasonably reduce the risk.
The Scottish Government will allow, in a limited number of sectors, an exception to be made to the requirement for 2 metre physical distancing, however this is subject to strict conditions tailored to the circumstances of each sector. These sectors include retail, hospitality and public transport. It is stressed, however, that the general rule remains 2 metres.
- is your workplace subject to the regulations on 2 m or 1 m physical distancing?
- is there signage informing staff/contractors/visitors or customers they are entering a 1m or 2m zone?
- are there floor markings throughout the premises clearly marking the applicable physical distance?
- is physical distancing strictly adhered to on the premises at all times? How do you ensure this?
- if not, or this is not possible, what mitigations are in place?
- have you implemented capacity restriction for customers if applicable?
- where are customers held when capacity is reached?
- what procedures are in place to mitigate the need for customers to wait?
- have other mitigation measures been considered where close working is required?
- have additional mitigations measures been implemented?
- provide details of additional mitigation measures implemented e.g. screens, enhanced ventilation etc.
- if there are lifts in the premises, are you explicitly discouraging their use (unless essential), and have they been clearly marked to be used by only one household at a time?
- have measures been implemented to reduce customer footfall in the premises?
Layout and operation
Understanding how the layout of the workplace affects the interaction of staff and the risks of transmission will be important. You must consider:
- the number of entry and exit points to minimise congestion.
- are the entry and exit points separated/one way?
- have you assessed how the layout facilitates physical distancing, for example, desks should face in the same direction rather than facing each other. (Incl. staff areas, sanitary facilities, communal areas etc.)
- is there a one-way system in place?
- is there signage/markings/etc. to encourage physical distancing between people waiting to enter the premises?
- does this also allow people to pass on the pavement while keeping the 2m distance?
- is there signage/markings/etc. to encourage physical distancing between people whilst on the premises?
Ventilation should be considered as part of your risk mitigation measures. A well-ventilated workspace helps to reduce the risk of transmission of infection and should be used as part of your overall control measures. This section is also relevant for sheds and buildings which also fall under the definition of enclosed under the
- have you read the guidance on ventilation?
- if you are involved in agriculture have you read the guidance for farms and crofts
- do you have windows/vents/shutters and doors that can be opened to aid ventilation?
- are all available windows/vents/shutters and doors opened during working hours? (these only need to be opened a little so as not to cause discomfort during cold weather)
- are sufficient windows and vents opened during working hours to provide cross-flow ventilation? (these only need to be opened a little so as not to cause discomfort during cold weather)
- do you have a mechanical ventilation system?
- have you adjusted this in accordance with the CIBSE guidance?
- do you have areas that are occupied for several hours by the same group of people?
- do you ensure that the occupants of such spaces have regular breaks away from the area for 10 minutes or more?
- during break periods, do you take the opportunity to air the area?
Face coverings for visitors and customers
Guidance on the use of face coverings has been published, which provides a definition of face coverings (which should not be confused with PPE).
- are there signs instructing customers/ visitors on face covering requirements?
- are all customers/visitors adhering to the regulations and exemptions on face covering requirements?
- do staff feel adequately trained to interact with customers/visitors to comply with face coverings guidance or regulations?
Good hygiene including regular handwashing is a key control in reducing the spread of the virus. It is important you understand how your workplace can deliver this by providing facilities, putting appropriate processes, and cleaning procedures in place.
- have you taken steps to reduce numbers within staff/customer toilets on premises?
- is there hot water available?
- is there adequate supply of liquid soap?
- is there adequate supply of hand sanitiser? (70% alcohol or greater)
- have you considered less mobile employees/customers?
- are there adequate drying materials and waste facilities?
- is there signage on hand washing procedure?
- are there sufficient waste containers for hand towels?
- frequency of cleaning of Sanitary Facilities:
- who has responsibility for cleaning:
- any portable toilet facilities in place?
- details (incl. cleaning arrangements):
Good hygiene, including regular cleaning of shared spaces, equipment and touch points is a key control in reducing the spread of the virus. It is important you understand how your workplace can deliver this by putting appropriate processes and facilities in place. See guidance on cleaning requirement here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): general guidance for safer workplaces - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) HSE provide advice on cleaning in the workplace here: Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing to make your workplace COVID-secure (hse.gov.uk)
- level of general cleanliness at time of assessment provide a rating e.g. satisfactory/unsatisfactory Details:
- frequency of cleaning of contact surfaces: Responsibility:
- frequency of cleaning of Communal/Shared Equipment (e.g. printers, tills, trolleys, equipment for lifting or carrying, equipment/workstations shared by employees, hi-vis bibs, handheld devices such as two way radios, stock control devices. You should include items that customers may handle such as baskets/trolleys) Responsibility:
- do your staff have access to cleaning equipment?
- are your cleaning staff trained in correct procedure and contact time required for the chemical used?
These questions are for general cleaning of the workplace in the event of a deep clean/decontamination after an outbreak please refer to the
Good hygiene, including safe removal of waste is a key control in reducing the spread of the virus. It is important you understand how your workplace can deliver this by putting appropriate processes and facilities in place. Please refer to the
- are specific staff designated to remove waste from your business or organisation?
Are these staff provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and training in its use?