Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): general guidance for safer workplaces

Guidance on safer working during the coronavirus pandemic for businesses and organisations not covered by sectoral guidance, for example general offices.

9 page PDF

450.0 kB

9 page PDF

450.0 kB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): general guidance for safer workplaces
Deliveries, distribution and site visitors

9 page PDF

450.0 kB

Deliveries, distribution and site visitors

Information about protecting your workforce and those who come on-site.

As a minimum we expect organisations to:

  • provide early clarity to supply chain about honouring orders in the system
  • treat all site visitors as if they were workers, providing the same protections and expecting them to follow the same rules

Site visitors

Organisations should consider limiting site access to those who need to be there for safe operation, ensuring safe working practices and production related activities. They should consider implementing a permit to work system for contractors and external visitors who need to access the site. Requirements which should be considered include:

  • providing handwashing and hand sanitiser and encourage visitors to wash their hands regularly
  • where site visits are required, provide clear guidance on physical distancing and hygiene to people on arrival, for example, signage, visual aids and before arrival, such as by phone, on the website or by email
  • regulating entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded, and placing physical distancing markers on the floor
  • determining if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people
  • maintaining a record of all visitors including encouraging the use of the Check In Scotland service
  • revising visitor arrangements to ensure physical distancing and hygiene, for example, where someone physically signs in with the same pen

Early supplier engagement

The global nature of COVID-19 means it may have impacted on demand for some goods manufactured in Scotland and on supply chain relationships. We recommend early engagement with suppliers to help understand how well placed suppliers will be to provide inputs at the level required to meet a company's expected demand as they restart production. This should include considering any additional logistical issues associated with the current functioning of international supply networks.

Organisations should work with suppliers to understand the pressures they face and identify potential solutions on a case-by-case basis, including providing early clarity on the treatment of existing orders.

Inbound and outbound goods

Steps that will usually be needed to maintain physical distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site include:

  • revising pick-up/drop-off points, procedures, signage and markings
  • minimising contact at gatehouse security, yard and warehouse. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.
  • considering methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often
  • where possible and safe, having single workers load/unload vehicles
  • using the same pairs of people for loads where more than one is needed
  • enabling drivers to access welfare facilities when required, consistent with other guidance
  • encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice
  • under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours. Frequent hand hygiene and regular decontamination of frequently touched environmental and equipment surfaces will help to reduce the risk of viral transmission. Where suitable cleaning of the surface takes place with appropriate cleaning products then the amount of virus should be substantially reduced.  When handling goods, discard any packaging as safely as possible, avoid touching your face, and perform hand hygiene as soon as possible. 

Consideration of the above and adherence to general measures (e.g. physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, surface cleaning with suitable products and appropriate use of face coverings) will help to reduce the risk of transmission.



First published: 8 Mar 2021 Last updated: 12 May 2021 -