Re-opening Your Business (All Sectors)

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect all people in connection with their business operations. All businesses have to risk assess how they intend to operate to ensure their business is ready for safe operations throughout the current Pandemic. 

Food businesses that will lawfully look to re-open beyond just take-away services can also utilise the PDF checklist on this page to address the additional control measures required.

You must not open your business until the Government has issued advice that it is safe and legal to do so. Business un

HSE Additional Guidance - Working Safely During The Coronavirus Outbreak.

5 steps to working safely

Practical actions for businesses to take based on 5 main steps.

Make sure you read all the guides relevant to your workplace. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based on these steps. Further guidance will be published on the .Gov website as more businesses are able to reopen.

1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance
  • Consulting with your workers or trade unions
  • Sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website

2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

You should increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning by:

  • Encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene
  • Providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • Enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • Providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers

3. Help people to work from home

You should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

  • Discussing home working arrangements
  • Ensuring they have the right equipment, for example remote access to work systems
  • Including them in all necessary communications
  • Looking after their physical and mental wellbeing

4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

  • Putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • Avoiding sharing workstations
  • Using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • Arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • Switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible

5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Where it’s not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • Considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • Using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • Staggering arrival and departure times
  • Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’

For industry specific guidance, follow this link - Find out how to keep your workplace safe.

For further advice contact: