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Personal Safety Supplies: The Future Of Workplace Health And Safety

Prior to the pandemic, many businesses probably saw their health and safety obligations as something of a ‘box-ticking’ exercise. Craig from HR seems to recall having watched a video about CPR fifteen years ago, and just like that he becomes the office’s designated health and safety officer. Okay, whilst we admit this might be a bitof an exaggeration, what’s not exaggerated is just how much more aware most employers now are when it comes to their workplace health and safety obligations - and that can only be a good thing. The team here at Lemon, who provide a comprehensive range of personal safety supplies and workplace solutions, wanted to explore the future of health and safety in the workplace, in a little more detail.

The ‘COVID-Proof’ Workspace

At the time of writing, there are three large vaccine hopes that show encouraging signs in the global fight against COVID-19. There’s been much talk of ‘COVID-securing’ workspaces, but here at Lemon, we thought why not change that mind-set to ‘virus-securing’ your workspace. Whilst we may not see viruses in the future impacting the country to the extent which COVID-19 has this year (though, at the same time, there’s no guarantee we won’t) why go back to settling for less hygienic workplaces?

Don’t Slip Back Into Old Habits…

For next winter, and the winter after that, and so on, by continually reviewing and improving your health and safety and hygiene provisions, your workforce is less likely to fall ill. With that in mind, the following are all ways in which you can secure your workspace not only against COVID, but against pathogens more generally.

· Firstly, review your workplace ventilation system. We know that viruses spread more easily in stuffy, poorly ventilated indoor environments – it’s why viruses spread more in winter, when it’s cold and people cram indoors more. If your workplace has poor ventilation, consider investing in a new mechanical ventilation system to introduce better circulation of air from outdoors. This way, pockets of stagnant air from forming.

· Put aside a budget for employee personal safety supplies. Far be it from an attempt to make your employees feel special by granting them their own personal hygiene kits - though they’ll probably appreciate the thought! - it makes more sense, from a hygiene perspective, not to share around hand sanitizer, for instance. If you think about it, all your good hygiene habits can be quickly undone if you touch a contaminated surface. If, then, you take a bottle of hand sanitizer from a colleague who themselves has contaminated the bottle, for instance, then the application of sanitizer is negated when you hand back the bottle. It’s much easier to just have your own!

· Other measures include continuing to implement social distance measures, erecting Perspex ‘sneeze’ screens and implementing daily temperature checks. The new workplace is, much to our pleasure here at Lemon, a much cleaner workplace.

Improving Workplace Safety, Wherever That Workplace Happens To Be

For years, we’ve associated the word ‘workplace’ with one set place, be that an office, factory or whatever it may be. The fact of the matter is, though, as we’ve been so starkly reminded this year, that the ‘workplace’ is exactly that, it’s simply the place where you work and that, more and more with the advances seen in technology, can be anywhere!

The lockdown first introduced in March (and now once again) to curb the transmission of the Coronavirus, saw many people working-from-home or remotely for the first time in their lives. Just because the workplace has changed, the employer’s responsibilities have not. Not only this, but the detachment brought about by remote working means mental health stresses are also much greater.

Fortunately, the Health and Safety Executivehas published a workstation checklist for those using DSE (Display Screen Executive) for prolonged periods of time (i.e. those working from home). The checklist can viewed in more detail, here, but its main points include:

· Keeping a clear and tidy workspace.

· Having an appropriately adjusted work chair.

· Working in a space with enough room to change position and vary movement.

In other words, it’s a template which employers can use to help gauge the suitability of home-working conditions for their employees. If employees answer ‘no’ to any of the checklist’s questions, then the employer has the responsibility to take appropriate action to rectify the problem. Even when the Coronavirus is in our rear-view mirror, though, research from YouGovsuggests that 18% of employees want to continue working-from-home all of the time after the pandemic, whilst 39% of employees say they’d like to still work-from-home, some of the time, following COVID-19.

Supporting A ‘Work’ Environment

When we think of a work environment, many of us jump to mental images of stationery, printers and seemingly endless pads of sticky notes. When employees work from home, however, there’s an increased risk of the distinction between work and home becoming much more blurred, something which should be avoided if at all possible.

Whilst there’s no explicit onus on the employer to do so, it might be worth keeping your employees, if financially viable, well-stocked with office equipment to keep as much as possible that feeling of ‘professionalism’, even when the kids are throwing a tantrum in the very next room. Here at Lemon, as well as offering our range of personal safety supplies, we also provide a range of workplace stationery and office supplies to keep you and your team of employees fully supplied.

Contact Us For Personal Safety Supplies

So, if you’d like to find out more about the personal safety supplieswe offer, here at Lemon, then get in touch! Contact us today by emailing at info@lemon.co.uk or by calling us on 0333 241 6950. Why not like our page on LinkedIn to keep up to date with the latest products and news?