As per the government guidelines on returning to work, those working in construction, manufacturing and retail (which meet specific criteria), are now encouraged to return to work where it is feasible and safe to do so, and where appropriate social distancing measures have been put in place.
The guidance for working safely during coronavirus sets out mitigating actions businesses will need to take to be ‘COVID-secure’ and reduce risk of virus transmission.
The new guidance and actions to take include:
- further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning
- 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 (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
- reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
The guidance applies to businesses which are currently open and will also help those currently closed to consider what their operations need to look like when they are allowed to open in the, hopefully not too distant, future.
With the guidelines including the use of screens or barriers to separate people from each other, Westgate consulted with customers across the UK in construction, manufacturing, warehousing and retail to understand potential requirements. Many companies are looking for practical and cost-effective screen solutions to increase activity in a controlled and safe way, whilst putting employee health and wellbeing at the forefront of their plans.
Based on the feedback we received, Westgate designed and manufactured two types of ‘social distancing screens’ (with, or without a vision panel) using their market leading Hoardfast uPVC panel.
Hoardfast Social Distancing Screens can be used to support increased safe working and achieve the new guidance set out by the government in the following ways;
Maintaining social distancing in high traffic areas
The key objective to maintain social distancing wherever possible means that businesses now need to regulate and control the flow of people moving around and enable one-way systems in high traffic areas. Hoardfast Social Distancing Screens can be configured to suit any number of applications and environments to provide physical barriers and demarcation at entrances/exits, walkways, corridors and stairwells etc.
Enable close proximity working
Where it is not possible to maintain a 2m distance, screens should be used to separate employees or customers from each other. Hoardfast’s free-standing screens provide a physical barrier, however to maintain a friendly working atmosphere and reduce the feeling of isolation (and providing easier communication where needed too), Westgate incorporated a transparent upper section in the design.
Reducing risk in employee welfare facilities
Employees will need to take breaks further apart from each other and potentially in fixed teams, reducing the number of people each person comes into contact with. Hoardfast Social Distancing Screens can be rapidly deployed to businesses to create barriers quickly and easily in welfare facilities or common areas such as canteens.
Hoardfast Social Distancing Screens are already helping businesses protect employees and customers by implementing social distancing requirements to maintain safety.
Hoardfast Social Distancing Screens are designed to reduce the risk of transmission and keep employees and customers safe. Screens are free-standing with no need to fix to the floor and are readily available for distribution across the UK. Screens with vision panel are available in two standard sizes: 1.5m or 2m wide x 1.9m high. Screens without vision panel are available in three standard sizes: 1m, 1.5m or 2m wide x 2.25m high.
Supplied preassembled and ready to use, screens can be configured as required depending on the business needs e.g. placed side-by-side or in a dog leg. Screens are also suitable for adding company branding and graphics to promote employee or customer messages.
Screens are hygienic and wipeable for easy surface cleaning (our Hoardfast uPVC panels are approved and used by the NHS in several Nightingale hospitals) and are also fully recyclable at end of life.
Suitable for construction sites, factories, warehouses and a range of consumer and public environments including offices, retail (including supermarkets, DIY and clothing stores), restaurants, take away and fast food establishments, cafes and coffee shops, education facilities and schools (including nurseries, colleges and universities), hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms, leisure centres, family attractions and more.
Essential work can continue with the right precautions in place…