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Updated Guidelines published to help organisations work safely

Version 2 of BSI’s Safe Working Guidelines has been published to help organisations protect people at work from the ongoing coronavirus risks, mitigate outbreaks and build long-term resilience.

The newly updated Guidelines include hundreds of contributions from experts across industry, academia, and governments globally, to consolidate practical guidance and experiences from the pandemic. In addition to safety planning and assessment of risks, it now provides advice on managing suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in all workplaces, including at home and in mobile settings.  

The Guidelines include recommendations to:

  • Treat any person who becomes unwell in the workplace as potentially having COVID-19
  • Ensure suitable PPE is provided for first aiders
  • Isolate the person who is unwell and provide them with a face mask
  • Require the affected person to go home (or to a medical facility)
  • Establish if an affected worker has been in close contact with other workers and support those workers to self-isolate
  • Ensure the areas the affected person has been in are either isolated or cleaned
  • Provide clear guidance on when it is safe for a worker who has had COVID-19 to return to work.

The Guidelines state that reasonable adjustments should be made to support workers returning to work after contracting COVID-19, taking into account their physical and psychological needs. One such example is allowing flexible work hours and time off.

Scott Steedman, director of Standards at BSI said: “This week, as many organisations reopen their doors to customers and staff, we are faced with the challenge of protecting the public by helping to prevent work-related outbreaks of the virus. Working with technical experts, BSI has set out clear and practical guidance for organisations to mitigate the risks of COVID-19, minimise transmission, and manage suspected and confirmed cases”.     

The Guidelines highlight the need to make sure safety measures are inclusive and accessible to everyone, and to recognise the importance of workers’ psychological health and well-being. It also includes new guidance on:

  • Safe use of toilets
  • Working from home
  • Reporting to external parties.

Working with an Advisory Group, BSI will continue to revise the Guidelines, as often as necessary, to reflect the dynamic situation. Each revision will take into account public feedback, government guidance, the level of risk, and emerging knowledge. The third Version of the guidelines is expected to publish in August.

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