Posted at 19 May 2020

STOP! Keep your distance

Paul Skade
By Richard Ludlam
Marketing Manager

Intrigued by all things engineering, as a youngster I originally looked to understand how things work then, how to make them work better.

After time in eng...

Read full bio

As humans, social interaction is something that we are accustomed too. We see and speak with people more often than we don’t. But during the lockdown period, interaction with others has been limited, especially for those working from home.


Over the past few weeks, months for many, we have placed ourselves in isolated environments, where we have full control over who we see, how close we get to others and so on. But there’s no doubt that our home environments are completely different to our working ones, unless you usually work from home that is.

The moment we step back into our normal work surroundings, the first thing you’ll notice is the amount of people. This immediately makes it more difficult to adhere to social distancing guidelines. However, employers have a duty to reduce risk to its very lowest by taking preventative measures. But that also doesn’t mean we as individuals have no responsibility. Common sense still has a great part to play.

For Part 2 of the ‘Return To Work Safely’ Series, we address what measures should be put in place with immediate effect, and what is available to support you on your journey for a safe workplace.

Important first steps

Let’s start at the beginning; arriving at your place of work. An idea to consider could be to stagger arrival times of your employees, this way, social distancing can be maintained easier. Same goes for departure times and break allowances. The less people in an area simultaneously the better. Discuss with your colleagues and devise a simple plan that suits the needs of all.

Next steps; reduce congestion. We suggest using visible markings – signs, tapes, retractable barriers, stencils and paints are all available in the ERIKS Working Safely brochure – to layout a clear and concise one-way workflow, to avoid unnecessary contact. Adapt your floor plan accordingly to suit your operations. Why not introduce ‘Work Zones’ and delegate specific tasks to employees. This will limit movement if staff can complete jobs in a single dedicated area. 

On with the job

Multi-person activity should be avoided where possible, but we do understand that this can’t always be the case. Therefore, keep activity as short as possible and minimise your group size to a maximum of two people. You could even consider operating with fixed teams or partnering systems.

If you are unable to operate with a 2m space, either work back-to-back or side-to-side, this will reduce face-to-face contact and help you manage transmission risks more effectively. Employers could also introduce barrier systems or partitions in shared spaces. Check out the latest brochure to see what products we have readily available from stock.

Sharing stationary is a daily occurrence. Countless times we’ve borrowed pens, highlighters or even answered someone else phone. We know it might sound silly, but this is now classed as a transmission risk, so please only use your own personal items.

Due a visit?

One of the first steps taken during this pandemic was to limit visitations, and this still stands. Where possible continue to operate remotely utilising software such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Facetime etc. At ERIKS, we are fully equipped with the latest technologies, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. But in the event that a visit is essential, new procedures must be explained thoroughly to visitors and any meetings should be conducted in a well-ventilated area.

To maximise productivity, it may be worth undertaking many of the above before your employees re-enter the premises. We understand that this may not be possible, as many of you have already returned, but installing these measures at the earlier stage, will only provide benefits moving forward.

Don’t forget, these measures apply to all parts of your business. We are all in this together, so no one should be exempt from these, now, very important protocols. If you wish to discuss your options, please call our MRO & Safety Equipment business unit on 0121 508 6000. Don’t forget to check back for Part 3, Personal Protection Equipment.

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