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Davidfilce  
#1 Posted : 19 May 2020 10:46:09(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Davidfilce

The Offices and Contact Centre guidance for COVID19 states (as do all guidance notes) "Staff should work from home if at all possible. Consider who is needed to be on-site; for example: • Workers in roles critical for business and operational continuity, safe facility management, or regulatory requirements and which cannot be performed remotely"

At what point does an office worker become critical such that they need to attend work raher than work from home?

The term "critical" is quite subjective and means different things to a CEO, Office Manager and a H&S Professional!!

There may be a push to get as many staff back to the office with little of no regard as to the "critical" nature of their role or not as the case may be. At some point the word "critical" may bleed into "easier to manage".

As discussions progress to bring staff back into the office, I think all we as H&S professionals can do is to advise how the guidance reads and how it should be applied, but the final decision regarding the "critical" nature of each individual will remain with the office management

Kate  
#2 Posted : 19 May 2020 11:46:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I imagine the guidance may change in future from in effect "work from home if you possibly can" to the lines of "work from home unless this is detrimental to your effectiveness or efficiency".

Actually needing to go in, and it just being preferable to go in, are two different things to me, although as you say, there will be different views on where the dividing line is.

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 19/05/2020(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#3 Posted : 19 May 2020 11:49:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Our/my interpretation for my factory is as follows:-

  • Those needed for the company to run safely and efficiently

From our point of view this is as follows

  • Sufficent factory floor workers that we can get the orders out and still keep them socially distanced and safe. We are at around 25% capacity, since the orders have dried up anyway.
  • Any office staff that cannot work from home and are needed for the business to still function (in reality this is myself (H&S), the quality manager, factory manager and a director. All sales, ordering etc. are working from home.
  • sufficient supervisors to ensure the rules are followed and the work is carried out correctly (around 1 per 10 people)

As we get more controls in, or as guidance is relaxed we will start introducing more people back into the workplace. I have been very candid with the directors that I will not sanction more workers than we can keep safe.

Mark-W  
#4 Posted : 25 May 2020 19:36:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

I have to visit a client to orrow to conduct a RA on the office, notmally there are 20 people in. With a mixture of main office and side offices, side offices usually have 2 or 3 in each space with the rst in the main room.

What are people doing with desks that are adjacent to the route walked through the office? I know there is 1 manager sat close to the photocopier/printer that services the office. Without measuring it he's on or about 2m from it. But this manager is adament he's not moving.

Also they have a manager whose wife is a care home manager. I've suggested that he carry on working from home for the time being as he's not essential. But the MD is telling me that he's not a threat and I should ignore the fact about his wife and her employment.

I pointed out that he has to provide a safe place to work, and that if staff aren't happy with the RA and protocols in place then he can't force them to come back to work.

Whats the best way of approaching this? I know I can offer all the advice in the world but they are under no legal obligation to follow any of it

Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 25 May 2020 20:48:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Stupid is as stupid does - make your recommendations as documented advice and take the money.

As you do not own the company you personally cannot make anything happen - they could choose to dump your documented advice straight in the bin - they have paid for it and can do as they wish.

TBH there are things within this employment circle that can be controlled and influenced - there are also things without which in a moral world we would seek to control but the expediency of a commercial setting dictates should be ignored.

Any concern about transmission from the care home should be tempered with the understanding that any member of staff from the office could be exposed shopping/excercising etc. to any other member of the care home OR hospital OR.......

Zero risk = Zero exposure = Zero business

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Mark-W on 27/05/2020(UTC), Mark-W on 27/05/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 25 May 2020 20:48:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Stupid is as stupid does - make your recommendations as documented advice and take the money.

As you do not own the company you personally cannot make anything happen - they could choose to dump your documented advice straight in the bin - they have paid for it and can do as they wish.

TBH there are things within this employment circle that can be controlled and influenced - there are also things without which in a moral world we would seek to control but the expediency of a commercial setting dictates should be ignored.

Any concern about transmission from the care home should be tempered with the understanding that any member of staff from the office could be exposed shopping/excercising etc. to any other member of the care home OR hospital OR.......

Zero risk = Zero exposure = Zero business

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Mark-W on 27/05/2020(UTC), Mark-W on 27/05/2020(UTC)
AcornsConsult  
#7 Posted : 26 May 2020 07:34:46(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
AcornsConsult

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post

What are people doing with desks that are adjacent to the route walked through the office? I know there is 1 manager sat close to the photocopier/printer that services the office. Without measuring it he's on or about 2m from it. But this manager is adament he's not moving.

Also they have a manager whose wife is a care home manager. I've suggested that he carry on working from home for the time being as he's not essential. But the MD is telling me that he's not a threat and I should ignore the fact about his wife and her employment.

I pointed out that he has to provide a safe place to work, and that if staff aren't happy with the RA and protocols in place then he can't force them to come back to work.

Whats the best way of approaching this? I


well, you have been good enough to put your views and reasoning down in writing.  Perhaps you could encourage the MD to commit their views to paper as well and see what happens.  

As for offices, rooms and other spaces, a colleague is in the process of reviewing all their office spaces and putting labels on the doors as to the max No of people it can accomodate whilst maintaining the SD.  Those rooms that need to exceed the SD No then have additional reviews and measures as needed.  Means everyone knows what is happening.
thanks 1 user thanked AcornsConsult for this useful post.
Mark-W on 27/05/2020(UTC)
RayRapp  
#8 Posted : 26 May 2020 08:18:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

The official government guidance as of 11th May does not use the term 'critical' worker, it only states 'work from home if you can'. Guidance as follows:

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhJGJ74rR6QIVDO3tCh1vPgMDEAAYASAAEgI61PD_BwE

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