Living with Covid-19 Workplace Safety @ CEME
“I must say the campus is looking rather like an oasis. A retreat for recovery from COVID-19, it is calming and beautiful.”
During the Government’s nationwide lockdown that came into place on the 23rd March 2020, CEME has continued to stay open to enable key sector businesses to operate and support the nation during this period of the COVID-19 Pandemic crisis.
We have been monitoring UK Government advice on a daily basis to ensure we follow best practice, and implement appropriate control measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infections on the campus. As a consequence, the following safety control measures have been initiated:
COVID-19 Risk Assessment
A COVID-19 specific risk assessment has been carried out using the five steps of risk assessment: Look for the Hazards, Who might be Harmed and How, Evaluate the Risks, Record the Findings and, Review. This has been the basis for implementing Health and Safety mitigation controls – with some of the key areas covered below:
The Government’s advice is to maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible. CEME has introduced the following:
- Comprehensive 2m social distancing signage across site including floor signs to the Main Building, Innovation Centre and Launchpad Centre as well as to external walkways.
- A one-way system has been deployed to the main building Street area.
- The CEME workshop access and egress has been adapted to a one-way system.
- Communal furniture has either been removed or repositioned to comply with the 2m rule.
- Toilets have been altered to comply, with hand basins and urinals shut off to maintain 2m distance.
- Turnstiles have been removed to the main building reception to allow for the 2m distance.
- The communal post room has been moved to allow for more space as well as two-way access.
- Barriers have been used on our receptions maintaining a 2m distance.
- Lifts are restricted to one user per lift journey.
- Meeting rooms have been reorganised to maintain 2m distance.
Managing Transmission Risk
Where people cannot be 2m apart, we must manage transmission risk. The following measures have been introduced:
- Protective screens have been installed to reception desk, and will also be installed to the café till areas before reopening.
- Communal fridges and microwaves have been closed off.
- People are encouraged to keep physical activity time where a 2m distance isn’t achievable as short as possible.
- Use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as face coverings and gloves will be utilised where necessary.
Enhanced Cleaning Regimes
Government guidance also advises that cleaning processes are reinforced. CEME has introduced the following:
- A total of 54 additional hand sanitiser stations have been installed across campus.
- Additional cleaning carried out to ‘touch point’ areas across campus such as door handles and hand rails.
- Additional signage instructing best practice for handwashing and personal hygiene standards.
Hospitality and Café Services
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be monitoring occupancy rates on the campus and assess whether the CEME café can re-open. If demand increases, we will aim to offer catering at the earliest opportunity. Please bear in mind that due to the ongoing requirement for social distancing measures, menus will need to be adapted to ensure we mitigate the transmission risk during service. This will include reducing services to grab and go, pre-packaged and pre-ordered items, and closing off self-service areas. More information will follow as the situation progresses.
Test and Trace
Moving forwards we need to think about how best to communicate, contain and protect people should there be a positive COVID-19 case confirmed on the campus, and we have reviewed and considered the Governments current Test and Trace scheme and how this should be managed at CEME.
The Governments Test and Trace scheme provides testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus to find out if they have the virus and gets in touch with anyone who has had a positive test result to help them share information about any close recent contacts they have had. It also alerts those contacts, where necessary, and notifies them they need to self-isolate to help stop the spread of the virus. The scheme is aimed at specific sectors where there is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a longer time in one place, and potentially come into close contact with other people. For further information and to clarify if you fall under these sectors please go to:
Please rest assured CEME will comply with the guidance in relation to its own business activities including conference and events, it’s visitors, staff and contractors, and we please ask you to comply if applicable under the Test and Trace scheme.
Due to the fluidity of the COVID-19 measures we are constantly monitoring Government guidance. Our current policy in the workplace on the use of face coverings in the common areas of the campus is they are optional. We are achieving 2m social distancing where necessary and have additional control measures where 2m is not viable e.g. safety screens, one way systems and partitions. Please note, this policy is being reviewed on a daily basis and is subject to change. We would also encourage every business to follow Government guidance within the workplace and ensure they are taking reasonable measures to manage the virus risk – please click on the link below:
We remain focussed and vigilant working closely with our customers and stakeholders to keep CEME at the forefront of operating a healthy, safe and secure environment for all of us to use, and continue to grow and ideally prosper in these times. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we can continue to support your business, please let us know.
CEME hope you and your close ones keep safe and well throughout this Pandemic and are here to support your business during this challenging time. You are encouraged to start safety planning for your own workplace areas and to follow Government guidance – found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres#offices-3-2
If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Seb Coombs on Commercial matters, or Paul Johnston in relation to Facilities.