PROSPER MAGAZINE: SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION
HELPING THE BLACK COUNTRY RETURN TO WORK SAFELY
FBC Manby Bowdler, the Wolverhampton based law firm and Chamber partner in the regions ‘Making More’ manufacturing campaign, is supporting manufacturing employers to return safely to work as Black Country businesses navigate new guidance issued this week as lockdown eased.
The award-winning law firm says firms need to follow the Government’s new ‘COVID-19 Safe’ advice to ensure employee safety.
But FBC Manby Bowdler Partner Julia Fitzsimmons said that with guidance emerging and changing so regularly, it has been challenging for employers to implement.
Julia said the firm’s employment team had been called upon to support businesses working in different industries, where sometimes guidance wasn’t clear.
The firm launched its Ask FBCMB campaign last month in a bid to help businesses and families during the Covid-19 crisis. It also hosts the region’s largest legal FAQ resources at www.fbcmb.co.uk/coronavirus-help and has launched a new survey to find out how it can further support employers in the weeks ahead.
She told Prosper, “In the first instance, it is important to stress that where an employee can work from home, they should still do so. But this is not always possible and in sectors such as manufacturing, it is likely that most employees will need to be in the workplace to carry out their duties. Many of our clients never closed, and those are the companies which have already adapted to new guidance.
“As other factories and workplaces reopen, they must try to keep everyone two metres apart wherever possible and avoiding overcrowding. If that cannot be done, introduce ways of working which avoid face-to-face contact and reduce transmission risk, such as placing workstations back to back or side by side.
“Handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser should be readily available, and staff should be regularly reminded to use them. Workplace cleaning should also be stepped up.
“Workers should be kept in the same teams as much as possible and new shifts can be introduced to help limit the number of staff on-site at any one time.
“It’s vital that staff are fully briefed on new working practices and know that they should not travel to work if they suspect they have the virus.
“We know that lots of companies in our area will have very many questions which the new guidelines don’t specifically answer, and we would urge them to get in touch with us so that we can do everything we can to get them back to work safely.”
Businesses are being invited to complete the short survey here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7KRRS32
Julia Fitzsimmons Partner
FBC Manby Bowdler