After these last few weeks of isolation, FTS is looking forward to hearing that the Government will be lifting the lockdown in maybe a limited form or plan. Like so many, it has been a tough time for our team, with minimal work, but we know it has been necessary to #stayathome. One thing that we are sure about is that there will never be the same normal that we have been used to prior to this situation, once the lockdown is lifted, social distancing may continue for a few more weeks or even months.
Here at FTS Safety Solutions we have still been operating even though it has been a limited service mainly when we were required to attend emergency callouts to fire alarms and also the scheduled servicing of building fire detection systems. These visits were to ensure that buildings continue to be safe and are ready for employees to return to work.
We haven’t been idle though, we have been using this time to revise and improve our procedures both internally and externally which will reflect in the service that we provide to our customers ensuring that they continue to receive a professional service and continue to give our clients the knowledge that they are “Safe in our Hands”.
When the Lockdown is Lifted what safety measures do we need to consider?
I know it is a word that has been overused, but we really are experiencing unprecedented times. When was the last time your office stood empty for over a month with everyone working from home? I am willing to bet never. There are going to be a few considerations for the responsible person for Health and Safety or the Duty Holder and here we will list some of the more immediate concerns when we start to phase back into some form of normality:
Water Hygiene and Legionella Risk Assessments
One thing that business owners and duty holders should consider before they re-open their building, especially if it has been closed for a number of weeks is a check on the water system. Periods of inactivity can cause water systems to stagnate even if these systems were drained out beforehand, there could well be pockets of water remaining where dangerous bacteria can thrive.
A lot of companies will have sent their staff home with equipment from the office, once the equipment is returned to the main place of work, there should be a consideration of getting the equipment checked over.
All staff should complete a user check before using equipment left in the office and conduct regular visual checks on the electronic equipment they have been using at home, As business owners how do you know if the electrical equipment is safe to use? How was it used at home, remember there may have been children running around the kitchen table, drinks may have been spilt, all of these are unknown so it is recommended that a new inspection of the electrical equipment is completed.
If this inspection fell whilst the business premises were closed it is important to get this inspection scheduled in.
Again, before the business premises fully reopens it would be good practice to consider having the fire safety equipment be checked. Fire Extinguishers may have been due for service while the building was closed, these need to be checked and the annual service will need to be completed, the same consideration needs to be made for the half yearly and/or annual Fire Alarm and Emergency Lighting inspections and servicing.
There will no doubt be a whole host of logistical matters to consider when we all phase back into some form of normality. In all the hectic activity don’t forget about the normal health and safety processes. They are in place for a reason!
Until next time… Stay safe!