As businesses plan their return to work following months of coronavirus restrictions, Bureau Veritas has launched a new service to help retailers meet the robust health and safety standards required to safely restart their operations.
It comes as the UK government prepares to end the coronavirus lockdown by drawing up guidelines for the safe return of employees to different working environments. According to latest reports, the guidance, which has yet to be published, will differ according to each company’s operating environment. It will, however, seek to maintain social distancing, variable shift patterns, encouragement of continued homeworking and strict hygiene practices.
As such, committed to helping the retail industry navigate the current conflicting advice on resuming operations, global health and safety expert Bureau Veritas has developed its new ‘Return To Work Assurance’ solution.
The service provides a voluntary, independent assessment of a firm’s COVID-19 readiness to re-open their business premises, with a statement of assurance issued on completion that can be displayed on its website and at its properties. The scheme covers best practice measures required by firms to meet the local and international standards on managing coronavirus risks in the workplace. These include hygiene, disinfection and cleaning assessment, social distancing best practice, personal protection equipment requirements as well as employee specific risk assessment.
Ken Smith, UK chief executive at Bureau Veritas UK, said: “As we emerge from lockdown, which is currently in its sixth week, for almost all businesses across the UK, the urgent priority will be how to get back to work as quickly as possible and with appropriate health, safety and hygiene measures in place to protect their employees and their clients.
“Safely restarting business amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic remains unchartered territory for many, including for retail outlets and warehousing facilities. That’s why, we’ve created our Return To Work Assurance solution to aid business owners, property managers and employers to put in place hygiene, safety, maintenance and regulatory processes that will ensure a safe working and trading environment.”
One of the key challenges for firms planning on resuming operations, says Bureau Veritas, has been deciphering conflicting advice on appropriate health and safety measures required in the workplace, which is impacting organisations operating across multiple countries in particular.
Smith adds: “With many nations across the world having their own policies, regulations and standards on managing coronavirus risks, this can leave many multinational organisations confused as to the correct action to take. Luckily, as a global leader in compliance operating in more than 140 countries, our Return To Work assurance scheme can provide solutions tailored for specific sector and geographical needs. We’d urge all our new and existing client to make use of this fantastic new service.”