Five ways to re-open your business safely after lockdown

By Phil Scoble

Introduction

Although timescales are still unclear, British businesses will soon begin to reopen, as the coronavirus pandemic recedes. 

However, ‘reopen’ does not mean ‘open as normal’ because there are many things that you need to consider before you do. 

  • Social distancing is going to remain a fact of life for the foreseeable future – possibly for up to a year
  • Until there is a widely-available vaccine for Coronavirus, hand sanitization and other precautions are not going to be relaxed

As a business owner, it’s vital you think about how you are going to make your premises/business operations safe. You need to do this for both your staff and customers. It’s also important to do it in a way that allows you to return to something approaching normality. 

Below we outline the five things you can do to mitigate risk whilst opening your business:

1: Hand Sanitation 

Adding hand sanitation to strategic points in your business is a quick win. Due to the way the virus transfers, hand sanitation is vital for creating a safe environment. If your business has different focuses at different points of the day or week, movable sanitation points can give you flexibility.  There’s also the option now to sterilise the air in your premises, with a new generation of machines which work 24/7 to remove harmful bacteria and viruses from any environment – check out these machines from Hygenikx.

2: Cart/trolley/ basket disinfectant dispensers

Items used by multiple people are the highest risk of passing on an infection. So protect against this by providing extra sanitation opportunities for every customer/user. These can be used for: 

  • Trolleys/baskets/carts used in shops
  • Items used by multiple members of a team e.g. scanners in warehouses
  • Items that are passed from one member of a team to another e.g. items on a  manufacturing line

3: Barriers

For many businesses, using a one-way system is going to be vital to maintain social distance. Barriers are a key part of this solution. 

The quickest and easiest way to introduce a one way system is to use lightweight tensator barriers, which can be changed as needed. Many stores will need to experiment with the best route through their store as customers come up against problems/issues with the route chosen. By using tensators, you can quickly adjust your setup to make it easier and safer. 

4: Floor decals

Use stickers on the floor to encourage customers to maintain social distance.  Simple, hardwearing floor decals can show easy to follow instructions to maintain the proper distance from other customers and staff. They also work well within warehouses and manufacturing environments to remind staff of correct procedure. 

5: Increase signage

The pandemic situation is strange and stressful. This makes remembering the correct procedures difficult when we go into a familiar environment. Increase the amount of signs you use to help customers and staff get into the good habits of social distancing and hand sanitation. Use Free standing signs, wall signs, and space around hand sanitisers to creatively boost the simple message of social distancing. 

Conclusion

If you are thinking of opening up your business again during the coronavirus pandemic, consider these five steps to make a safe transition to operating again: 

1: increase hand sanitation stations

2: Provide stations to sanitise items that are used by multiple people, such as trolleys or baskets

3: Create a one way system around your premises with simple barriers and enforce it

4: Use floor decals to indicate where customers or staff should stand whilst maintaining social distance

5: Increase signage. Double down on the basic messages of social distancing using freestanding signage and real estate near hand sanitation stations

If you follow these five principles, you should be able to open in a responsible manner that keeps your customers and staff safe.

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