Covid: keeping up with guidelines

As Health & Safety consultants, we at SML are used to interpreting new legislation and evolving government and industry guidance for our clients, but the pace of change during the Covid19 pandemic has been something of a challenge.

We’ve all been aware in our daily lives of the rapid changes to guidance on what we are allowed to do, where we are allowed to go and who we’re allowed to spend time with when we get there. Following Covid guidelines can become even more complex while running a business and keeping the whole team as safe as possible.

An example of this is in the Manufacturing and Warehouse sector. In November, when the Government stopped issuing Covid guidance as a PDF, there had already been 11 different versions since the first issue in May. It’s been through at least 5 more since, although it’s even harder to track now the document can’t be downloaded.

We did joke at one point that the Government always tried to bring guidance out on a Sunday evening deliberately so we couldn’t be ready for questions from clients at 9am on a Monday morning, but we were always ready!

For our Retail clients, this rapid change has meant guidance changing on a Sunday at the end of Lockdown 1, when all the procedures had already been put in place for re-opening the following day; and more recently, being told at 4.30pm on a Saturday afternoon to close for an unspecified period from Sunday morning for Lockdown 3.

To adapt to the needs of our retail clients, we have provided Covid secure audits and regular remote support, to help them work safely throughout the last 10 months.

As many sectors face constant uncertainty, Manufacturing and Logistics businesses have had the opposite situation. Most of our clients have remained fully operational, to keep supermarkets well stocked with essentials such as milk and flour to produce many home-baked banana bread and sourdough loaves.

Because this is still an evolving situation, we’ve all come to realise that the guidance will change often, and sometimes that change may be rapid.

Helping our clients to adapt to each update of the guidance has been a demanding but at times exciting challenge.

Contact us today for more information on how SML can support your workplace to be safe and compliant all year round and up to date with Covid guidelines.

Staying in the loop