Contacting CIRAS is a step towards resolving your health, safety and wellbeing concerns.
Since March, people have been getting in touch with CIRAS about what’s concerning them when it comes to staying safe at work during the pandemic. Speaking to our analysts is only the first step in helping you to get your concerns heard confidentially – and action being taken. We pass your concerns in confidence to the company that your concern is about, whether it’s your employer or a different one such as a company you are working for as a contractor.
Here are two Covid-19 concerns that people raised with us recently – and what happened next.
One concern was about the cleaning regime at operational offices in a specific area of Britain. The person raising this concern said that they were only cleaned once a day and sometimes not at all on weekends. They didn’t believe this was often enough for offices that are open 24/7 with staff commuting there.
They were also worried that staff may not be adequately protected from the virus and highlighted the use of equipment such as headsets.
The result they wanted: more frequent, deep cleaning targeting high-risk areas.
In response, the company said that as the Covid-19 crisis emerged, they had moved quickly to double the cleaning and that the new, second clean is targeted to Public Health England guidance on high-contact surfaces. The second clean is also aligned to staff shift changes and there are new working patterns for the cleaning supplier to give more attention to high-contact surfaces.
The company also said they had established a reactive cleaning process to respond if anyone seemed to show symptoms of Covid-19 in the workplace, to swiftly decontaminate any area where they had been, and that they had started to use a new surface cleaner that provides 30-day protection against bacteria and viruses.
Another concern was about work taking place even though the person contacting CIRAS believed it was not essential and could potentially expose employees to the virus.
They also highlighted a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks or gloves, that might help prevent people working on the project becoming infected.
The result they wanted: clarification of whether the project is ‘essential’; staff to be briefed on two-metre social distancing and encouraged to keep this distance while working; and staff to be provided with adequate PPE.
The company said they had briefed all staff on projects to explain why they are working and why it was deemed essential. They said they would reinforce this briefing to the workforce to make sure everyone understood, with records kept, and that they had already put in place Covid-19 controls including social distancing.
They said they would make PPE masks available if two-metre social distancing was not possible but would prefer that social distancing is maintained. The company added that they had introduced further cleaning of welfare areas including regular deep cleans.
Concerned about something? Contact CIRAS
Hotline: 0800 4 101 101
Textline: 07507 285 887
- Health and Wellbeing
- Person's Environment