Whether we agree with or not, bars restaurants, hotels etc. are now open for business. But are you really ready?
Whether we agree with or not, bars restaurants are now open for business.
The reality is this: People were going to break the rules and go out anyway, this was inevitable and in fact people were doing this already, either at illegal raves, street parties, beach incursions etc. We have all seen the press and we have all heard about it.
So from a sensible safety perspective it is better that it is done through official channels where some kind of safety measures can be put in place. And also where you, the hospitality industry, can rebuild your business. We have suffered enough haven't we?
That's where we come in and we do all the hard work for you, and we will probably save you money as well in guiding you what you actually need and what you don't need.
We have read the guidance for you; in detail. And more than that, we have gained knowledge from our own contacts in the industry and authorities in how they interpret it.
From our own observations it is quite clear that the industry needs help in interpreting the Government and Industry guidance and applying it their own setting.
For instance the Government guidance states clearly "...Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings ...."
On day one of opening we went out and what did we see ? Facemasks galore and face shields. Yes there is a time and place for this, but that is where we come in to advise
When - Where - How
We have already worked with clients in the Midlands to get them Covid compliant and open for business. And of course we are biased in saying that we think our venues are leading the way. But truly from what we saw ourselves they really are. They are not only compliant but they feel more accessible as well.
Your first priority in your business is to protect your staff first. Yes you have a duty of care because you have members of the public enter your premises, but your staff always come first, morally as well as legally.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) defines PPE as: "... equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment ..."
The key aspect here is that PPE protects the user. Facemasks and coverings do not protect the user, they protect others from the user (although that fact is not proven as beneficial enough to justify is exactly that; it is not proven). Thus facemasks are not PPE.
Ah but you say, I'm not wearing those types of facemasks I'm wearing the KN95/N95 rated mask ... Well both those standards do NOT apply in the UK so are not legally compliant (they are Chinese and US standards respectively FYI).
So now we get to the lucky few who have FFP2 rated masks (UK standard); are you and your staff wearing it properly? Regulations detail that close fitting RPE such as disposable or reusable "dust masks" must be both adequate and suitable; the only accepted method to demonstrate that RPE is suitable is to undertake a face-fit test.
And if you have any facial hair at all, even overnight growth, they will never be face-fit compliant.
Look at the picture above? Firstly do we really want to have our industry look like this/ Secondly is it necessary? I think no is the answer to both. We have seen this in operation and we get why people think this should be the "new normal" this wrong and Government guidance also states this. We saw pictures like the above for bar persons, who were then behind bar screens as well, and then with table service nobody was ordering at the bar anyway so complete waste of time. All it will do will cause staff to disengage from wearing it, or wearing it properly anyway.
In fact, with the picture above have you noticed the real problem? This is now has a higher risk then any protection. remember our friend social distancing ? People feel with this "PPE" they can get closer. In fact they have to get closer so they can be heard when they talk, so we are in fact defeating the overall goal of keeping apart.
But don't just take our word for it, watch the behaviour of people with masks ... They walk up to each other wearing them, have to get closer to be heard, then end up dropping them down anyway, completely defeating the object of them at all. And watch staff wearing this in our indoor environments ... constantly adjusting them, touching them, taking them on and off; complete disengagement. There is a time and and a place for these things but only a proper risk assessment process can decide this.
This is where we come in; to produce a risk assessed approach by working with you that is bespoke to your venue as well as being as safe as possible. We work together and we have found that we have actually saved our clients money as well as took their headache away.
Remember "PPE" is the LAST resort; we work with our clients to create and engineer better solutions that not only work better, safer and complaint but also keep the values of hospitality industry being accessible to the public and not a clinical environment. Remember it's hospitality not hospital!
Our bespoke service calls on our qualifications and experience to be able to offer you a real-time accurate assessment that keeps your workers as safe as possible.
It is a duty under regulations to keep your workers safe and our workplace risk assessments cover the new coronavirus situation.
Where work cannot be done at home, we all have to ensure that we make sensible decisions about keeping the economy going; but not at a cost to health of our workers and undue stress to our NHS.
This applies not just now but also when restrictions are eased; it is imperative that when this happens we do so properly and safely.
With testing for everybody not even on the horizon yet, even when it is available it is uncertain how regular and easy it is to perform.
We at All In Safety have developed our own bespoke staff self-checklist, complete with a body temperature indicator muck like you will have seen on the news that other countries have adopted as standard.
This at least gives some assurances of the well being of workers and their infectiousness to others in the workplace.
We aim to dissect the information out there on your behalf. Eliminating the fake news from the real news is essential and for businesses this means adhering to the latest UK advice.
Our H&S knowledge, experience and relevant industry knowledge as well us accurate researching and professional networking means that we are well placed to give you proper "real" advice.
Dangerous myths about coronavirus which are hampering the global fight against the disease.
False claims and conspiracy theories have spread rapidly on social media, touting ‘cures’ like drinking bleach or rubbing mustard and garlic into your skin. These pose a serious risk to health and can speed up the spread of the virus, by stopping people taking simple practical, preventative steps like washing their hands.
The simplest, most effective and accurate advice is:
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
Coronavirus is emerging in more countries around the world and there's currently no known cure. Unfortunately that hasn't stopped a slew of health advice, ranging from useless but relatively harmless, to downright dangerous.
We've been looking at some of the most widespread claims being shared online, and what the science really says.
Lots of posts that recommend eating garlic to prevent infection are being shared on Facebook.
The WHO (World Health Organization) says that while it is "a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties", there's no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the new coronavirus.
In lots of cases, these kinds of remedies aren't harmful in themselves, as long as they aren't preventing you from following evidence-based medical advice. But they have the potential to be.
The South China Morning Post reported a story of a woman who had to receive hospital treatment for a severely inflamed throat after consuming 1.5kg of raw garlic.
We know, in general, that eating fruit and vegetables and drinking water can be good for staying healthy. However, there is no evidence specific foods will help fight this particular virus.
YouTuber Jordan Sather, who has many thousands of followers across different platforms, has been claiming that a "miracle mineral supplement", called MMS, can "wipe out" coronavirus.
It contains chlorine dioxide - a bleaching agent.
Sather and others promoted the substance even before the coronavirus outbreak, and in January he tweeted that, "not only is chlorine dioxide (aka MMS) an effective cancer cell killer, it can wipe out coronavirus too".
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the dangers to health of drinking MMS. Health authorities in other countries have also issued alerts about it.
The FDA says it "is not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness". It warns that drinking them can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and symptoms of severe dehydration.
There have been many reports of shortages of hand sanitiser gel, as washing your hands is one key way to prevent spread of the virus.
As reports of the shortages emerged in Italy, so did recipes for home-made gel on social media.
But these recipes, alleged dupes for one of the country's most popular brands, were for a disinfectant better suited for cleaning surfaces and, as scientists pointed out, not suitable for use on skin.
Alcohol-based hand gels usually also contain emollients, which make them gentler on skin, on top of their 60-70% alcohol content.
Professor Sally Bloomfield, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says she does not believe you could make an effective product for sanitising hands at home - even vodka only contains 40% alcohol.
For cleaning surfaces, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says most common household disinfectants should be effective.
The use of colloidal silver was promoted on US televangelist Jim Bakker's show. Colloidal silver is tiny particles of the metal suspended in liquid. A guest on the show claimed the solution kills some strains of coronavirus within 12 hours (while admitting it hadn't yet been tested on Covid-19).
The idea that it could be an effective treatment for coronavirus has been widely shared on Facebook, particularly by "medical freedom" groups which are deeply suspicious of mainstream medical advice.
Proponents of colloidal silver claim it can treat all kinds of health conditions, act as an antiseptic, and state it helps the immune system. There are some occasional uses of silver in healthcare, for example in bandages applied to wounds, but that doesn't mean it's effective to consume.
There's clear advice from the US health authorities that there's no evidence this type of silver solution is effective for any health condition. More importantly, it could cause serious side effects including kidney damage, seizures and argyria - a condition that makes your skin turn blue.
They say that, unlike iron or zinc, silver is not a metal that has any function in the human body.
Some of those promoting the substance for general health on social media have found their posts now generate a pop-up warning from Facebook's fact-checking service.
One post, copied and pasted by multiple Facebook accounts, quotes a "Japanese doctor" who recommends drinking water every 15 minutes to flush out any virus that might have entered the mouth. A version in Arabic has been shared more than 250,000 times.
Professor Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford says there is "no biological mechanism" that would support the idea that you can just wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach and kill it.
Infections like coronaviruses enter the body via the respiratory tract when you breathe in. Some of them might go into your mouth, but even constantly drinking water isn't going to prevent you from catching the virus.
Nonetheless, drinking water and staying hydrated is generally good medical advice.
There are lots of variations of the advice suggesting heat kills the virus, from recommending drinking hot water to taking hot baths, or using hairdryers.
One post, copied and pasted by dozens of social media users in different countries - and falsely attributed to Unicef - claims that drinking hot water and exposure to the sun will kill the virus, and says ice cream is to be avoided.
Charlotte Gornitzka, who works for Unicef on coronavirus misinformation, says: "A recent erroneous online message...purporting to be a Unicef communication appears to indicate that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue." We know the flu virus doesn't survive well outside the body during the summer, but we don't yet know how heat impacts the new coronavirus.
Trying to heat your body or expose yourself to the sun - presumably to make it inhospitable to the virus - is completely ineffective, according to Prof Bloomfield. Once the virus is in your body, there's no way of killing it - your body just has to fight it off.
Outside the body, "to actively kill the virus you need temperatures of around 60 degrees [Celsius]", says Professor Bloomfield - far hotter than any bath. Washing bed linen or towels at 60C is a good idea, as this can kill any viruses in the fabric. But it's not a good option for washing your skin.
And having a hot bath or drinking hot liquids won't change your actual body temperature, which remains stable unless you are already ill.
Additional research by BBC Monitoring