This procedure has been drawn up by reference to the Government’s guidance, in particular “Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres”. The aim of the procedure is to ensure that risks are controlled so that both visitors and staff remain safe when visitors attend Council buildings.
Who does this procedure apply to?
It applies to all business visits to Council buildings. Separate procedures exist for residents and members of the public, and for contractors. Staff involved in co-ordinating visits should ensure that the steps set out in this policy are adhered to.
If you are visiting a Council building to see a different organisation, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Police, or tenants of the Retford Enterprise Centre, please liaise with them directly regarding their arrangements for business visits.
Control of Risks
The Council’s approach to controlling risks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic is in accordance with the following hierarchy, starting from the top:
|Elimination||Eg: closing council buildings|
|Substitution||Eg: holding meetings on-line or by phone rather than face-to-face|
|Engineering Controls||Eg: ensuring social distancing – 2 metres gap|
|Administrative Controls||Eg: reducing the number of people in the building|
|PPE||Personal protective equipment is the least effective measure|
In accordance with this hierarchy, access to Council buildings for business visits will be managed as follows:
The main Council buildings will not be open to visitors except by prior appointment. This includes Queen’s Buildings at Worksop, the One Stop Shop at Retford and Carlton Forest House at Carlton-in-Lindrick. It also includes the two town halls at Worksop and Retford.
Wherever possible, business will be conducted remotely, rather than face-to-face. The Council can facilitate this through use of Microsoft Teams, Skype meetings or by phone, as well as through written communications.
Engineering and Administrative Controls for Visits
Where a face-to-face business meeting is necessary at a Council building, this will be arranged in advance.
In advance of the meeting you will be given details of how the visit will be managed so you know what to expect.
On arrival at the Council, you will be met by a member of staff at the entrance, whilst maintaining social distancing.
- Please do not visit the Council if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. This includes:
- a high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back), or
- a new, continuous cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours), or
- a loss or change in your sense of smell and/or taste (either you cannot smell or taste anything, or things taste or smell different to normal).
- Most people with Covid-19 have one or more of these symptoms.
On arrival at the Council you will be asked to confirm that you do not have any symptoms before you enter.
Upon entry you will notice that there are markings and signs asking you to observe social distancing and to wash your hands or use the hand sanitiser provided.
A record will be kept of your details including name and contact number, and the date and time of the visit to comply with test and trace requirements.
Meetings will take place with protective measures in place. This will include social distancing, and may take place with screening in place, depending on the circumstances.
The Council has a limited number of areas available for meetings, and due to the need to clean them between use, the number of meetings and visits that can take place each day will be limited.
To safeguard visitors and staff, the number of attendees at a meeting is restricted to those for whom attendance is strictly necessary. Please consider this when attending and if possible, come alone when you visit.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Personal protective equipment will be provided to staff if necessary, according to the job requirements.
Face Coverings / Face Masks
All visitors will be required to wear a face covering / face mask in the Reception/ground floor area of Council premises, in line with Government guidance. Upon exiting Reception/ground floor, face coverings can be removed at your discretion.
Customer Services/Security staff working within the Reception area will wear a face covering or be behind a screen when greeting visitors. Other Council staff are not required to wear a face covering / face mask whilst working on Council premises, although they may do so if they wish.
Last Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020