Working safely during COVID-19 in labs and research facilities
On Monday 11th May 2020, the government released a guidance document titled, “Working safely during COVID-19 in labs and research facilities.”
We have thoroughly reviewed the government guidance document and will release a series of informative emails throughout this week giving practical advice on how a Covid-secure cleanroom / lab / workstation can be achieved.
If you have a colleague or connection that you feel will benefit from this information, forward them this link so they can sign up to receive this information.
People and their behaviours
When looking at creating a COVID-secure workplace and workstation, the guidance recognises that R&D settings may need to share equipment, but it asks that it is shared by the “smallest number of people” who should keep 2m apart. If your current workstations don’t achieve this, you will either be required to manage your occupancy levels by staggered shifts, or increase your cleanroom footprint to increase capacity.
Practical steps to increase & protect workstations:
- Increase cleanroom capacity with a quick-to-production modular cleanroom or cleanroom extension
- Increase workstations with laminar flow units – inside or outside an existing cleanroom
- Increase workstations with additional tables and chairs
- Protect workstations with cleanroom compatible screens
The guidance recommends “cleaning work stations and shared equipment, where it is feasible to do so.”
Practical steps to encourage cleaning:
- Create extra hand sanitising points
- Create extra cleaning stations for workspaces
- Limit the use of “high-touch items and shared equipment”
The guidance stipulates that “where you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so… When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE. The exception is clinical settings”.
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