Kathryn Gilbertson

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Social distancing advice for employers whose workers continue to travel to work in private vehicles or carpooling

Coronavirus / 15 April 2020

Social distancing advice for employers whose workers continue to travel to work in private vehicles or carpooling
Public Health England (PHE) has published guidance and examples to show how social distancing and other measures might be implemented by employers in England to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus whilst continuing to trade. This article focuses on advice for workers continuing to travel to work in private vehicles and/or carpooling.

Maintaining social distancing wherever possible remains the key message from the PHE. However, it is recognised that on many forms of transport, it may not always be possible to stay 2m apart from colleagues or other passengers. Practical tips for workers to continue trading whilst using transport include:

– If workers must share closed spaces, such as in a car or van, they should keep the windows open for ventilation, face away from one another if possible and be careful to avoid touching their face at all times;
– On leaving the vehicle, they should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer where they cannot wash their hands;
– Those carrying out essential travel to work (which cannot be done at home), should try and travel alone. Where workers have no option but to share a car to travel to work, journeys should be shared with the same individuals and with the minimum number of people at any time; and
– Vehicles that are being used by multiple households should be cleaned regularly using gloves and cleaning products with particular emphasis on handles and other areas where passengers may touch surfaces.

The PHE guidance also includes tailored advice for different sectors including: shops running pick-up or delivery services, tradespeople, manufacturing and processing businesses and waste management amongst others. We also discussed the practical realities of social distancing on a construction site in our last Foundations update.

Our Regulatory experts are on hand to provide urgent advice in respect of your obligations as an employer from a health and safety perspective. Please do get in touch.

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