The Isle of Man is currently in Level Zero of its response to Coronavirus, and there are no restrictions on the types of businesses that can open, or settings in which work can be undertaken.
Although there are currently no Government mandated restrictions to observe, all businesses, are encouraged to follow the below best practices and ensure that the risk to their staff and customers is managed and mitigated as a priority.
Level Zero at a glance - what this means for businesses.
- Continue to undertake risk assessments regarding COVID risks to your staff and customers
- Ensure you have facilities to support strong hygiene practices for staff and customers
- Help support staff and customers to make positive choices - this might be providing choice around working from home (to reduce daily contact and risk), or providing the ability for them to use face coverings as a matter of personal choice.
- Consider holding meetings virtually, where possible. If not, consider allowing people to sit with space between them and ensure there is good ventilation in the meeting room
- Think about maintaining a good cleaning regime in shared areas, particularly kitchens and bathrooms
- Promote positive messages to help support staff and customers making choices around these risks
- Ensure employees know that they must stay at home if unwell and encourage staff to know what these symptoms are
- Ensure you have up to date staff records and where possible attendance records for contact tracing
- Consider how best to ensure good ventilation in your premises and fresh air as part of your risk assessments
- Consider the use of floor markers so that customers can understand space, and to be prepared should further restrictions be required
- Consider that some staff and customers may be more comfortable if screens were available for the general public
- Consider that some customers may welcome the use of one way systems if your business becomes a crowded space which would otherwise deter customers from attending
- Make sure if your staff are attending home visits that they practice extra precautions and think about wearing a mask and regularly washing their hands.
On this page:
- Cleaning and hygiene arrangements
- Water Systems and Legionnaires’ disease
- Masks and PPE
- Physical distancing
- Contact Tracing
- Provide clear guidance for employees both ahead of reopening and once open
- Dealing with employees who become unwell on the premises
- How to raise a concern
- Guidance for emergency work in the homes of people who are self-isolating or are in a vulnerable group
Cleaning and hygiene arrangements
It is recommended that all businesses should perform a risk assessment prior to reopening and before asking employees to return to work, to determine whether activities should proceed.
Businesses are encouraged to continue to operate good cleaning and hygiene practices. Good cleaning and hygiene arrangements include:
- Undertaking regular cleaning and sanitation schedules especially of key touch points
- Ensuring that communal areas such as staff toilets, kitchens, staff rooms, changing rooms and shower facilities are regularly subject to enhanced cleaning regimes for particularly door handles, locks and the toilet flushes
- Ensuring staff practise additional hand washing
- Preserving sanitation stations for staff and visitors around the facility. This can include and is not limited to; every entrance and exit, internal zone and canteen or communal area
- Providing additional ‘pop-up’ indoor and outdoor hand washing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap and water or hand sanitiser
- Placing clear signage throughout the building or establishment to remind staff and customers to practice good hygiene regimes
- Encouraging good room ventilation. It is suggested windows and doors are regularly opened for ventilation where possible and air conditioning systems are set to an optimal setting for using fresh air rather than recirculating old air. Please refer to the Ventilation in the Workplace Guidance for more information. The Health and Safety Executive also provides advice on ventilation and air conditioning.
Please note that special guidance applies for cleaning the office after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Water Systems and Legionnaires’ disease
When buildings reopen, it is essential that water systems are not put back into use without considering the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. There is an increased risk of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella bacteria being present as a consequence of the conditions that lockdown may have created. As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is the potential for increased number of people to be susceptible to Legionnaires’ disease due to a compromised respiratory system during or after infection with COVID-19.
Please follow the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health guidance on Legionnaires’ disease for further information.
Masks and PPE
There is increasing evidence that wearing a non-medical face covering prevents the wearer from unknowingly passing on the virus to other people. There is also some evidence that it may prevent the wearer from catching COVID-19.
Although masks will no longer be compulsory, it is a business’s discretion as to whether they wish to implement mask wearing amongst staff, visitors and customers.
For more information visit our Guidance on face coverings page.
Although it will no longer be a requirement to social distance, it is at a business’ discretion if they wish to still follow and implement physical distancing practices for a time. If this is the case, businesses should develop a solution that suits your individual businesses circumstances.
Practices could include:
- Assessing communal areas (both in staff areas, and customer areas) to ensure appropriate distancing is in place
- Rearranging workstations so that employees do not face one another
- Installing screens at customer facing counters if required for ordering, payment or collection
- Staggering shifts or implementing rotas for staff members
- Limiting the use of shared equipment.
Businesses, if they may wish to, can keep records of which employees are working on-site so this information can be used for contact tracing if required.
This can also be applied to visitors, and to customers in a retail or hospitality environment. A record of the visitor details with contact information (table number if applicable, full name, phone number and time of visit) will be valuable to support contact tracing if required. Please ensure details are collected at the time of booking or on arrival for walk-ins that will be using the establishment. Personal information must be stored confidentially/securely in line with existing GDPR policies and retained for up to 28 days for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections.
This is at the business’ discretion and the business should be mindful that the public may not feel comfortable providing personal contact details.
For hospitality and food businesses: Re-opening your premises after a period of closure will require some extra checks. The document below will allow you to record these checks and help make sure that your business can restart safely.
Provide clear guidance for employees both ahead of reopening and once open
- Ahead of reopening your business, it is recommended that you discuss your plans for working from the workplace with employees to ensure that they understand best practices moving forwards. If you have performed a business risk assessment, it is recommended that you share this with your staff and communicate instruction/policy clearly in advance of staff arriving on the premises where possible.
- Ensure that employees understand the part they play and their personal accountability in the process and their responsibilities in returning to a communal work environment.
- Communicate policies for situations in which an employee becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms on the premises.
- Ensure that employees know the process for sharing concerns or asking questions about the working environment.
- If you employ staff members that are considered a vulnerable (by virtue of age, underlying health condition or pregnancy), or they live with someone who is vulnerable, and are unable or do not feel comfortable returning to the work place, you should discuss their situation and make suitable arrangements. This may include enabling staff members to continue to work from home or making arrangements for a phased and safe return to the work place.
Dealing with employees who become unwell on the premises
If an employee exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 on business premises, the following guidance applies:
- The employee should go home, self-isolate and complete the online assessment tool. If their symptoms indicate possible COVID-19, the tool will advise them to contact 111. 111 will provide clinical assessment, offer testing if appropriate and provide guidance on self-isolation. If they are advised (through the self-assessment tool or 111) that the symptoms are not possible COVID-19, they do not need to self-isolate and can return to work when they feel well enough.
- If they’re waiting to be picked up to go home, they should stay in a designated room at least 2 metres away from others and if possible open a window for ventilation. If the weather permits, remain outside but at least 2 metres away from others.
- Cordon off the area that person was working in until the area has been professionally cleaned or the person has tested negative; an area 2m from each point around a workstation/desk would suffice.
If the employee tests positive
If the employee tests POSITIVE for COVID-19, additional guidance applies to manage the outbreak. Businesses should also follow any guidance issued by the Contact Tracing team.
How to raise a concern
If you have concerns about the arrangements your employer is able to put in place to protect you, you should discuss with your manager in the first instance, or the Occupational Health Service (if your employer provides one).
You may also benefit from advice from one of the following organisations:
DEFA’s Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate
Phone: +44 1624 685881
Manx Industrial Relations Service (MIRS)
MIRS can help both employers and employees and can provide practical and impartial advice on any employment matter.
Phone: +44 1624 672942
Guidance for emergency work in the homes of people who are self-isolating or are in a vulnerable group
In the event that emergency work is required in the homes of people who are self-isolating or in a vulnerable group, please follow the guidance below.
‘Emergency work’ includes:
- No electricity
- Gas leak
- No cold, clean drinking water or dirty water coming up through plug holes or toilets
- A severe leak and/or burst pipe
- Any leak that is affecting the electrics
- An unsafe electrical fitting that is sparking or smoking, or evidence of bare wiring
- No heating
- No hot water
- No working ovens
- Carbon monoxide alarm sounding
- Other maintenance issues causing a risk to the tenants or the property
- Sewage leak
- Property security
- Ensure you talk to the customer over the phone before visiting a property. Confirm with them:
- If the issue can be resolved without a visit; or
- If the repair can be undertaken without entering the property.
- If access to a property is required, then ask that the customer and any other people present at the property are isolated in an area of the property you will not need to access.
- During any visit to a property:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Call from outside the property and ask the owner to open the relevant access point.
- Ask them to ensure all door handles and touch points are cleaned, windows opened in the room/s you will be accessing, and any lights you may need are turned on.
- Where possible ask all occupants in the premises to vacate the room/area you will be working in.
- Ask that all occupants in the premises remain at least 2m away in distance at all times whilst you are inside the premises.
- Wear gloves wherever possible that can be disposed of, or washed, after you have finished working.
- Following the visit wash your hands and equipment/tools thoroughly.
- Wherever possible it is advised that payments should be made via contactless payment rather than accepting cash