COVID-19 Social Distancing Risk Assessment for Stores.


Published 27th May 2020. The below document is subject to change. 

Hazard/Work Activity Assessed Retail activities including re-stocking shop floor and serving customers and working in associated on-site warehouse facilities and back of house.  The products include clothing and accessories for women, men and children and some homeware and furniture, including soft furnishings.


H = High Risk (unacceptable)

M = Medium Risk (unacceptable)

L = Low Risk (acceptable)

I = Insignificant (target)

Before Control Measure   After Control Measures


H M L I   H M L I
1 Out of date information X X
2 Travel to and from work X X
3 Layout of the premises X X
4 Contact with unwell persons X X
5 Spread of contamination X X
6 Personal protective equipment X X
7 Contact with contaminated surfaces and materials X X
8 Work tasks X X
9 Number of customers entering the store X X
10 Dehydration and heat stress X X
11 Human factors X X
12 Welfare provision X X
13 Sudden closure of the premises X X
14 Handling money/transactions X X
15 Gift cards and credit notes X X
16 Working in the office X X
17 Visitors X X
18 Rest and meal breaks X X
19 Cleaning activities X X
20 Door activations EAS gates X X
21 Shoplifters and pickpockets X X
22 Premises that have been totally closed X X
Who May Be Harmed
Employees X Members of the public X Others X
Official visitors X



Management of the Work and Premises
Prior to re-opening, each store manager will complete a re-opening checklist which he or she will go through with the appropriate area manager.


Store managers will monitor our employees and others who are working on our behalf closely to ensure that social distancing, hand washing and other measures are being observed.  All staff are asked to monitor customer behaviour and remind customers of the need for social distancing, if appropriate.  Physical arrangements at the store will be kept under regular review and rearranged if necessary, where practically possible, to ensure that all those who enter the premises observe and maintain social distancing measures.  This needs to take into consideration the needs of customers in wheelchairs and with mobility issues, as well as those who have prams or buggies.


A daily team meeting will be held in each location for all store and warehouse staff.  This document must be read in conjunction with the appropriate written safe system of work (e.g. risk assessment, COSHH assessment or checklist) and the Stores Re-Opening Toolkit.


About Coronavirus and COVID-19
What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?

·         Coronavirus causes the illness COVID-19.

·         It is a new virus and a new disease.

·         The number of infected people and the death toll is rising.

·         Because it is new the World Health Organisation and the NHS are still learning what the symptoms are and how to treat it.



·         COVID-19 affects your lungs and your ability to breathe.

·         There is no vaccine and no cure.  Some people will have a mild illness that they will recover from.  Other people will be seriously ill and will need to be on a ventilator in hospital; many people have died.


You are most at risk if you

  • Are over 70 – but the older you are the higher the risk.
  • Are male.
  • Have another illness or medical condition such as heart disease, breathing problems, diabetes, asthma, cancer.
  • Have reduced immunity, e.g. due to long-term medical treatment.


There are many groups defined by the Government as being “at risk”.  People who fall into an at risk groups (or who live with someone who does) may require individual risk assessment and may be unable to work outside the home at this time.




Control Measures

1.      This is a fast moving situation.  Coronavirus is a new virus, which means that organisations such as the World Health Organisation and Public Health England are still finding out about it.  The UK Government will revise and reissue its information as the pandemic develops and therefore this risk assessment will need to be reviewed and revised in due course as new restrictions are imposed and existing ones relaxed or removed.  Everyone needs to follow the latest information at


The Government’s message has changed recently and is now:  STAY ALERT – CONTROL THE VIRUS – SAVE LIVES.  Staying alert means not letting down your guard now that some lockdown restrictions have been eased.  You must be aware of the risks from coronavirus and take measures to mitigate its effects all the time you are at work (and at home, too).


2.      Practice social distancing as far as practically possible on your way to work by staying at least 2 metres away from other people.  Do not lift share with others (unless they live in the same house as you).  Wash your hands as soon as you arrive at work with soap and warm water.  Wash hands for at least 20 seconds.


3.      If practically possible, employees should travel to work alone by car or other vehicle, bicycle, or on foot (unless the person you are travelling with lives with you).  If you have to share a vehicle with someone who is not a member of your household, you should travel with the windows open and avoid breathing over each other.  Do not travel with different people:  stick with your lift share.  Public transport should be avoided if possible as it is likely to be crowded.  If using public transport is unavoidable, latest Government advice is that you should avoid peak times and wear a face covering.  Do not re-use a single use face covering and ensure that face coverings made from fabric are washed effectively after use.  Practice social distancing – stay 2 metres away from other people – as far as practically possible.  Wash your hands as soon as you get to work, as previously.


4.      Appropriate store and warehouse layout is integral to keeping everyone safe and well.  This is particularly important with regard to processes and procedures for entry and exit, which should be strictly controlled for both staff and customers:  staff should not arrive and leave at the same time – staggered start and finish times could be adopted to limit close contact:  the workplace should be surveyed to avoid bottlenecks and high traffic areas such as corridors where people will be forced into close proximity and store displays, fixtures and fittings should be re-arranged if necessary so that customers are not forced to cross each other’s paths.  One way systems, separate entry and exit points, barriers and signs should be used in order to limit close contact.  Customer doors will be kept open to limit touching of door furniture.  Floor decals will be provided and can be used outside stores and inside to show people how far apart they need to stand when queueing.  Wherever possible, social distancing should be maintained.  The exact measures required to maintain social distancing will vary from store to store but should be kept under review.



Control Measures (Continued)

In shopping centres and on high streets, it is possible that our queuing arrangements may conflict with those of other premises including shops and offices.  The store manager should liaise with the appropriate party, e.g. shopping centre management or owners of other businesses, in order to ensure that our customers do not impede access to others’ premises or safe egress, particularly in an emergency.  Establishing a dialogue will help to ensure that if there are problems as the situation evolves, they can be resolved amicably, without the need for confrontation.


Items such as the signing in book or electronic devices that register employee attendance could be sources of contamination as they are typically touched by many people.  Having one person such as the duty manager complete the record could help to limit the number of hands that touch it and persons that breathe over it.  A hand-wash station should be sited close to the staff point of entry and exit and people should wash/clean their hands as soon as they enter and before leaving.  Additional hand washing stations should also be installed rear of house if appropriate (pop-ups can be hired) with adequate bins for paper towels to be disposed of safely.  Barrier cream should be provided to prevent skin from drying and cracking due to increased washing.


Arrangements should be made for the handwash stations to be cleaned and bins to be emptied at regular intervals with special attention being paid to taps, soap dispensers and other fixtures that are touched frequently by lots of pairs of hands.  Soap dispensers must be refilled regularly.  If soap dispensers cannot be provided, hand gel should be provided instead but note that to be effective against COVID-19 this must have a high alcohol content (70%+).  Posters should be put up rear of house to remind everyone about the need for (1) regular hand washing; (2) social distancing; and (3) how to put on an FFP3 face mask properly.


5.      Symptoms of COVID-19 infection include having a new, persistent dry cough and a raised temperature (the back and chest will feel hot to the touch).  Some people report other symptoms such as loss of sense of smell or taste.  People who are not well with a cough and/or fever must not go out and must not come to work.  If someone in your house is unwell, you must not come to work.  The Government’s web site states:





Control Measures

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:


·         Stay at home as much as possible

·         Work from home if you can

·         Limit contact with other people

·         Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)

·         Wash your hands regularly

·         Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.


In order to present the spread of infection, you must not come to work if you or anyone you live with are/is unwell.  The Government’s web site states clearly:


·         “if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

·         after 7 days, if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to continue to self-isolate. If you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal. You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days, as a cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone

·         if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill…

·         for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period…

·         staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community”.





Control Measures

Temperatures must be taken on arrival at work and anyone who appears feverish or to be running a temperature must be sent home.  A normal adult temperature will be in the range 36.1oC-37.2oC:  a temperature of 38.0 oC or more would normally be regarded as a fever.  A person’s temperature can vary from day to day and hour to hour, so temperature is not necessarily a definitive guide.


Think about your own personal emergency plan in advance, and how you would get home if you were taken ill.  If you are at work and start to feel unwell, tell your supervisor and go home.  Stay in one room away from all other people if you need to wait for transport and self-isolate when you get home.  Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.  Only if you cannot use the 111 online service, telephone 111.  Try not to touch anything.  The duty manager will identify an evacuation route so that infected persons can leave the building whilst limiting exposure of other persons to the virus.  The area/equipment the unwell person has been using may need to be disinfected.  Illness should be reported in the accident book.


6.      In order to become infected the COVID-19 virus has to get from the source into the host by some means. Most micro-organisms usually have a particular route of entry, but in some cases infection can occur by more than one route. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through water droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These water droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 metre of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.  However, much about the disease is still not known so it is essential to regard everything in the workplace or on your journey to work as a potential source of contamination.


Controlling the risk of infection requires a methodical and disciplined approach and there are a number of basic measures that you should follow to prevent infection from spreading. Good basic occupational hygiene measures include:







Control Measures (Continued)

·         Hands (and arms) should be washed for 20 seconds before eating, drinking, smoking, using the telephone etc. Hands should still be washed even if gloves have been worn, alternatively 70%+ alcohol hand-rubs can be used on physically clean hands, or wipes and antiseptic hand cleaners if hands are dirty.

·         All existing cuts and grazes should be covered with waterproof dressings and/or gloves before starting any work that involves contact with body fluids, e.g. cleaning toilets. If cuts and/or grazes occur during work, these should be washed immediately and dressed.

·         Hand to mouth/nose or hand to eye contact should be avoided. Care should be taken with pens etc., these should not be put in the mouth, or taken from dirty to clean areas.

·         Rest breaks and meal breaks should be taken away from the main work area. All PPE and potentially contaminated clothing should be removed when leaving a dirty work area and you should not enter clean areas wearing soiled protective clothing.

·         Access to ‘dirty’ areas should be restricted when work is being carried out.

·         All work equipment should be easy to clean and decontaminate.


The best and safest way to clean potentially contaminated items and personal protective equipment is by using a two-pronged approach:  washing with soap or detergent to get rid of surface grime through mechanical action (and soap can disrupt the outer, fatty layer of the virus), followed by cleaning with hospital-type disinfectant, bleach or surgical spirit.  A COSHH assessment should be carried out for cleaning materials that are used on the premises and they should be handled and stored appropriately.  Make sure that, if disinfectant is used, it is labelled to show that it is effective against 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.


Sneeze screens have been installed at all till points.  Alternate till points will be closed to enable till operators to keep to social distancing and cleaning wipes and sprays will be provided so that each till point and surrounding area (including sneeze screen) can be cleaned by the cashier every 30 minutes,  In addition:

·         Delivery drivers should remain in their cabs if possible (but will be permitted to use on-site toilet facilities if needed).

·         Goods and clothes that have been tried on, e.g. returns, should not be returned to the shop floor straight away and should be quarantined for 72 hours before being displayed again.  Returns should be collected in one specific location prior to re-stocking.

·         If you need to assist a customer to their vehicle with a purchase, wear PPE and practice social distancing.  Change PPE and wash hands when you return to the store.

·         Fitting rooms at the Folkestone store will be closed until further notice.



Control Measures (Continued)
    6.          The Company will provide protective, single use gloves and face masks which should be worn by the shop teams at all times when at work.  Do not re-use disposable items or share personal protective equipment.  Reusable face visors are available if required.


Where personal protective equipment (PPE) is being worn to mitigate the risk from a non-COVID-19 related hazard, it should still be worn.  Putting on and taking off personal protective equipment (PPE) can carry a risk of infection so before donning any PPE or protective clothing, hands must be washed with soap and water or hand gel with 70%+ alcohol content.  Hair must be tied back:  no jewellery to be worn.  PPE should be regarded as a last resort and used when social distancing and other measures are not practicable.  The following PPE should be readily available and worn as appropriate:


·         FFP3 respirator – perform a fit check (refer to poster and manufacturer’s literature for instructions on correct fitting);

·         Eye protection/face shield or visor;

·         Safety boots that can be cleaned and disinfected;

·         Disposable gloves of lightweight nitrile or vinyl;

·         Disposable waterproof coveralls/overalls/plastic aprons for people who carry out dirty tasks, e.g. cleaning toilets and kitchens or carrying out repairs to plumbing services.


To further reduce the risk of infection PPE should be removed in a specific order and disposed of safely. The following is a summary of the recommended order of removal:


·         Wash and disinfect boots.

·         Remove hood of overall (if worn).

·         Remove gloves.

·         Remove coveralls (if worn).

·         Remove boots.

·         Wash/decontaminate hands.

·         Remove eye protection.

·         Remove mask/respirator.

·         Wash/decontaminate hands again.


Following the correct removal procedures will reduce the risk of spreading contamination to clean clothing or skin underneath when removing PPE:


·         Gloves – grasp the outside of the glove with the opposite gloved hand and peel off.  Hold the removed glove in the gloved hand.  Slide the fingers of the ungloved hand under the remaining glove at the wrist.  Peel the remaining glove off over the first glove and discard.  Clean hands with alcohol hand gel;




Control Measures (Continued)
·         Coveralls – tilt head back and with one hand pull the coveralls away from your body.  Run your other hand up the zip until you reach the top and unzip completely without touching any skin or clothes; remove coveralls from top to bottom.  After you have freed your shoulders, pull arms out of the sleeves, roll the coverall from the waist down and from the inside, down to the bottoms of your legs – take care to touch only the insides of the coveralls.  Pull over the feet and step away.  Dispose of the coverall as general waste.

·        Eye protection/visor – first, clean the hands with alcohol hand gel.  Do not touch the front of the goggles/visor as it may be contaminated.  Face mask – first, clean the hands with alcohol hand gel.  Do not touch the front of the mask as it may be contaminated.  Lean forward slightly.  Reach to the back of the head with both hands to find the bottom restraining straps and bring it up to the top strap.  Lift straps over the top of the head.  Let the respirator fall away from your face and put it in the bin.


Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol hand gel after all PPE has been put in the bin.  Remember that personal items such as mobile ‘phones can harbour infection, too.  They should be left in a vehicle or kept in a locker and not used or touched during the work.  Do not use a mobile ‘phone when you have dirty hands.  ‘Phones should also be wiped and disinfected if they have been used in the workplace.


Disposable waterproof overalls should provide head coverage of CE type 5 and 6 that offer protection against dusts, splashes and liquid sprays (with safe disposal).


All single-use protective clothing and equipment should be disposed of as general waste.  Single use clothing is recommended wherever possible.  Reusable clothing should be washed at the highest possible temperature for the fabric.  Equipment such as boots and goggles/face visors should be washed and disinfected, dried and stored in a clean area.  Remember that certain areas such as fronts of overalls will be more heavily contaminated than others.  If supplies of items run out, alternative control measures may be required or tasks may have to be postponed until such a time as further supplies become available.


Your PPE will not protect you if it is substandard, damaged, heavily contaminated or worn incorrectly.  Ensure that you check your PPE before putting it on.  Some PPE has a use-before date and if this has expired, the equipment must be rejected.  Reject PPE that is damaged.  Do not re-wear single use PPE.  Wearers of FFP3 standard face masks should be face fit tested.  Facial hair, moles, scars and stubble will impair the fit of such a mask and thereby reduce its protective capabilities.  Refer to the poster for a reminder of best fitting for face masks.  Disposable masks must be changed if they become moist or heavily contaminated.  All PPE must be CE marked and compliant with the appropriate British or European Standard.


Remember that theft of PPE is becoming increasingly common.  Do not leave it outside the building or in a vehicle where it can be seen from outside.  Employees must not help themselves to items of PPE “just in case” or to take home.





Control Measures (Continued)

Supervisors must make regular inventories of PPE stocks, order new supplies in good time, and control the issue of PPE to people who need it.  This way, supplies will be conserved for people for whom PPE is essential, such as healthcare workers, and there will be enough to go round.


  1. At present it is unknown how long the virus can survive outside the human body, however, a recent study found that it could last on stainless steel and plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours (some sources say for up to nine days) and on paper surfaces or cardboard for up to 24 hours.  Further research is required to verify these findings.  Every type of surface should therefore be treated as if it were potentially contaminated.  Some areas are likely to be touched more than others, e.g. door handles, light switches, banisters and bathroom fittings, taps and toilet flushes, telephone key pads, computer keyboards, etc.  Cleaning processes must ensure that the work area and facilities will be safe for others to work in and use and cleaning activities must be increased throughout the pandemic.


If work equipment (including forklift trucks, podium steps, trolleys or tagging guns, etc.) are operated by more than one person, features such as buttons, hand rails and handles that are touched frequently must be wiped down effectively between users.


  1. Planning the work is fundamental to keeping everyone safe.  The number of staff – and customers – on the premises should be kept to a minimum.   Anyone who can should work from home, e.g. support staff.  Given the size of the premises it should be possible for people to work in the same area and maintain social distancing (but without creating the issues associated with lone working).  It is recommended that re-stocking the shop floor be carried out when the shop is relatively quiet.  Work activities should be coordinated to avoid clashes.  This way, social distancing can be maintained but if someone were taken ill or had an accident, they could call for help and would be heard.  Windows and doors should be kept open if possible as there is evidence that good ventilation and fresh air will help to prevent infection.  In offices and where there are no external windows but there is air conditioning, this should be used to ensure a supply of fresh air.


Some tasks, e.g. lifting of heavy or awkward items, may require more than one pair of hands.  In this case, if possible, the team should work as far apart as practically possible, maintaining social distancing if practicable and working side by side or back to back (to avoid being face to face).  Only tasks that can be safely performed in less than 15 minutes should be undertaken.  If it will be necessary to divide the labour into groups on and off throughout the work, the teams or pairs should be given an identifier and fixed as far as practically possible.  Groups should not be mixed, to reduce possible risk of transmission.  Work rotation should be reduced with people sticking to a single task if practically possible, throughout the day.  If shared work stations are provided e.g. for computer use, employees must social distance whilst waiting and working and not crowd these facilities.





Control Measures (Continued)

If the work task cannot be done safely it should not be done at all but should be postponed until such a time as the restrictions have eased further and it is deemed safe to carry it out.


Operatives must observe social distancing, keeping two metres apart, when health and safety briefings are being given.  Meetings must be limited to only essential people, who must observe social distancing.  Do not share pens, stationery or other items.  Provide hand sanitisers in meeting rooms and ensure meeting rooms are well ventilated.  Technology such as Zoom and Teams can avoid the need for many meetings in person.


9.      Controlling the number of persons who come into our stores is critically important if social distancing is to be maintained.  The area managers have details of the number of customers who will be allowed into each store at a time.  Each store manager will then need to make a judgement, based on local knowledge, on how this will be achieved and the number of shoppers controlled.  In the first instance, limiting entry and exit by either having one door in and one door out (or if there is a single entrance, dividing it using a barrier and signage) will help to keep customers apart.  A member of staff wearing PPE will be needed at each entrance to marshal the queue during busier periods.  Decals on the ground or floor will be used to show the distances that need to be maintained between queueing shoppers.  All changes to entry and exit arrangements must take into account the needs of people with visual or mobility issues and people who are pushing prams or buggies.


Other measures to limit numbers in store could include issuing baskets to shoppers (two baskets to family groups of four or more).  The number of baskets provided will correspond with the number of shoppers permitted in the store and all handles will be wiped with an alcohol or disinfectant wipe before any are issued.  Shoppers will not be allowed to enter without a basket.  Each shopper will return his or her basket as he leaves the store, whether he/she has made a purchase or not.  .  The member of staff on the door will wipe the handles of each basket as it is returned.  Once all the baskets are gone, shoppers will only be allowed to enter on a “One out, one in” basis



10. Wearing personal protective equipment for long periods at a stretch can be uncomfortable and hot and it can also restrict the wearer’s movements and field of vision.  Don’t be tempted to discard PPE designed to protect from COVID-19, though – your life could depend on it.  Ensure that you are fully hydrated before you start work.  Keep windows (and doors) open when possible to ensure a throughput of fresh air.  Regular rest breaks (staggered, if appropriate) should be scheduled prior to starting and employees should bring their own refreshments from home.  PPE should be removed and disposed of or cleaned before starting a break, in the order shown.  After each break, new or cleaned PPE must be donned before resuming work.  Being dehydrated can impact upon a person’s ability to work safely and could ultimately cause them to collapse:  tell your supervisor if you need to stop for a break outside the scheduled times.




Control Measures

11. Stick to our written rules, processes and procedures and safe systems of work.  Wash your hands at regular intervals throughout the day and keep your work area clean.  Do not assume that COVID-19 only happens to other people and remember that some people can have the virus but show no symptoms.


People can be unpredictable, particularly when they are in shopping mode:  they can be distracted by purchasing decisions and may have small children or family members with them.  It may be necessary to remind customers about the need for social distancing.  Always be polite and reasonable but also remember that to keep everyone safe, we need to operate a “Zero tolerance” approach.


It’s natural to be worried at the moment:  these are strange times and there is a lot of false or misleading information in circulation, particularly on the internet.  If you have concerns, or see anything that makes you uncomfortable, speak to your supervisor or the store manager.


12. Welfare provision requires particularly careful planning during this pandemic.  Toilet and washing facilities must be thoroughly cleaned after every use and given a final clean before leaving the building each day.  Bins must be emptied, and supplies of soap, toilet paper and paper towels topped up regularly.  Social distancing must be maintained whilst toilet facilities are in use, e.g. by restricting the number of people who are allowed to use each rest room at one time.  If may be necessary to have a queuing system or appoint an attendant to control entry and exit to toilet facilities and locker/changing rooms.  These must be cleaned during the day and at the end of the day.  Each member of staff should have their own, labelled locker to keep their personal effects safe and reduce the risk of transmission.


Persons who clean the toilets should wear disposable, plastic apron or single use overall, a visor and face-mask and nitrile gloves plus safety footwear.  Human faeces have been identified as a possible source of COVID-19 infection so it is essential that those who clean the facilities are protected and that they follow a rigorous personal hygiene regime.  Portable toilets will need to be emptied more regularly than usual and cleaned with extra care.


Ensure that a fully stocked first aid kit is readily available, together with someone to administer basic first aid, if required.  First aid provision must be available at all times when people are working.  If first aid is required, it should be provided in such a way as to minimise the risk of cross-contamination, for example, resuscitation face masks should be provided and used as necessary.  Hands should be washed before and after administering first aid.




Control Measures

Accident and emergency departments at local hospitals may be severely stretched at present, however, if someone genuinely needs medical assistance they should still be taken to hospital or an ambulance should be called by dialling ‘999’.  Ensure that the contact telephone numbers of local emergency healthcare providers, including walk-in centres/minor injuries units, and hospitals, are readily available: ‘phone before setting off in case temporary procedures are operating.  Complete the box at the end of this document for easy reference.  Be aware that emergency response times may be longer than normal at present, if you need to summon help.


Rest, meal and smoke breaks can place high demands on welfare facilities.  It may be necessary to re-organise the break schedule, e.g. have a shorter lunch break and longer/more frequent rest and smoke breaks, in order to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and welfare facilities do not become crowded.  Persons who prefer can, if they have driven to work, use a vehicle for rest or mess purposes (however, vehicles owned by an employer must not be used for smoke breaks as this would be against the law).


Tables and chairs should be spaced out if possible and cleaned as each person leaves; items within the kitchen such as kettles and controls/handles of microwaves, toasters and fridges, water dispensers, worktop and other equipment that many pairs of hands may touch should be cleaned frequently throughout the day.  Shared utensils such as coffee mugs should be thoroughly washed between users and ideally, employees should bring their own crockery and supplies.  The company will provide disposable cutlery, which should be thrown away after use.  Kitchen waste should be disposed of regularly.  If an outdoor eating area can be provided, this will help (however, smoking areas should not be used for eating).  Sofas must be removed and tea towels must be removed from kitchen areas (soft furnishings cannot be cleaned in the same way as hard items of furniture and tea towels harbour germs),  Do not bring in tea towels from home – use the paper towels provided instead.


13. Due to unforeseen circumstances such as changes to working and travel restrictions and staff/supervisor illness, it may be necessary to close the premises at short notice.  The premises must be left in a clean, secure and safe condition with all work equipment (including fork lift trucks) stored safely and immobilised if appropriate.  Areas of equipment such as door handles and controls that are touched frequently should be cleaned before storing in case of re-contamination on return.  The premises should be photographed by the store manager before they are vacated as evidence that they have been left in an appropriate condition.  The premises should also be inspected at regular intervals whilst void to ensure that they are secure and that nobody has gained access without proper authorisation.  The building’s security alarm should be activated as necessary before the premises are vacated.


14. Handling money poses a risk of contamination and infection.  Encourage customers to use contactless or mobile payment if possible.  Cashiers must wear gloves at all times when working and wash hands regularly throughout the day, changing their gloves each time (following the procedure for removing gloves).  Office staff should also wear gloves at all times when handling money.  Hands must always be washed immediately once gloves have been removed.



Control Measures (Continued)
15. Deadlines on gift cards and credit notes have been extended.  The number of gift cards on display has been reduced to eliminate handling:  customers who wish to purchase a gift card will need to select their design. The till assistant serving will then fetch the appropriate gift card from the office.


When a customer presents a gift card, gift voucher or credit note, once the transaction has been processed the item must be put into a sealable plastic wallet at the till point.  The member of staff who has handled the item must wash their hands and change their gloves,


The plastic wallet must be put in the back of house after each day and left for two days before being stored in the usual process in order to avoid transmission of the virus.


16. Do not share items of stationery with other people.  Shared equipment such as desks, computers, printers, handles and safes should be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes after each use.  A bottle of hand sanitiser should be kept in the office and used regularly.


17. Official visitors to the premises should be discouraged unless their visit is essential.  All visitors will be asked to wash or clean their hands on arrival and to wear gloves and masks.  Persons who will not cooperate with these measures will not be allowed onto the premises and will be asked to leave.


18. In order to mitigate the risk of infection, employees are asked not to leave our premises during their rest and meal breaks.  Please observe social distancing at all times when taking a break in the store.


19. Cleaning is a vital part of our virus control strategy and must be done regularly and properly, using appropriate cleaning products.  Cleaning of high contact areas is a priority.  On the shop floor, areas to be cleaned include:  till points (desk, sneeze screen, card machine, gift card stands, queue barriers); door handles; basket holders; mirrors, floors; tops of stands; stairs, lifts and escalators.  Whilst lifts are still in use, they should be used only by members of the same group and the controls should be cleaned at regular intervals during the day.  High contact areas in warehouses include: alarms, door handles, computers (especially keyboards), label printers, rails, keys, box cutters, cages and other equipment.  A one way system will be implemented in each warehouse due to narrow aisles.  Do not cross paths.  Stay two metres apart at all times.  Face to face working will not be permitted:  move to work back to back or put a screen in between if this is not possible.  Hand sanitiser must be kept at all back of house external doors.




Control Measures (Continued)

20. The member of staff manning the door will be responsible for handling any electronic article surveillance activations.  If this happens, the member of staff must, whilst maintaining social distancing, ask the customer to look through their bag to identify the item that needs its tag removed.  The customer should be directed back to a cashier for the tag to be removed (once the cashier has verified the receipt).


Customers who refuse to comply or who run off must be reported to Andy Stringer – NEVER CHASE AFTER THE CUSTOMER AND TRY NEVER TO LEAVE THE SHOP FRONT WHEN INTERACTING WITH THE CUSTOMER.


21. Shoplifters and pickpockets will still be operating.  As soon as you have reason, beyond reasonable doubt, to suspect someone is a pickpocket or shoplifter, you should ask them to leave the store.  Keep a two meter distance at all times.  Inform the person that you are going to call the police (which usually makes them leave faster).  Use security code words and ensure your colleagues know that you have a suspect under observation.  If the shoplifter has a bag that has items in, ask them to empty/leave the bag before exiting.  Look from a distance.


22. If premises have been totally closed for some time, they will require a reoccupation risk assessment.  This will involve measures such as ensuring that water systems have been subject to a legionella risk assessment (due to possible build-up of bacteria whilst systems have not been turned over); testing of equipment such as lifting equipment and electrical and mechanical items that may not re-start easily after a period of disuse.  Fire, security and building management systems will also need testing to ensure that they are fully operational and have not developed any faults whilst the building has been unoccupied.  Doors and fire doors should be checked to ensure that they are still fully functional.


Closest NHS Hospitals with Accident & Emergency Departments
Please ‘phone BEFORE setting off in case special arrangements are in operation:  remember that response times for all emergency services may be longer than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic


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Other Comments
Remember the 20 second rule when washing your hands – that’s the time taken to sing two choruses of “Happy birthday to you” or the chorus to “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees
Information, Instruction, and Training
1         All employees receive site induction training and health and safety information is available on site in the form of the biological risk assessment, a toolbox talk and a poster about fitting and wearing face masks correctly.


2         All employees are trained, experienced and competent in the type of work being carried out.


3         The biological risk assessment has been discussed with the employees.

Store Opening Hours
Reduced opening hours will be in operation until further notice:


9.00am-5.30pm Monday-Saturday


11.00am-5.00pm Sunday


POS will be provided for display in windows to inform customers of these temporary arrangements.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Disposable gloves to EN 388 4131 standard (as required) X Visor (as required) EN 166 3 / 5 X Face mask X
Rubber/polyurethane boots (for cleaning activities) X Barrier Cream X Face mask to FFP3 X
Goggles to EN 166 3 / 5 X Protective boots (as required) X Waterproof coveralls EN1149, EN14126 compliant (as required)
Plastic apron X    



Safety Equipment
Floor decals:  Keep Your Distance X Floor decals:  Please Wait Here X Window decals:  Re-opening X
Floor decals:  Arrow X Sneeze Screens X Barriers and tape X
Hand gel X Anti-bacterial wipes X A4 POS for till points, cash desk and back of house X
Lanyard badges X Lift POS (as applicable) X Disposable cutlery X
Reporting Under RIDDOR 2013
Under certain circumstances, COVID-19 is reportable under RIDDOR 2013:  The Health and Safety Executive’s web site states:

You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:

·         an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.

·         a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease

·         a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.


Additional Notes
PPE will be worn at all times when operatives are exposed to the hazard.  Look after your personal protective equipment to ensure it functions effectively.