To 5 steps to getting restarted

Define clear rules of conduct

With a number of interventions, you can ensure social distancing and hygiene rules are respected, both between employees and during contacts with customers and suppliers.

People walk in and out of your building, but are you able to ensure they keep the necessary distance when they cross paths? Separate incoming and outgoing flows using a partition or similar. Another option is to create separate entrances and exits by temporarily opening an unused door or emergency exit.

Employee flows can be separated by shifting work schedules and shortening or extending work shifts. Per production hall, you can provide individual start and stop times so that different shifts don't have to interact.

More tips can be found in this info document

Consider slowing down your production lines to limit the number of operators per line. Physical barriers made of, for example, plexiglass should be placed between workstations. Important: attach a sticker or mark the plexiglass at eye level. Barriers may never block an evacuation route.

Instruct your staff not to enter rooms  in which they are not required. In areas with numerous passages, it is advisable to introduce one-way traffic or prepare a traffic plan. Temporary floor markings let you instruct employees as to where they should be standing and walking.

If there are activities where you cannot guarantee social distancing, then your employees must wear a face mask to avoid spreading the virus via small droplets (e.g. coughing, talking, splashes). You also keep the ‘exposure’ as short as possible and limit the number of employees in this situation to the absolute minimum. If the risk analysis shows that your staff must wear a dust mask (FFP2/3) in normal circumstances to perform the activity, then they must continue to do so.

Tip: Hang this poster in clearly visible places to remind employees and visitors of the basic rules. This is because people also have to adhere to the rules in dressing rooms, toilets and the canteen to.

Read more about social distancing in this info document

When in contact with external parties, try to minimise the exchange of documents and objects. For example, your receptionist can complete the logbook and allow visitors to pick up their visitor’s badge themselves. Confirmations and receipts can be emailed or placed in a letterbox.

Do you have an unmanned reception desk? Make sure that the reception phone or the keyboard of your registration system is cleaned after use, or ask your visitors to report their arrival to their contact person with their own smartphone. Magazines and brochures should be removed from the waiting room.

Schedule staggered deliveries for your production company throughout the day. This prevents incoming and outgoing suppliers from crossing paths or being present in the same space.

The supplier places the package in a fixed location, your staff only handle it after a few hours and wash their hands thoroughly immediately afterwards. If the goods must be handled immediately, employees must wear gloves and use a trolley, pallet jack or other tools in the company. In other words, the supplier shouldn't enter your inventory or production area.

Remind employees and visitors of the hygiene measures as often as possible. Did you know you can use our ready-made posters about coughing and sneezing, hand hygiene and general precautions against coronavirus for this?

Important: Your employees should always have enough handkerchiefs to cover their nose and mouth while blowing their nose, sneezing and/or coughing. They must throw the used handkerchief away into a closeable bin immediately, and then wash their hands straight away.

Take a look at our other useful documents

Only receive external parties (e.g. suppliers, freelancers) physically in your organisation for essential activities. In addition, limit their presence in terms of number of people, duration and spaces visited.

Tip: make agreements about this before restarting, and email your instructions to all concerned.

It is important you receive the necessary instructions from your client before your first visit or starting work.

You will find more tips about this in this information sheet

Start up your workplace safely

From switching on machines to rearranging meeting rooms and adjusting emergency plans: our information sheets show you what to pay attention to.

You can limit the spread of the coronavirus by ventilating your rooms properly. Opening the windows regularly is the message. If you have a ventilation system, ensure regular maintenance and have the filters replaced or cleaned when they are due.

Do not use individual fans that can spread the virus.

Read more in this note from REHVA

Check which doors can be left open. These may be able to provide extra ventilation, for example, or act as an additional entrance or exit. Always take fire safety into account, as well as the risk of unwanted visitors or theft. Close doors that must stay permanently closed.

Important: Place a notice on all closed doors. This will prevent people grabbing the door handle to feel if it is actually locked.

To guarantee social distancing, ensure there is a clear layout of the workplace: use floor markings, pictograms, barrier tape and so on. Physical barriers can be placed between work stations that are close to one another. Instruct your employees not to enter rooms in which they are not required.

More information can be found in this info document

When restarting work activities, always check for employees who are out of sight or hearing range of colleagues. If this is the case, these persons must have an alarm device (e.g. mobile phone, telephone, walkie-talkie, fire alarm, etc.). Work activities in dangerous conditions must never be entrusted to a single isolated employee. There should always be a second person in the vicinity who can quickly raise the alarm and has the proper protective equipment for urgent assistance.

Only essential meetings that cannot be organised remotely may take place on location. In this case, choose a space where you can respect social distancing, and keep the number of participants to a minimum. Keep an attendance list of each physical meeting for one month.

For those who are less mobile or need to transport heavy supplies from one floor to another, the lift is an essential tool. However, it is a small space and maintaining a sufficient distance is not always easy. Goods lifts may be used provided that the control panel is regularly cleaned and disinfected.

Tip: motivate your employees to choose the stairs as much as possible by hanging this poster in a highly visible place.

Also review these measures for safe lift use

Motivate your employees to always grab the banister when using the stairs. They can use their sleeve or a tissue to grasp the handrail. Provide bins with foot pedal in the staircase; at the beginning, at the end or in different overflows and inform workers to throw the tissue into the trash immediately after use. In addition, you can also provide a hand alcohol gel per floor in a holder so that employees can disinfect their hands before and after using the stairs. Also make sure that the cleaning of banisters and handles (of the doors that lead to the staircase) is included in the cleaning program.

It is no easy task to keep your distance in cars or vans. This is why your employees should only make essential trips, and then they should try to limit themselves to one person in a vehicle. Try to ensure each company car is linked to one employee. If this is not feasible, the vehicle must be thoroughly disinfected after each use.

If you come by public transport (train, tram, bus), follow the instructions of the transport companies. As from 4 May and from the age of 12, wearing a mouth mask or an alternative covering mouth and nose is compulsory in public transport in the stations, on the platforms and on board of the trains.

More concrete tips can be found in this information sheet

Social distancing is also relevant during breaks. Therefore, remove chairs until the necessary distance between employees is guaranteed. Have them sit diagonally across from one another at a table, organise lunch breaks in shifts, or set up additional break rooms. Taking breaks or lunch outdoors is also an option if the weather and infrastructure allow it. 

TIP: Cups, plates and cutlery should preferably be cleaned in the dishwasher. In this case, the virus has no chance of survival. If there is no dishwasher on the work floor, make sure you clean everything manually with a clean sponge.

This checklist provides even more tips and tricks

What kind of measures can you implement when you have changing rooms and showers in your company?

Take a look at our tips and tricks in the information document.

Your machines and installations may have stood still for a while. Please use the manual to restart them. This will help prevent unwanted incidents.

This information sheet provides more information about the safe start-up of machines

When using machines and mobile work equipment (e.g. forklift, pallet jack, roller bridge), there is a real risk of infection. Arrange your work activities so that they are used by a minimum number of people. Or always have the same person operate them. There can only be one person at a time in an aerial platform.

You can find other measures and adjustments in this list

It is beyond dispute that everyone must adhere to the prescribed instructions in the event of a fire. If you cannot guarantee social distancing at your existing muster point during an evacuation, provide an additional location.

Please note: your fire-fighting team must also respect the social distance rules as much as possible during interventions. Reserve necessary personal protective equipment for interventions.

More information can be found in this info document

If water sources (for example, taps, sprinklers, showers, humidifiers) or pipe sections connecting them do not have fresh water flowing through them for more than a week, legionella can develop in them. This bacteria is the leading cause of Pontiac fever and Legionnaires’ disease.

This step-by-step plan shows you how to restart your water sources safely

Keep the work environment clean

In addition to adequate hand hygiene for your employees, thorough maintenance of the workplace and equipment is also crucial to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

When cleaning, absolute priority is to be given to surfaces, door handles, switches, telephones, printers, coffee machines, keyboards, handles, control panels, etc. Workpieces and work equipment used by several employees must be cleaned and disinfected at least once at every shift change. To reinforce this, your cleaning programme may need to be reorganised, both in terms of frequency and cleaning equipment.

Please note: when cleaning control panels there is a risk of electric shock.

These preventive measures apply to large quantities of bleach.

TIP: Cups, plates and cutlery should preferably be cleaned in the dishwasher. In this case, the virus has no chance of survival. If there is no dishwasher on the work floor, make sure you clean everything manually with a clean sponge.

View the recommended disinfectants for surfaces and objects

Hang clearly legible instructions about hand hygiene at every washbasin. Inform employees to close the water tap with a paper towel or close the tap with the elbow after washing and drying hands. Also underline the importance of good toilet hygiene. Specifically: leave the toilet clean, flush and close the toilet lid.

Tip: Points for attention for bleach as a cleaning agent and disinfectant.

Download our hand hygiene poster

Provide sufficient quantities of soap – preferably in soap dispensers – paper towels and closable bins, if possible with pedal control. If the distance between the workstation and the washing facility is too great, provide hand alcohol gel (preferably one individual pack per employee) or a container with water and soap.

These preventive measures apply to large quantities (as from 5 litres) of ethanol (the basis of hand alcohol gel).

Avoid using electric hand dryers or towels.

These preventive measures apply to ethanol (the basis of hand alcohol gel) in large quantities (from 5l)

First and foremost: the risk of corona contamination via waste is minimal. Correct, efficient waste collection is crucial to avoid additional hygiene and health risks. Remove full bins or bin bags from the work floor immediately. Waste collectors must wear gloves.

How to take off gloves correctly? Read the instructions

Keep a close eye on the health of your employees

Those who exhibit symptoms must go home. But what about the mental health of your employees? And can your emergency responders (First Aiders) still work safely?

If an employee feels ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue), send him/her home immediately to contact the doctor and disinfect the workstation and/or work equipment. Anybody with respiratory complaints must not come to work.

This article contains a number of frequently asked questions about dealing with sick employees

Does one of your employees have a sick housemate? That doesn't mean that he/she cannot come to work. It is essential that the employee follows the same measures as the rest of the staff.

You can find more information about this in the Belgian government's general guidelines

The government is going to trace those who have been in close contact with a corona patient. If your employee has been in contact with a corona patient he may receive a phone call from a contact tracer working for the government. They will advise him what measures to take depending on the nature and the length of the contact. Provided your employee receives no guidelines (government, doctor, etc.) and shows no symptoms he may go out to work.

Employees who are mentally troubled (for example, stress, workload, work-life combination), feel anxious or are mourning the loss of a loved one can contact the Mensura psycho team during office hours for a confidential conversation.

We can also activate a 24/7 helpline for your staff. Would you like to know more about this? Send an email to

Frequently asked questions related to coronavirus and mental well-being

Even if your non-Dutch speaking employees have mastered our language reasonably well, they may still lack certain nuances. This can lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, provide basic information in the native language of your employees.

Download posters, FAQs and audio files with corona info in different languages

Your emergency responders are trained to provide first aid to victims, but their own health must also be guaranteed. If a victim can take care of their own injuries, the emergency responder can give instructions from a safe distance. If this method is not feasible, then the care must be provided as quickly as possible while wearing a face mask and gloves. Since the coronavirus is transmitted through saliva drops, talking must be kept to a minimum while care is being provided. During resuscitation, the emergency responders must only use chest compressions or an AED, not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Bystanders must vacate the area or remain at a safe distance.

This information contains all adapted information for emergency responders

Face masks are part of the lockdown exit strategy. It is important that we wear them, but it is crucial that we continue to respect the hierarchy of the prevention measures. Specifically: when the first measure in the hierarchy cannot be respected, only then does the measure in the level below come into force.

Face masks are at the bottom of the ranking and are only recommended if all other measures are not feasible.

Preventive measures according to hierarchy 

  1. Stay home, especially if you are sick. 
  2. Work from home whenever possible if the job allows for this. 
  3. Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres, indoors and outside. 
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and water. 
  5. Wear a mouth mask on public transport and when social distancing cannot be guaranteed.
  6. Limit your physical social contacts.

Infographic: 'How to wear a face mask safely'

This information sheet contains more information about face masks

Employees who come from abroad need extra follow-up to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. Mensura developed a procedure for this:

Would you like to know more about this procedure? Please contact your contact person or your regional Mensura office.

Do you have a question about the specific situation in your workplace?

We are happy to help you! Get in touch with your trusted contact or our regional office.

Sector-specific e-learning courses for your employees

Do you want to inform your employees about how they can work safely and healthily during these corona times? You can with our sector-specific e-learning sessions.

Find out more about e-learning for your sector