To the checklist

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 every building, but are you able to ensure they keep the necessary distance when they cross paths? Separate incoming and outgoing flows via a partition, for example. Maybe separate entrances and exits are an option by temporarily opening an unused door or emergency exit? Floor markings and signs can also guide customers in the right direction in your food business.

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 for work. 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.

Ensure sufficient distance between colleagues, customers, customers, suppliers, representatives, etc. at all times. Place a physical barrier or markings at the right distance. Spread out popular products to prevent too many people in one place and clearly indicate where customers can find which products.

 

Limit the number of customers in the shop to ensure that social distancing is respected. Hang up a sign at the entrance, stating the maximum number of customers who may be present in the shop at the same time. If possible, have someone stand at the entrance to count customers. This ensures that the maximum capacity is not exceeded.

 

Important: Cafés inside or connected to shops may not be reopened. Store chairs so that customers do not sit on them.

 

Do you have shopping trolleys in your shop? Make it mandatory to use them to guarantee the required distance between customers. Make as many trolleys available as the maximum permitted number of customers in the shop and disinfect the handles after every use.

 

Tip: Post instructions for customers at the entrance in a highly visible location. To remind your staff about the basic rules, you can hang up this poster in the breakroom, changing area, bathrooms, etc.

Read more about social distancing in this info document

During contact with external parties, try to minimise the exchange of documents, sales articles and other objects. To avoid hand contact, place shopping bags on the counter together with the receipt. Confirmations and delivery receipts can be emailed or placed in a letterbox.

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

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.


If you have a food business, have deliveries arrive outside of shop opening hours as much as possible.  The supplier should place the goods in a pre-agreed location and have shop staff wait several hours before handling the goods and wash their hands thoroughly afterwards. If the goods must be handled immediately, employees must wear gloves and use a hand truck, pallet jack or other tool in the shop. In other words, it is preferable that the supplier does not enter your inventory or shop area.
 

Only receive external parties (e.g. suppliers or representatives) 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 safe food preparation and changes to your cash register and counter to adjusting emergency plans: our information sheets show you what to pay attention to.

Place a plexiglass partition in your food business between the cash register and counter to prevent direct contact between the cash register operator and customers. Assign only one employee to work the cash register. If change must be given, disinfect all surfaces afterwards (such as keyboards, scanner, chair and counter). To avoid hand contact, place the shopping bag on the counter. The receipt should be placed next to it.

Read more about this in this information sheet

The risk of becoming contaminated with the coronavirus via food is minimal, especially when strict personal hygiene, food and workplace hygiene measures are taken. Clean hard surfaces regularly with hot water and soap. Always use clean cloths for wiping surfaces. Dishcloths, towels and tea towels should be washed at a high temperature (at least 60 °C) and make sure to run the dishwasher at 60 °C or higher.

Strictly follow the guidelines from the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC)

Have your customers call in their orders as much as possible. Pre-payment or contactless payment on delivery are preferable. If you are delivering to a home address, avoid direct contact with the customer by placing the bags outside the door. Every vehicle (car, delivery van, bicycle, scooter, etc.) should be operated by one employee only. If this is not possible, disinfect and clean the vehicle when switching drivers.

Before restarting your business, check all critical areas for pests based on your pest control plan. In keeping with the revised working conditions and circulation within your company, you may need to make temporary changes to this plan.

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.

See our poster on ventilation during Corona.

Additional rules and guidance have recently been developed, including on the measurement of CO2 concentrations. Find here a list of a number of CO2 meters whose specifications meet these guidelines.

Read more on our blog

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 starting 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.

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.

Communal transport organised by the employer: Respect the greatest possible distance between each person during transport, limit if possible the number of people in the vehicle and/or provide a separation (in a flexible material and with care for visibility and safety); Use masks in addition. Ensure that ventilation and aeration systems in means of transport are properly operated and maintained and pay particular attention to hygiene inside vehicles used by different people.

Those travelling by public transport (train, tram, bus) must follow the instructions provided by the transport companies. And for everyone twelve and older, wearing a face mask that covers both nose and mouth is compulsory on public transport, to include in the station, on platforms, and on board trains.
 

A face mask is now also mandatory in certain (sections of) cities.

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

If certain machines or installations have not be used for a while, it is important that they are switched on again safely. Keep the manual close at hand to prevent any incidents.

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

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

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.

Obviously, you must continue to clean and disinfect your production areas according to the HACCP regulations. Important: You may need to adapt your HACCP plan to the new situation.
 

When cleaning, absolute priority is to be given to surfaces, door handles, switches, telephones, printers, coffee machines, keyboards and operating panels, payment terminals, 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.
 

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 workshop and washing facility is too great, provide hand alcohol gel (preferably one individual pack per employee).
 

In your food business, place a pump with alcohol gel at the cash register for customers.
 

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?

This decision tree shows the steps to be followed. If the employee tests positive, then the contact-tracing process begins. This brochure summarises the required measures.

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 psychosociale-aspecten@mensura.be.

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. Limit your physical social contacts.
  3. Work from home whenever possible if the job allows for this.
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  5. Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres, indoors and outside.
  6. Wear a face mask on public transport and in crowded public places or follow the applicable local and regional guidelines.

Infographic: 'How to wear a face mask safely'

Here you can find more information about face masks

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