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 a shop, 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. Or perhaps separate entrances and exits are an option? In any case, use floor marking or signs to clearly indicate how you wish customers to move aroud the store.

More tips can be found in this info document

Ensure sufficient distance between colleagues, customers, suppliers, representatives, etc. Place a physical barrier or markings at an appropriate distance. Separate popular products to prevent people from gathering and provide signs to show customers where to find different items.
 

Limit the umber of customers in the shop in order to respect social distancing requirements. Hang a poster at the entrance confirming the maximum number of customers allowed in your shop at one time. If possible, place someone at the door to count the number of customers. Then you can be sure never to exceed the maximum capacity.
 

Attention: cafés connected to or within shops must still remain closed. Put the chairs away to prevent customers from sitting down.
 

Do you operate the use of shopping trolleys? Insist that customers use them in order to guarantee the required distance. Use as many trolleys as the maximum number of customers allowed in the shop and always disinfect the handles after use.
 

Tip: clearly display all instructions for customers at the entrance. To remind your employees of the basic rules you can hang this poster in the bread area, changing room, toilets, etc.
 

Read more about social distancing in this info document

Place a Plexiglass screen at your till and counter to avoid direct contact between your till operator and customers. Appoint one person to remain at the till. If a new person takes over, disinfect all surfaces (e.g. keys, scanner, chair, counter.) Work with electronic receipts as much as possible (e.g. for customers with a loyalty card). If this is impossible, place the receipt on the counter to avoid hand contact.

Read more about this topic in this info document

During contact with external parties, try to minimise the exchange of documents, sales items and other objects. Work with electronic receipts as much as possible (e.g. for customers with a loyalty card). If this is impossible, place the receipt on the counter to avoid hand contact. Delivery confirmations and receipts can be emailed or placed in a letterbox.

Remind employees and customers 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

Plan deliveries as much as possible when the shop is closed. Arrange for the supplier to place goods in a predetermined location, and shop staff should only handle the goods after several hours and wash their hands thoroughly immediately afterwards. If the goods must really be moved right away, they should wear gloves and use the trolley, pallet transporter, or other shop equipment. Ideally the supplier will not be required to enter your storage area or shop.

Only receive external parties (e.g. suppliers, representatives) physically on your premises 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

Escalators are also often indispensable as a means of transport in hospitals, shops, and railway stations. Here, too, people often stand close together. Consult the information sheet with some important tips for the responsible, safe use of escalators during corona time.

Consult the information sheet

Start up your workplace safely

From switching on apparatus to rearranging the shop 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.

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 shop layout of the workplace. Use floor markings, pictograms or barrier tape to show customers in which directions they should proceed. Encourage one-way movement as much as possible.

 

Do you have changing rooms? Staff and customers must continue to respect the rules or social distancing and hygiene here too. You can find more guidelines for changing rooms here.

Always check whether there are employees working out of sight or earshot (e.g. in your stock room). If so, they must have a way to raise the alarm (e.g. mobile phone, telephone, walkie talkie, fire alarm, etc.).

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.

 

Use this poster to inform employees about the maximum number of people that may be present in the room. Hang it on the entrance door(s).

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.
 

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.

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 employees 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.
 

Attention: cafeterias connected to or within shops must still remain closed. Put the chairs away to prevent customers from sitting down.
 

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

Check that the shop devices and equipment are still in good condition (e.g. pallet truck, forklift, (step)ladder, box press, packing machine). Use the manual to resume safe operation. Regularly clean all control panels and operate with fixed users as much as possible.

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 the shop and storage areas, absolute priority is to be given to surfaces, door handles, switches, telephones, printers, coffee machines, keyboards, scanners, ladders and so on. Every time a new employee takes over at the till, the work station (e.g. scanner, buttons, chair, conveyor belt) must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 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.
 

If you have a separate customer toilet, clean it regularly and remind customers of the importance of good toilet hygiene.

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).
 

At the till, install a dispenser with disinfectant alcohol gel 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. If bins, a box press or other equipment is used by different tenants on a single premises, wear disposal 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 have your shop staff received the appropriate information on responding to an emergency?

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

It is important that your employees know how to take care of themselves if the event of injury. Find out more in this info brochure.

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