Covid safety screening

As we all adapting to a new ‘Covid safe’ working environment, what challenges do businesses face following the pandemic and how are they having to adapt? Simon Boocock, managing director of CRL Europe, examines what systems can be employed to ensure social distancing rules are followed.

With businesses in the UK being encouraged to re-open following the coronavirus pandemic, one guideline that all must follow is to do so in a way that is Covid secure.

This means that, for many, changes will need to be made to ensure that social distancing is possible. From retail premises to offices, staff will expect to return to a different environment to the one they left, but it is also important that the spaces are still familiar, to give people the confidence they need to resume normal life. Above all, employees and customers will need to be reassured that conditions are as safe as possible.

Importantly too, is the need for businesses to make quick changes, as after a period of very low economic activity the pressure is on to regain efficiency and productivity, and improve company finances. And, of course, the guidelines around Covid-19 are likely to change over time, so being able to adapt is also crucial.

Practical solutions that are relatively quick to implement include hand sanitation points, signage and protective screens. The good thing about the latter is that the overall aesthetics of the office or retail environment are unaffected by and large, as the clear plastic or glass screen still allows natural light to flow and does not present a visual obstacle. This means that the team spirit and employee camaraderie can safely return to offices, and the interaction between shop staff and customers can comfortably continue in retail environments.

Transparent and easy-to-clean screens ensure social distancing and hygiene, and act as a barrier to viral and bacterial infections, while still enabling eye contact and interaction; but fixing them permanently into position has its drawbacks. Firstly, there is the issue of adaptability: if businesses want to change layouts or make changes as health and safety guidelines change, having to unscrew and replace screens is an inconvenience. Also, permanently fixing screens into place could result in damage to furniture, which can prove costly in the long term.

A suitable alternative is to opt for a portable screening system, such as the partition fittings now available from CRL, which don’t need to be screwed into place, making them fully portable. The anti-slip base of the fittings means the screen will remain safely in position exactly where it is required and will be of most benefit.

Simple and quick to set up, such fittings mean that acrylic and glass screens can be used to maximise the health and safety of employees. In situations where members of the public will be present, such as retail stores, fittings that can be easily extended to increase the width of the barrier, enable the screen itself to be adapted as needed.

Portable partition fittings are also available in a variety of finishes, enabling the screen to seamlessly blend into the environment without looking out of place, maximising on comfort visually and physically. The result is workstations and retail environments that put staff and customer minds at rest, enabling employees to concentrate on work while interacting with colleagues in the usual way and encouraging customers to shop safely and confidently.