STEp 2 of 6: SECURE

Last updated: 30th June 2020, Checked: 4th Nov 2021
Diagram showing 'secure' highlighted

This guidance intends to walk you through returning to deliver services safely for clients. Please also refer to the official health and safety advice: Government guidance and Health and Safety England.

Our Resource Database will also help you to complete these steps, as it offers links to specific advice in each of these areas.

Secure the service delivery location

Now you have an idea about your capacity to deliver in-person services, it's time to secure the space (this list is non-exhaustive).

What to do

  1. Create or use a floor plan
  2. Understand the floor plan of the space where services will be delivered. If you can’t access a floor plan, draw one out, this will help you with later steps.
  3. Establish where entry and exit points in each room of the building are.
  4. Identify narrow spaces that restrict social distancing. For example, entrances and exits, lifts, small kitchens, bathrooms.
  5. Identify doors and windows that can be safely opened (not fire doors) to ensure sufficient ventilation. Don’t recirculate air through air conditioning units, guidance on ventilation.
  1. Design a one-way system
  2. Based on entry and exit points, create a one-way traffic system to minimise unnecessary contact.
  3. Ensure people follow social distancing measures (currently 2 metres) when passing through doorways if rooms only have one door.
  4. Consider procedures for social distancing in other restricted spaces, such as lifts, bathrooms and small kitchens.

Factors to consider

At each step: ensure accessibility to those with disabilities of the floor plan and hygiene stations.  View Refugee Action’s how-to guide on Prioritising Clients and Services for more information.

  1. Implement hygiene stations
  2. Hygiene stations should include masks, gloves, tissues, hand gel and cleaning products. Ensure each station has secure disposal for materials such as used tissues and empty these frequently (see disposal below).
  3. Place stations at building entry points and at easily accessible locations for staff and visitors. Aim to prevent a gathering in one area around these.
  1. Protect work spaces
  2. Avoid sharing workspaces and equipment, such as stationery.  If you have no choice other than to hotdesk, implement a clean and clear desk policy at the end of each session.
  3. Protect desk spaces. For example, use screens or barriers to separate people from each other across a desk.  Perspex sheets of plastic are available for purchase online. However, most organisations we’ve spoken to have used local builders to buy and construct them. This may be a cheaper and quicker solution.
  4. Use socially distant and back-to-back or side-to-side working wherever possible.
An image of desks at brushstrokes charity centre with PPE

Example from Brushstrokes who have implemented protective screens and desk arrangements for their advice services

  1. Create a waiting area
  2. Minimise the need for a waiting area, number of people and length of time spent in it.  E.g. by offering an appointment-based service and by staggering arrival and departure times.
  3. Remove unnecessary furniture that people may touch. Remove or spread out chairs.
  4. Use tape to mark out space on the floor to help people to remain socially distant.
  1. Establish safe break out spaces for staff and volunteers
  2. Use safe outside areas as much as possible whilst maintaining social distancing.
  3. Stagger lunch and break times to ensure social distancing is maintained in break areas.
  4. Set-up chairs and tables in common spaces in a way that promotes social distancing and reduces face-to-face interactions.  Create additional space in other areas of the building that have been freed up by remote working may help.
  5. Encourage your staff to bring their own food rather than share.
  6. Minimise staff bringing personal items on-site. Plan storage of personal items such as bags and coats so that they can be stored separately.

Factors to consider

Consider procedures for handling external or extra people who may interact with your workspace. For example, maintenance, postal and delivery staff, interpreters, and friends and family who may accompany clients.

  1. Develop clear signage and instructions
  2. Provide clear instructions for building visitors to ensure a hygienic and safe visit, such as reminders to:
    - Socially distance
    - Cough and sneeze into arm or elbow
    - Avoid touching faces
    - Use hygeine station
  3. Doctors of the World have provided translated Coronavirus information.
  4. Consider playing interpreted sound or a video in waiting areas. View the communication step for staff briefings.

Example posters you can print and stick up

Handwashing technique poster (PDF, 468kb)
Catch-it, bin-it, kill it poster (PDF, 940kb)
Hand sanitiser technique poster (PDF, 436kb)

Consider consulting with service users - instructions that are clear, unambiguous and translated will be vital.

  1. Create a contingency plan
  2. Your risk assessment will help you to develop a contingency plan, including being ready to close if necessary.
  3. Consider possible scenarios and ensure the right mitigations are in-place ahead of time. For example:
    - Hundreds of people show up
    - Staff or volunteers don't arrive on the day
    - A client with COVID-19 arrives at the session
    - You run out of PPE
    - There's a serious health and safety breach
    - The government announces a change at short notice

More guidance

Suzy Lampugh Trust have published guidance on implementing a lone-working policy.

Read Brushtstrokes' story on how they have returned to a “new normal”.


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