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Social Distancing Workplace Social Distancing - Step-by-Step, the Products You Need

Workplace Social Distancing - Step-by-Step, the Products You Need

Understanding social distancing restrictions, the risks and how to solve them

Social distancing has become a part of everyday life, but what does it mean for your business?

BSiF and BSI Assurance Marks.

If you:

  • are wondering how to implement social distancing rules at work,
  • are concerned that you don’t have enough space to do this safely,
  • are worried about operating under the new restrictions, then look no further.

...then look no further. Here at Seton we provide only the best in world-class social distancing solutions, we are a trusted BSiF member, delivering high quality health and safety equipment for home and business for over 60 years. We can offer free expert advice here:

Ask the Expert

Below, we detail the most effective products to help implement social distancing in your workplace. Follow our step-by-step guide to get everything you need.

Make social distancing work in your business

With all of the signage, PPE and hygiene equipment in place at your work, it is then up to your employees to carry out their daily tasks within this new framework. With highly visible and easily understandable floor signs and markers, this will be easy.

Secure Manufacturing Space - Social Distancing / Coronavirus

It is in your best interests to follow social distancing rules, in these uncertain times it will be a way to maintain profitability and help get the country back to normal as quickly as possible.

We will support you in getting your social distancing operating plan implemented at your workplace. We have all of the resources necessary to create and maintain the health and safety needs of businesses large and small.


Social Distancing Signage

Brightly coloured floor markers will make it clear to people where to stand and where to walk, with bold signage conveying your expectations and that you are aware that their safety is important.

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Social Distancing Anti-Slip Floor Signs

One of the most important aspects of social distancing is maintaining the 2 metre gap between people at all times. Use these signs to show where you want people to stand in your place of work.

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Social Distance Floor Stencils

A simple and quick way of marking the floors at your workplace with messaging designed to encourage people to be mindful of social distancing rules.

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Floor Marking Tapes and Markers

Essential for implementing social distancing procedures at your work. They come in a huge variety of shapes, colours and sizes. Ideal for any workplace.

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Social Distance Kits

A variety of our best social distancing products collected into handy bundles. Gain everything you need to implement social distancing measures at once.

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Queue Management Systems

These act as ideal social distance barriers, managing footfall in public areas. Getting an efficient queue management system in place will ensure that your workspace is not overwhelmed, while allowing you to keep a steady stream of customers moving through while abiding by social distancing rules.

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Other tips & tricks to implement social distancing in the workplace

There are many ways that social distancing practises can be enforced without being intrusive to your customers or employees. Things as simple as keeping doors open or installing partition screens will have an effect and help to diminish infection rates.

Examples of Social Distancing in the Workplace

Please see below a few applications of how efficient social distancing can be implemented in various environments in the workplace.

Secure Warehouse Space - Social Distancing / Coronavirus
Secure Manufacturing Space - Social Distancing / COVID
Secure Office Space - Social Distancing / Coronavirus
Secure Supermarket Space - Social Distancing / Coronavirus

To assist you in implementing a safe & secure environment in the workplace and to make the return to work for your company & employees as smooth as possible, our experts have developed a free & easy to use Coronavirus in the Workplace Checklist. Download it here!

FREE Download: Coronavirus Checklist to Operating Your Business Safely

Keeping your workplace clean and hygienic

Coronavirus can stay alive on certain materials for days, making it even more important that you disinfect all work surfaces regularly. The virus can live for 3-7 days on plastic and stainless steel and up to 4 days on paper and glass. It can even survive on clothing for anywhere from 1 hour to an entire day.

As part of your social distancing procedures at work it will be essential to implement a system to keep work surfaces clean and ensure disposable gloves are worn by all employees handling plastics, metals and paper. Halting the transmission of the virus requires vigilance and it is important to avoid complacency.

It is crucial to keep employees and customers aware of the risks and the actions needed to stop the spread of the virus. Clear signage in highly visible positions will act as a reminder and deliver important information, removing the need to rely on constant monitoring and spot checks.

Coronavirus Signage

Helpful and informative messaging displayed in a prominent place will act as a reminder of our responsibilities during the pandemic. To be aware of our surroundings and the simple things we can do to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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Wash Your Hands and Infection Control Signage

Ensure that your employees recognise that social distancing is important, and how to follow the guidance, by displaying these eye-catching signs at your workplace.

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Hand Sanitiser, Soap and Wipes

Our high quality gels, wipes and soaps are essential to help everyone in your workplace stay safe. Providing your staff and customers with these products will help to ensure everyone is keeping as clean as possible.

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Disinfectant Spray and Antiviral Cleaners

Apart from keeping ourselves clean, it is equally important to keep the environment we live and work in clean too. Our safety tested cleaning products will help to stop the spread of infections in the workplace.

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Get protection for your employees and your customers

PPE for social distancing - what do I need and how much should I buy?

Face Shields - Coronavirus

With a vaccine for coronavirus potentially years away, it will be essential to implement social distancing measures at your workplace. This may seem like a daunting task but prevention is better than cure and until a vaccine is discovered it is more important than ever to make the investment in your company's future.

In a workplace environment it is difficult to maintain social distancing rules without proper PPE and signage in place, it is important to use this equipment in order to diminish and control the rate of infection. Once you have floor markers in place and essential PPE for your employees, as well as hygiene cleansing products, such as hand sanitiser, readily available you will be able to operate your business with minimal impact from coronavirus.

Being well-stocked is critical and having enough PPE on hand to cater to all of your employees’ needs will be essential in this difficult time. This is why we offer only the best to protect your workforce and your customers.

The health and safety of your employees and customers during this global health crisis is paramount. With many businesses now planning to go back to work, it is imperative that you have all the tools and equipment you need to operate safely.

Apart from protecting the health of yourself and your employees, infection control in the workplace will help protect your business too. Having too many employees off sick means that you won’t be able to operate as normal and this will potentially put your business at risk. Fortunately, we have all the products you need to help prevent this scenario.

As a business, you are legally obligated to do everything you can to ensure a safe working environment during this time. Refusing to comply may result in legal action being taken against you. With our range of social distancing floor tapes, you can remind your employees to stick to social distancing rules and avoid complacency going forward. For information and guidance on this, see:

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How to operate your business in the new environment

The main aim of these new rules is to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a highly contagious and deadly disease, to the most vulnerable in society.

Social Distancing in Public Transport

The spread of this disease is controlled by ensuring that everyone is mindful of their hygiene and personal space. This should then reduce the transmission rate of the virus. Unfortunately not everyone has the time or inclination to be respectful of these rules, especially in a workplace environment, where speed and efficiency are usually considered more important than where to stand, how far apart to stand and how to interact with fellow employees.

Luckily, augmenting your workplace to follow social distancing rules is a fairly simple process, which in turn, takes all the hassle and mental anguish from following the new guidelines out of the work environment, allowing your employees to continue working as effectively as possible.

Given the seriousness of the threat from coronavirus, a recognised global pandemic, it would be negligent of any company to ignore social distancing rules. Not only would this be endangering the health of your employees but, due to the time and manpower lost through sickness, could endanger the business itself.

So, what do you need to do, to get your workplace ready for social distancing?

Social distancing in the workplace - Your questions!

As experts in health and safety, we have compiled the most commonly asked questions raised by you, around the coronavirus and social distancing.

Coronavirus affects everyone, making it essential that your employees and customers take the measures put in place to slow down the rate of infection seriously. It can seem easy to dismiss many of the restrictions as an overreaction, however for those of us that coronavirus affects, it is all too real. Protecting the most vulnerable in society is a priority right now. These rules have been put in place to avoid another wave of coronavirus cases in the near future.

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are considered zoonotic. They cause disease in animals such as bats, dogs and cats. Seven of these, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most of these types just cause cold-like symptoms. For more information we have created a Coronavirus infection control page, an in-depth guide to keeping yourself and others protected from Coronavirus in the workplace.

Why is social distancing important?
Coronavirus - Stay at Home

Coronavirus is highly contagious but its spread can be controlled quite easily. The virus itself can only live on surfaces for a certain amount of time. This is why general hygiene and cleaning practises are so important. The virus is killed by disinfecting surfaces and even just washing your hands with soap, as the outer layer of the virus is broken down rendering it inert. The social distancing rules, if followed, will allow you to go about your daily routine and stop the spread of the virus, helping to ease the burden on the healthcare system until a vaccine is discovered.

Why do we have to stand 2 metres apart?

Although the virus is not airborne it can indeed travel through the air. It can do this through large droplets of liquid, dispersed into the air when people cough. These can travel up to 2 metres, hence the recommendation to stay 2 metres apart in public at all times.

One of the main transmissions of infection is through this method; people breathing in droplets from infected people within a 2-metre radius or the droplets landing on a surface and then being interacted with.

Can’t I just print my own Social Distancing signage?

We all like to save money, but there are certain things that are worth the expense. Your staff and customer’s health and wellbeing are arguably one of them.

Although there is no law against making your own social distancing signage, it is your responsibility as a business to ensure there are clear instructions for staff to follow in order to work safely.

Poorly written signs can cause confusion and makeshift floor markings could become a tripping hazard, both of which could prove disastrous for your business. It’s your choice, but it's advisable to consider whether it’s worth taking the risk. It may be a while until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, so if you want to keep everyone in your workplace safe until then, we have the right products to help.

What is the best queue management system for my business?

The specifics of this will of course depend on the type of business you run, but the key with any queue management system is to provide clear guidance. This includes having instructions on social distancing and hygiene using signage, visual aids, floor markings, cones and barriers.

Queue Management in Times of Coronavirus - Supermarket Queue Management in Times of Coronavirus - Cash / Ticket Withdrawal

Maintaining social distancing in your queue is of vital importance. However, it is easy for people to become complacent and get too close to others. When people are queuing they are often looking down at their phone and therefore become distracted. It is your responsibility as business to remind your customers to keep their distance from one another. Having the right products in place can help you to communicate a strong and clear message to your customers on what they need to do to keep safe in your premises.

Having an effective queue management system in place is also important as it limits the number of customers entering your business. By placing staff at the entrance to your store, they can help to maintain a safe number of customers inside, whilst monitoring social distancing within the queue itself.

It is also worth considering the particular needs of those who are visually or hearing impaired. Staff should be reminded to look out for those who may need more support in shopping safely within your store.

Here at Seton we stock the products that you need to achieve an effective queue management system for your business.

Should I get masks and goggles for all of my staff?

It is your responsibility as a business to make sure that your staff are kept as safe as possible. This involves making sure they are equipped with the right personal protective equipment (PPE).

The type of PPE that your staff need will depend on the kind of work they are carrying out and their workplace environment. For example, those working in healthcare will require medical-grade PPE as they are likely to be exposed to higher doses of virus than those working in a supermarket.

For the wider public and staff working in non-healthcare environments, it is important to remember that frequent hand-washing and social distancing are more effective than face coverings/masks and goggles, as stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, such PPE should be worn in environments such as shops where social distancing cannot always be adhered to. For example, shop staff may be approached by customers who have come too close and therefore put them at risk of infection.

Your staff may also feel more comfortable wearing a face covering in a busy environment, so they should have the choice to wear them if they would like to, even if as a business are not currently enforcing it.

At Seton, we want everyone in your workplace to be kept safe. This is why we stock a wide range of PPE from medical-grade PPE to disposable gloves and face masks.

Does social distancing mean I can’t send post?

Contracting the virus through the post is extremely rare but unfortunately, there is a small likelihood that this could occur. The main advice is that if you are concerned, wash your hands after handling packages or post. The virus can live for up to 4 days on paper and 24 hours on cardboard.

It is important to remember that detection of the virus does not mean that it is transmissible, environmental conditions such as temperature changes can affect the viability of the virus. It is wise to take precautions but the chances of catching it through the post are low.

How soon will a vaccine be developed?

At the moment this is unknown, estimates range from a few months to years. Trials of promising vaccines are being carried out but their viability is not yet known. Even if a successful vaccine is discovered by the end of this year (2020) it may take months to mass produce enough to vaccinate most of the population.

The most optimistic estimates seem to indicate 12-18 months before life will begin to return to normal, but unfortunately there can be no definite answers as of yet.

Are there fines for breaking social distancing rules?

Even though the vast majority of the public are abiding by the new rules put in place to save lives, there are still those that feel the rules do not apply to them. Police around the country have had to issue fines to people flouting social distancing measures.

The initial fine is £30 with the person ending up in court if they do not pay. This has mainly been brought into force to disperse mass gatherings.

When will the restrictions stop?

The hope is that life can return to normal by the end of 2021 at the earliest. Until then it is likely that although lockdown restrictions will be eased, social distancing measures will be kept in place until such a time as a vaccine is found or herd immunity has taken effect, although the latter would take upwards of five years to take effect.

It is best to think in the long term, for your business and for the health of your employees and customers. Many places being ill prepared is in part what has led the UK to have the highest death toll from the virus in Europe.

How do I combat complacency once I have implemented social distancing at work?
COVID-19 Floor SIgnage Arrows

The best way to deal with this, quite natural, reaction to sudden change in habitat and habits is to use signage as a constant reminder. Place signs over hand sanitiser stations, place posters detailing hygiene best practice in highly visible areas at your workplace and ensure they are visible for customers and employees. Use floor markers to show 2 metre gaps between workstations to make it as visual as possible.

Making sure that you are well stocked with PPE and hand sanitisation supplies is also a must. It is your responsibility as an employer to make it as easy as possible to follow social distancing restrictions and not let complacency take hold.

How do I make sure customers follow social distancing rules in my premises?
Floor Tape Black Yellow

Increase awareness of the 2 metre rule with signage. Mark where customers can stand and provide easy access to hand sanitisers. These actions all help to control customers within your business. It will all also help to keep your customers feeling that your business has their best interest at heart.

The British love a queue, so don’t be afraid to create a barrier/queue system outside of your place of work to control the foot traffic inside your work space.

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