CRCs, hygiene and PPE

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Last week’s mailout gave the basic demands we are making in relation to the NPS workplaces for hygiene and PPE. Over recent weeks our Officials have been working with reps to ensure that CRC exceptional delivery plans include appropriate protections for members. PPE is only recommended by Public Health England where social distancing cannot be properly achieved as social distancing measures are the most effective way of preventing spread of the virus. In some circumstances PPE may be the only way to effectively carry on the work of the CRC where circumstances prevent social distancing but this must be the last resort after consideration of closing workplaces and remote working.

Our demands for workplaces are:

  • Social distancing in the workplace between colleagues must be possible and hand hygiene products made available (soap, hot water, paper towels, hand sanitiser) – if not the workplace must not be used and should be closed.
  • Arrangements for seeing clients in contact centres must include social distancing and hand hygiene as above – if this is not possible the contact centre must not be used for client visits (although if the workspace in the building meets the criteria above it can be used for non-contact work).
  • Clients exhibiting any symptoms should not attend a contact centre. Client visits to contact centres should be limited in line with the HMPPS EDM  to only those who are homeless, have no other means of contact or where there are specific risk issues and where remote contact arrangements are unsuitable.
  • There should be guidance in place for the use of hire and pool cars including cleaning hard surfaces that are touched while driving between users with alcohol wipes.
  • There should be guidance in place on the use of personal vehicles for work including consideration of safety by restricting client access to personal information about staff (for example parking further from the home visit address to avoid clients identifying registration information).
  • Where the guidance on vehicle use cannot be followed they should not be used.
  • There must be guidance in place for the doorstep visiting process and where this is not possible to follow the visit should not take place. Doorstep visits are to establish service user residence at an address and should not be used for ongoing supervision in place of telephone or other remote contact.

We have previously given reps guidance on health and safety - WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS DO TO PROTECT HEALTH ANS SAFETY- that members and reps should use to raise issues and organise in their workplaces around health and safety issues.