Coming back to work after time away during the pandemic may have its challenges.  If workers have been away from the business for prolonged periods they may have experienced a decline in ability or proficiency. They may need additional time and support to get back to pre-pandemic performance.


Businesses also need to be aware of regulatory changes, and a recent change to UK conformity marking has promoted FIS and Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) to update its joint guide “How Business Owners Can Use Partitioning and Ironmongery to Help Manage Social Distancing”,.

Developed to help those involved in managing workplaces understand key considerations they need to make when adapting their spaces, it provides guidance on using partitioning and ironmongery to manage social distancing in the workplace.

Originally published in November last year, it has been updated to cover the changes to UK conformity marking post-Brexit. UKCA and UKNI marking have been introduced as CE marking will cease to be used in Great Britain from 1 January 2022.

It also includes a list of the relevant EN Harmonised and UK Designated standards that are relevant to partitioning, doors and architectural ironmongery and a summary of product marking sales territories to show where UKCA, UKNI and CE marking can be used going forward.

Joe Cilia, technical director of FIS, said: ‘Dividing spaces, even on a temporary basis may have implications on escape routes and safety depending on how they are installed and as good ventilation has been shown to help reduce the incidence of Covid 19 infection, the advice in this free guide is important and relevant.

Douglas Masterson, technical manager of the GAI, said: “It is critical that business owners and those responsible for property maintenance are aware of the changes and how this impacts the architectural ironmongery they choose for their workplaces. Businesses will need to continue to be responsive to Government advice but the new information in the guide will help them to identify opportunities for business owners to make sensible product choices now, that will offer them compliant solutions longer term.”

The guide can be downloaded here.

Returning to work during the pandemic

The HSE has also created guidance on returning to work, which aims to help support businesses in engaging with their workforce and provide the right support. It includes:

• Who should go to work?
• Returning to work after a lockdown or other closure
• How to help workers who are worried about returning to work
• Questions to help talk about working at home or returning to work

More information on keeping your workplace safe as coronavirus restrictions are eased is available on the HSE website.

For more Health amd Safety information visit the FIS Health and Safey Hub