How we have made campus safe
Building and layout modifications and restrictions
Following the announcement to close the University back in March, a team of critical workers have been on campus working within the buildings to ensure we continue to comply with our statutory obligations.
Prior to commencing the phased return to campus, we spent time adapting buildings to make them ’COVID-19 Secure’ which means that we have assessed the building and carried out measures to maintain social distancing to ensure, so far as is possible, safe working.
Particular attention (and separate risk assessments) has been made for teaching spaces, meeting rooms, laboratories, research spaces etc.
The University’s Estates and Digital Services teams have implemented clear measures to ensure social distancing can be maintained in common areas and will have worked with managers to implement measures in areas occupied by Colleges and Professional Services. Such measures include:
- A review of entrances and exits, establishing one way systems, keeping left when walking around buildings, encouraging the use of stairs, reducing passenger lift capacity etc.
- Installing protective shields, changing the layout and use of desks, restricting numbers of staff at work at any given time.
- Application of floor marking and signs for direction and spacing similar to supermarkets.
- Demarcation of reception areas. All signage and marking have been provided centrally in a consistent format so it is easily recognisable.
COVID-19 return to work training
The University has produced an e-learning training package detailing the safety precautions staff should be aware of. It is mandatory that all staff view and complete these prior to their return to campus (or as soon as possible for staff who have already returned).
Access to and egress from buildings
Where safe to do so, one door is designated for general access and one door for general egress to help control the flow of persons in and out of buildings. These are clearly marked.
At all entrance points to buildings, signs are in place to remind persons of the social distancing that is expected to be adhered to. It may be necessary to regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded.
As the level of occupancy level is still lower than normal, a new emergency plan has been written to cover all operational buildings.
Maintaining high standards of hygiene
Our cleaning teams are continuing their regular cleaning regimes and have increased cleaning of toilet and washing facilities dependent upon occupancy arrangements and toilet configuration. To ensure that we maintain levels of hygiene, staff working on campus have been asked to play their part.
The University supply cleaning products and all staff should take on responsibility for cleaning frequently touched areas of their immediate workstations such as desks, IT equipment, phones and kitchen areas.
Many departments and teams across campus offer customer-facing services. Within these areas, appropriate queuing arrangements have been clearly laid out for customers. Examples include, where to queue from, tape (or similar) on the floor to keep 2m between persons as they queue and clear signage. Railing or tape will be required where longer queues are likely to form.
It may be sometimes more appropriate to regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded. Additional signage to ask customers not to enter the premises has been used if this is the case.
We appreciate that despite the steps we are taking to make the campus safe, some staff may feel concerned for their health and safety, particularly in the early stages. We want you to know help is on hand should you need it. If your concern is centred around building and infrastructure adaptions, (signage, demarcation, cleaning) etc, please report these to the ECS service desk on 0116 252 2319. For any other issues, please report these to your line manager in the first instance.