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Short Covid Desk Screens?

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Grand Shidoshi
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Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by Messy »

Ignoring Boris's request to work from home where possible, my employers are ramping up a drive to install screens on desks to get staff sitting next to each other again, thereby reducing working from home availability

The screens finish at the end of the desk so there is absolutely no barrier between you and your neighbour

My employer says this is acceptable if we all learn not to face our neighbour when talking to them. Ie talk straight ahead avoiding eye contact with someone next to you. That may be true, but how pragmatic is that?

The Govts website re 1m+ provision isn't clear, but is this acceptable?

I would really welcome your views and experiences
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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by ddlh »

I can understand companies wanting to get people back to the work place but only if they are safe - and this does not sound "best practice" to me.

Surely one of the main benefits of being back in the office is the benefits of face to face communications etc that cant be via e mail or phone call. But if you are not supposed to face them or make eye contact, you may as well call or e mail them. Therefore you can do this from home??

If I was in your position I would be wearing a face covering (mask) or maybe a visor - asking for cleaning materials for the desks etc. and asking for local Environmental Health to come and inspect the layout to verify it is COVID compliant.

Most office workers I know are still working from home (Scotland - this has always been the message) - or only going to the office once or twice a week and 2 metre distance is being maintained so reduced numbers.

I must say though I have noticed retail standards dropping as time goes by. Places used to sanitise trolleys etc as you entered - now there is a station where you do it yourself - if you want to. Others used to have spare masks and hand sanitiser at the entrance but again a lot of companies are allowing that to slip. They will endeavor to "sort it" if you mention this to them, but standards are slipping all over.

Good luck and stay safe
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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by Blackstone »

It might seen simple but in reality most people when talking to someone will look at them and make eye contact.

With the best will in the world management can tell staff not to face each other when talking but the natural human reaction to communication, is to look at the person talking to you.

As above, people and companies have relaxed and measures and standards have slipped.

Sounds like your situation is not going to be easy!
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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by grim72 »

The desks in our office are surrounded on 3 sides by clear acrylic screens which extend up from the desk level to around 90cm above it so give clear visibility for talking but do provide a good barrier - I'd be wary of having low level screens
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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by stephen1974 »

If you are working at desks in close proximity to others you should have a physical barrier between you and them. Not turning to talk to them is rubbish - its a natural act you've been doing all your life and you will continue to do it. We dont turn round and say, that machinery doesnt need a guard, you just need to learn not to put your hand in its spinning parts (which is an UNnatural thing to do).

I wouldnt go down the mask or face shield route. Not necessary and irritating as hell.

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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by speshtiny »

Things to ask:
Has the staff that were shielding had a COVID risk assessment? This is following HSE, PHE and local authorities guidelines.
Does the company display the COVID secure poster, stating they have taken to 5 steps in ensuring the working environment is safe?
Do the staff work in bubbles?
In answer to your question, do screens work? The short answer is they are an extra control measure and other control measures should also be in place. As the wearing of visors and face coverings, especially when working close to one another.
The other is does the work environment has an airflow throughout to prevent stagnant air. Now there is research on boxed screen barriers which is currently being conducted to see if they work. The results should be out near X-mas.
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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by Chief White Halfoat »

Bit late to this party sorry...

We scrapped the screens purely because I think they are awful. It would create such a dreadful working environment you just as well keep everyone at home (obviously not possible in every business etc.)
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Grand Shidoshi
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Re: Short Covid Desk Screens?

Post by David68 »

We have screens around our desks. They are a clear plastic screen attached by velcro to a white metal frame and are approximately 1.8m tall. Each bank of 4 desks is separated by what is effectively a screen cross with the end of each desk equally screened off. When you are in your pod, you do not have to wear a mask but if you leave your pod or someone enters, both parties must wear a mask. We strongly discourage desk meetings and utilise Teams for pretty much all communications.

I am so used to it now, I will miss it when if and when it goes. it affords a degree of privacy without that claustrophobic feel of a traditional booth.
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