Keeping farm staff informed about coronavirus
Good communication is key to reducing the spread of coronavirus. The government has provided some guidance for businesses on how to work safely and reduce the risk of COVID-19.
When it comes to communicating with farm staff which include seasonal workers, clear and regular communication ensures that all workers understand the reasons for social distancing and other measures being adopted in the workplace to control the risk of COVID-19.
Communicating regularly is more likely to effect sustained behavioural change. On this page, we have outlined some examples of how to ensure good communication at work.
How to communicate important information
It is important to ensure communication channels are in place to encourage and enable ongoing engagement at all levels. Good examples include using posters and signage in all languages used on site. These should be located in communal areas, accommodation and at site entrances.
- Remind workers on a daily basis and in the appropriate languages of the basic rules around hygiene and social distancing
- Wherever possible, make use of technology, such as a digital service portal or screen
- Consider using a translated linked self-developed service portal for reporting any work, accommodation, HR or welfare-related issues while in the accommodation to mitigate person-to-person contact with front-line staff
A digital service portal can share important information in a number of languages
What you need to communicate
Ensure seasonal workers are fully briefed in the appropriate languages. Translating guidance or instructions will help to ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them.
Information should be provided on the following:
- Symptoms of coronavirus
- What to do if they experience symptoms
- How to prevent the spread of the virus
Visual guides, such as this poster, are particularly useful and has been translated into multiple languages.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The NHS website provides the latest information and health advice on coronavirus but it is useful to ensure that everyone is aware of the symptoms so that they can be vigilant.
What to do if farm staff experience coronavirus symptoms
The government has provided guidance on who should go to work and how to work safely, and the NHS provides guidance on how to self-isolate and treating coronavirus symptoms.
In addition to this, it is a good idea to include clear instructions on what your processes are for reporting in and what you expect of your staff during this time.
How to prevent the spread
As well as including information in your induction packs, there are other resources that you can access, such as the NHS video and images on handwashing.
Other useful resources
Disclaimer: This information is based on UK governments and Public Health England (PHE) guidance. Other restrictions and advice may apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This guidance does not change or amend the statutory duties of an employer under the health and safety legislation, including, in particular:
Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA), which requires an employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees
Regulation 3 (1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), which requires an employer to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of its employees to which they are exposed while they are at work in order to identify the measures the employer must take to comply with the requirements of the health and safety legislation