Back to Work Safely: Checklist for arts venues and museums
On 4 July 2020, art venues and museums in England reopened for the public. Those employers will therefore need to ensure that they take all reasonable steps to protect their workers. This includes complying with existing health and safety, employment, and equality laws as well as the government guidance on Covid-19. Here, are some things to remember.
Arriving at the venue
- Consider the health risks associated with travel for workers, volunteers and visitors and communicate appropriate information or advice.
- Limit customer numbers/adjust crowd density through use of timed ticketing and advance bookings.
- Either at point of booking or arrival remind visitors of the limits on gatherings.
- Introduce queuing systems and manage queues through use of barriers and staff directing visitors.
- Consider and take steps to alleviate any new security risks that may raise as a result of queuing visitors/employees.
- Stagger entry times with other local venues and take steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
- Consider later and/or earlier opening times to safely manage visitor demand and enable workers to travel outside peak hours.
- Provide hand sanitiser/handwashing facilities at entry points and encourage visitors to use these.
- Consider whether cloakrooms/lockers should be open and use no contact procedures where possible.
- Recommend that visitors limit the number of items that they bring with them to the venue.
- Consider whether some parts of the venue may need to remain shut and advise visitors of these in advance where possible.
- Develop a checklist of essential information to provide to visitors in advance e.g. re pre-booking, number limitations, changed hours, queuing systems.
Within the venue
- Consider how physical search and screening processes may need adapting to comply with social distancing measures and ensure that awareness of security threats is maintained through staff briefings.
- Consider how customers and employees will move in congested areas e.g. doorways and stairs.
- Consider how customers and employees will move around the venue. For example, think about implementing a queue management or one-way flow system.
- Ensure any changes to entry, exit queuing and toilet access take into account reasonable adjustments for disabled customers.
- Consider how toilets will be kept open whilst ensuring/promoting good hygiene, social distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities.
- Reduce/prevent use of interactive displays/experiences. Where this is not possible displays etc. must be regularly and thoroughly cleaned.
- Consider whether to continue offering audio guides and if so, consider ways to limit contact and to ensure that they are cleaned or placed in quarantine where this is not possible.
- Review the use of café and retail areas, taking account of Government guidance for food businesses and shops and branches.
- Ensure that a rigorous cleaning routine is put in place, in accordance with the risk assessment and appropriate to the venue.
- Consider risk of infection in noisy environments, through droplet and aerosol transmission, where people have to shout/speak loudly to be heard and take steps to avoid this e.g. avoiding background music.
- Remember that any live indoor performances should not take place before a live audience.
Customers and visitors
- Remind customers and visitors to adhere to social distancing, and hygiene guidelines.
- Remind customers and visitors that they are responsible for supervising any accompanying children at all times whilst they are in the venue.
- Encourage customers and visitors to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the venue.
- Keep a temporary record of visitors for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.
- Reduce access to the venue to only essential staff and promote home working where available.
- Provide handwashing facilities (or hand sanitiser where not possible) for workers at entry and exit points.
- Provide alternatives to touch-based security devices such as keypads.
- Reduce the number of people each person has contact with by using fixed teams or partnering.
- Maintain social distancing in the venue wherever possible, including entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings.
- Discourage non-essential trips within the venue, e.g. restrict access to some areas and encourage use of radios or telephones, where permitted.
- Encourage the use of contactless payments, online booking and pre-payment.
- Organise demonstrations and promotions to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.
- Have clearly designated positions from which employees can aid guests/customers whilst maintaining a social distance.
Tips for managers
- Managers should remember to engage with workers, trade unions and employee representative groups to monitor any impacts of the changes to working environments.
- Communicate operational procedures to suppliers, customers, and trade bodies to help their adoption.
- Develop training materials for workers prior to returning to the site/venue.
- Use clear and simple messaging to explain guidelines using clear images, signage, and language.