THE chief executive of Dorset Chamber has offered to speak to any boss or business owner struggling with the safety measures needed to bring staff back on site.

Government advice changed at the start of this month, giving employers more discretion to ask staff to return to the workplace.

The chamber has reviewed its own offices and placed its own risk assessment online.

It is encouraging other organisations to do the same by following safety measures which cover areas such as:

  • Limits on staff numbers in offices and kitchens
  • Screens around desks
  • Floor markers
  • Work station spacing
  • A temporary halt on visits
  • Sanitiser stations for such equipment as photocopiers.

Chief executive Ian Girling offered to speak to any boss or business owner concerned about the measures.

He said: “Employers must ensure their workplaces are safe for their returning employees.

“There is a great deal of work involved in carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment and implementing the necessary measures.

“It is very different to a standard risk assessment and I understand that it may be daunting for some businesses, especially smaller ones, but it doesn’t need to involve a mountain of paperwork.

“Help is available and I am personally very happy to speak to anyone about the measures involved, especially with the change of government guidance from August 1.

“Protecting employees in this way will give them greater confidence to return, especially if they are apprehensive about going back. It will also help businesses operate as smoothly as possible in the testing times ahead.”

Workers were originally told to work from home if possible. But on July 17, Boris Johnson said employers would have more freedom from August 1 to decide whether staff should return to work.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 30 per cent of adults were working exclusively from home at the start of July.

The Chamber is offering a range of support. The Dorset Gateway service, delivered by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with the chamber, provides free signposting to business advice and support.

Advice is available from the Health and Safety Executive at or at