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All Things Web® Case Study

Moving Offices – ATW Case Study

All Things Web® a digital marketing agency had moved out of their 2 offices during the pandemic with the team working remotely for over 16 months.  They were keen to move back into premises and had located a suitable office in the Cotswolds in the Spring of 2021.

Having previously utilised serviced offices they felt they needed support around the legal responsibilities associated with taking on a dedicated office space and looked to Sureteam for support and assistance to ensure that they were aware of all of the necessary health and safety considerations before, during and after the move.

Health and Safety Assessments for all areas of the business

Sureteam have been the health and safety consultants for All Things Web® for a number of years and so the team came to us early on explaining that they would be moving to a new premises. Having only worked from serviced buildings before it was therefore important that they had considered all aspects of health and safety for their employees and visitors once in situ as well as during final negotiations with the landlord, should items need addressing prior to them moving in. Initially the first task was to assess the different areas of the business and audit the premises to understand their status and understand what paperwork was in place already. These fell into two categories:
  • Office Set up / COVID Risk Assessment
  • Fire Safety Assessment
In addition, because this took place during the COVID pandemic and the team had been working remotely until then, it was important to consider employee wellbeing and discuss how new working arrangements would work or be communicated going forward.

A Healthy and Safe Office Set-up

Sureteam’s audit informed The All Things Web® team of a wide range of health and safety issues they needed to consider and check. These included:
  • Legionella – the risk of it being present in water tanks and pipes and ensuring drinking water is safe. Understanding whether water tanks were separate or shared between offices and how to treat these if necessary.
  • Asbestos – clarifying the age of the building and getting any necessary paperwork to ascertain if asbestos is present and the implications of maintaining these areas.
  • Slips, Trips and Falls – looking at all areas of the office and making sure that appropriate measures are in place to reduce slips, trips and falls. Whether this is the flooring in kitchen and toilet areas or the space around desks allowing for easy access and wires being kept neat and tidy and out of the way, so they don’t present a trip hazard.
  • COVID precautions – advising on the arrangement of desks and office layout so that the team can work and move around maintaining a 2m distance most of the time (this was before the 1m+ rule was relaxed). Stressing on the importance of ventilation and having windows open where possible as well as having the air conditioning system serviced to reduce the presence of any allergens. As well recommending the continued use of face coverings whilst individuals move around the office and the regular cleaning of contact points such as kitchen areas, door handles, desks and keyboards. Given the significance of COVID and the many ways it has impacted businesses, Sureteam also shared their COVID resources pack giving advice and guidance on many areas of COVID health and safety.
  • Display Screen Equipment (DSE) – recommending the best set up of DSE equipment and providing DSE assessment training for the All Things Web® team to ensure all staff are aware of how to set up their workstations correctly and reduce injuries and strain.

The Importance of a Fire Safety Assessment

It was particularly important for this move that Suretem carried out a preliminary fire safety assessment for All Things Web® prior to them moving in. The new premises had its own fire alarm system and gas boiler so we needed to check all the necessary paperwork was in order. We did a thorough onsite audit and then provided a detailed report of our findings to All Things Web® which was colour coded according to urgency, which advised what needed to be done and the recommended timeframes. Urgent items that needed looking at were, for example:
  • Locating the gas safety certificate for the boiler
  • Ensuring the emergency lighting was tested
  • Having the fixed wire testing certificate
  • Testing and cleaning the air conditioning units
  • Having a visible fire plan
This gave the team at All Things Web® a very clear list of what they needed to investigate, and the paperwork they required from the landlord so that when the move in date came, they could rest assured all these items were sorted and compliant. In addition, we recommended that all members of staff should do the Fire Safety E-learning training course so that the whole team can the basics of fire prevention and safety.

Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health and Safety

The All Things Web® team had been working remotely for over a year due to the COVID pandemic but with restrictions and guidelines about to ease the management were keen to get the team back working together in the office. Many of the team found their wellbeing and mental health had been challenged working from home due to little face-to-face contact with others. At the same time however, the management were aware there were fears and worries about working back within a communal space and the risk of catching the COVID virus. We discussed with the management about the importance of being open at every stage of the move and the planning in order to keep communication open with the employees and giving them opportunity to air their concerns either within team meetings or individually, including the option of hybrid working going forward.

A Smooth and Successful Office Move

As health and safety consultants Sureteam were able to assist All Things Web® at each stage of their office move ensuring that every area of health and safety was covered giving them confidence and peace of mind. “We have been really pleased with the assistance Sureteam has given our team as we made this move to new premises. The additional responsibilities of the building could have been overwhelming and an additional pressure at what was already a busy time, but Sureteam gave us the knowledge and confidence in the negotiations prior to signing the lease, the peace of mind that we were compliant and fulfilling our legal obligations, and training for our team ensuring that each member has an understanding of the relevant health and safety issues and how to stay safe. As our health and safety consultants, we know that we can always turn to Sureteam for clear, practical and realistic advice and they are always ready to give us the support we need.” Helen Moloney, Managing Director, All Things Web®

Can Sureteam Support your Business?

Are you planning to move premises or looking for a health and safety consultant? Sureteam can assist you whatever the size of your business or the industry you operate in. Our experienced team can carry out audits and assessments or train your team so you can do them in-house. For more information check out our services and training pages or feel free to contact us on 01666 503686.