Covid-19 has affected thousands of businesses and organisations, from financial pressures and increased staff sickness to being closed down altogether.

As we start to emerge from lockdown towards a more normal life and build back what we have lost, it’s important that your staff members are reassured they are safe at work and your business can continue operating.

The best way you can do this, alongside wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and following guidelines around social distancing and hygiene, is to encourage your staff to get tested regularly, even if they are not showing symptoms.

Lancashire County Council is offering a workplace testing programme for businesses in Lancashire where staff cannot work from home. The programme means staff can be regularly tested, as well as training staff so they can test themselves in the future. This helps to identify anyone who may be asymptomatic and passing the virus onto others.

There are also a number of rapid testing sites across Lancashire where people who need to leave home for work purposes, and do not have symptoms, can get regular free rapid tests to protect themselves and their colleagues, if workplace testing is not on offer.

 your nearest rapid testing site is by visiting coronavirus/testing/.

and mainly in order to keep our community safe and help take some of the pressure off the NHS.”

Based in Nelson, Pendle Engineering is another organisation that has taken advantage of the programme. Having heard the news about workplace testing being rolled out across the country, managing director Chris Smith contacted Pendle Borough Council to put the organisation forward for regular testing.

The UK Resilience Unit, a group of redeployed Army personnel, provided weekly testing for all 65 staff members and trained up six of those people to continue testing in the future. Testing takes place on-site once a week, with each session run by two members of staff, taking no more than two hours to complete.

Chris said: “We didn’t make the testing mandatory as we wanted to give our staff the choice to take part. However, all of our staff members agreed to take part, which tells us that our colleagues really care about one another.

It’s not so much about having the test yourself, but more about protecting everyone around you, and that’s great to see as a company leader. So far we’ve had no positive test results, which is even better as it tells us that our workforce is doing its best to follow the guidelines outside of the workplace, too. I would 100 per cent recommend taking up the Covid-19 testing programme – it’s a no-brainer!”

Wholesaler Clayton Park Bakery in Accrington is just one of more than 200 local organisations taking part in the on-site Covid-19 testing programme.

The business initially received regular Covid-19 testing for its staff, and now 20 members of its team have been trained so they can continue to test their colleagues for Covid-19 twice weekly in the future. With 160 staff across two sites, Clayton Park Bakery can now quickly identify anyone who is carrying the virus with no symptoms and manage the situation safely.

Barry Thomas, managing director at Clayton Park Bakery said: “We  premises to ensure the safety of our incredible, dedicated workforce

National retailer boohoo also recommends the programme, having rolled it out at its operations centre in Burnley.

 play in limiting the spread of this virus and we want to play our part in helping to keep people safe.

 virus without any symptoms and, when combined with other safety measures, such as facemasks, one way systems and temperature checks, is an ideal way for big employers likes ourselves to help protect our colleagues, their families and the wider community.”

If you have more than 50 employees, you can also access the national testing programme by going to coronavirus-tests.

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