The outbreak of the Coronavirus has seen the emergence of innovative methods to help control the spread of the virus and keep employees safe as they have returned to work. One of the methods to emerge has been the use of Coronavirus Marshals. A Coronavirus Marshal has allowed businesses to enforce COVID-19 best practices across their premises instilling a safer and securer atmosphere amongst their staff and the visiting public.
In this article we explore exactly what a Coronavirus Marshal is, what powers they can have and how they can help in the fight against COVID-19.
What is a Coronavirus Marshal?
By simple definition, a marshal is:
Someone to arrange a group of people in an orderly and careful way.
This means, a Coronavirus Marshal is a specifically hired member of staff with the duties to carefully arrange staff and visitors to align with the COVID-19 best practices, advise from health experts and the government.
Why are they needed?
Coronavirus Marshals may not be needed by every organisation. However, they will likely be needed for any business that has a large amount of foot traffic from both members of staff and members of the public.
To determine if a Coronavirus Marshal is needed, it is down to the individual organisation to perform risk assessments and determine whether their risk mitigation processes in place can sufficiently deal with the threat of the Coronavirus without the need for marshals.
What businesses and industries will need Coronavirus Marshals?
Some businesses and industries will require marshals to help with their effort of fighting COVID-19 more than others.
An example of industries that will have a higher need for Coronavirus Marshals:
An example of specific businesses that will have a higher need for Coronavirus Marshals:
- Food superstores
- Large office facilities
- Low league football clubs
- Leisure centres
What can a Coronavirus Marshal actually do?
It is important to understand that a Coronavirus Marshal is not a police officer; therefore, they will not have, and should not be expected to, enforce government issues laws and fines. Instead, they should be assigned a set of duties by their employer focused on encouraging and advising.
This means Marshals should focus on promoting social distancing and encouraging compliance with COVID-19 public health measures, educating and explaining COVID-19 guidelines to staff and the public, and lastly, identifying anyone not following guidelines and then escalating as appropriate.
Some specific duties that can be assigned to a Coronavirus Marshal include:
- Signposting members of the public and businesses to government guidance.
- Directing staff and managing one-way systems.
- Guiding of staff and the public to entry and exit points.
- Directing people to sanitising stations.
- Cleaning touch points.
- Handing out PPE.
What they should not be doing…
As mentioned above, a Coronavirus Marshal is not an officer of the law, therefore they should never be expected to enforce any COVID-19 regulations set by the government. This includes:
- Enforcing social distancing regulations.
- Issuing penalty notices and fines to those breaking COVID-19 regulations.
- Engaging physically with members of staff and the public.
If there are any situations where individuals persistently disobey advice and encouragement on a business premises, the issue should be escalated to the police or a trained security enforcer.
So, how can Coronavirus Marshals help?
Hiring a Coronavirus Marshal for your business can help in multiple ways, as discussed throughout this article.
They can firstly help encourage and advise the social distancing best practices around your premises. This means that staff and visitors are reminded of how they should be behaving, increasing the chances of them following government guidelines.
A Coronavirus Marshal can also help by controlling foot traffic and busy areas around your premises. This includes pointing out entrances and exits, as well as asking people to abide by a one-way system. This reduces the chances of the virus being spread through water particles in the air.
They can also identify any repeat offenders not following the rules so they can be escalated to the correct authority, limiting the number of staff and visitors that are increasing the chance of a COVID-19 outbreak in your company.
Ultimately, Coronavirus Marshals are an excellent addition to mitigate risk from your business and create a safe, COVID-19 secure work environment for your staff. Through creating such an environment, you increase the probability of having a happy, productive workforce.