Situational Awareness: Staying Safe When Returning to Work Post-Lockdown

Situational Awareness: Staying Safe When Returning to Work Post-Lockdown

March 26, 2021

At the beginning of 2021, England went into another national lockdown. The stay at home order stipulates that people can only leave their home for limited purposes; shopping for essentials, medical appointments, getting a COVID-19 test or exercise. That also includes recommendations to work from home, if possible. While working from home isn’t possible for everybody, such as those working in manufacturing, construction, logistics, essential services and other industries in the public sector. 

As of 8th March, schools have now reopened, care home residents are allowed one regular visitor and two people can now meet outdoors for socialising. While this gradual easing of restrictions comes as a welcome relief to many who have felt the pressures of lockdown and government restrictions, everyone should still exercise caution and safety. Here is why situational awareness is vital during this transition period between restrictions across England and beyond.

Returning to the Workplace

Over the coming weeks and months, more companies will begin to welcome people back into commercial premises. Many have started already, provided they can make allowances for social distancing, provide enough PPE and rapid testing procedures. The biggest tool in our protection - and that of others - is full situational awareness and decision-making ingrained in our subconscious.

For those working in industries where flexible and remote working has been embraced for the past year while the world battles COVID-19, returning to a communal environment can seem daunting and concerning. Companies should continue to support workers and provide the right arrangements to support a gradual, phased or immediate return to the office. As accredited safety training providers, Advanced Tactical Resources can offer bespoke training for increasing situational awareness for companies that want to ensure their employees and environment are safe.

Even when we are inclined to be more cautious, we are all prone to making incorrect decisions and mistakes. In a safe working environment, mistakes can provide excellent learning opportunities. That being said, we all must minimise these mistakes, particularly in high-risk situations. Would you know exactly what to do in an emergency, that’ll ensure you and other employees are as safe as can be?

Improve Workplace Safety and Awareness

The meaning of situational awareness is ostensibly knowing precisely what’s happening around us at any given moment. It goes deeper than that, though; one of its central concepts is distinguishing between people and the environment, focusing on both critical elements. 

It’s about training your mind to spot the “absence of the normal, and presence of the abnormal”. With the pandemic causing so much disruption, people’s expectations around working, fulfilling their roles and balancing responsibilities may have changed significantly.

Employers must consider the following:

  • Risk management procedures
  • Conduct spot checks
  • Communicate that staff health and safety is their top priority
  • Management of physical and social interaction
  • Staggering of working hours where applicable
  • Provide additional PPE and hand sanitiser
  • Carry out regular deep cleaning
  • Ensure the premises are well-ventilated 
  • Be sensitive to all employees to discuss adjustments and ongoing support to facilitate safe and effective returns to work

As the UK’s vaccination rollout continues, organisations will need to prepare for its impact on the broader population and their workforces.

Alongside this preparation for workplaces reopening to more of their employees, practising everyday situational awareness will go an even longer way.

Importance of Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is influenced by tactical decisions made in hostile environments, covert surveillance and close protection. Training in areas such as first aid (including First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work), travel awareness, lone worker training, and CONDO training, revolves around situational awareness concepts. Advanced Tactical Resources help delegates assess their environment, people and help them anticipate actions and events that could prove dangerous.

Improved situational awareness can help people returning to work to feel more comfortable and at peace with a concerning and ever-adapting landscape. One of our objectives as training providers is to train you to identify and prevent errors, and being more aware can help you identify trigger points that could lead to those errors. Through structured training, you’ll begin to learn to avoid and prevent situations with proper situational awareness.

With thorough safety and awareness training, you’ll learn:

  1. How to perceive important information about people and environments
  2. Comprehend this information
  3. Predict possible future events based on this information
  4. Practice this method of thinking through scenario-based training exercises

Situational Awareness Training

Structured, bespoke training from Advanced Tactical Resources can help people prepare for changing environments, which may concern people faced with a possible imminent return to work. Contact us today to find out more about our accredited training courses.