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OUR

Safety policy

 

Steps we are taking to identifying and addressing risks

  1. Increasing handwashing frequency and surface cleaning
    • Hand sanitisers in every room. All staff and customers will be asked to use the sanitisers entering the building and as they move through the building
    • Hand sanitizing to be used continuously throughout a fitting appointment and whenever in close contact with the customer.
    • High touch point areas will be cleaned after every new customer arrives
    • A full clean of each fitting room will be carried out after each appointment
  1. Keeping the activity times that present higher risk as short as possible.
  2. We are lowering contact with staff and customers by reducing appointments, reducing guest numbers and creating staff rotas
  3. Working from home or, where this is not possible, to maintain two-metre social distance guidelines in the shop.
    • Non shop floor activities will be carried out from home.
    • All behind the scenes admin work will be carried out at home.
    • Working areas will have clear 2 metre distance markers
    • Have a staff rota to identify who is working from home and who is in the shop at any one time.
    • We plan for the minimum number of staff to operate safely and effectively at any one time.
    • We will continuously monitor the wellbeing of those working from home and help ensure they remain connected via team meetings and regular check ins.
    • All staff members will have their own computers and remote access to work systems to work safely and effectively from home.

People who need to self Isolate

  1. Staff who are advised to stay at home under existing government guidance do not physically come to work. This includes individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who live in a household with someone who has symptoms.
    • Still enable them to work from home if possible.
    • Follow statutory sick pay guidelines in circumstances where they cannot work
    • Follow current guidelines in for those with Covid-19 symptoms

Equality in the workplace

  1. All our work needs to take into account the particular circumstances of those with different protected characteristics.
  2. Involving and communicating appropriately with staff whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk.
  3. Roles that are inappropriate or challenging for vulnerable staff members are. Direct customer interaction, namely any appointment format. Collections may be carried out
  4. Any staff member who has caring responsibilities or vulnerable risk factors will not be negatively impacted or seen as less important than another staff member.

Social distancing in the shop

Bridal appointments, specifically fittings, cannot be carried out from home or within social distancing guidelines and need to continue for the company to operate. These will be carried out in such a way to reduce the risk further:

  • Observing wherever possible once out of the fitting room a 2m distance, placed on the floor with markers.
  • Increasing hand cleansing and immediately after dress changes.
  • All customers and staff will wear masks, upon entering the shop.
  • New masks for each appointment will be used for staff members.
  • Full training on correct fitting of masks will be displayed and given.
  • Fitting appointments may be carried out wearing gloves
  • Bride and guest will be taken straight to their rooms.
  • Pre-packaged refreshments will be available in both rooms.
  • Staff members will be handling dresses.

Further Actions that we are taking to further mitigate risk for those particular activities are 

  • Reducing the time spent inside the changing room with brides.
  • Reducing alteration appointment times to lessen the exposure time for seamstresses
  • Reducing number of bridal appointments at any one time.
  • 1 guest per bride allows to keep total numbers in the shop to a maximum for the space.
  • Retraining our fittings procedures to ensure the bride is always facing away.
  • Using our air filtering system in the air conditioning units to keep air circulation.
  • Keeping all windows (when possible) open to keep air circulating.

Having a designated “front of house safety nominee” (FHSN) for each working day. This appointed person will not work directly with customers. Instead their role will be;

  • Ensuring customers and staff adhere to social distancing rules
  • Encourage regular and timely hand sanitizing
  • Keeping all areas clean and wiped between and during appointments
  • Removing dresses from fitting areas and preparing them for going back to the shop floor.
  • Keeping levels of masks, gloves and sanitising products high and easily accessible.

Staff members “clinically vulnerable” but not “extremely vulnerable” – i.e. those that received a letter informing them to shield  will take extra care in observing social distancing and will not be carrying out bridal appointments.

Pre covid-19 we would regularly work face to face during appointments, for a sustained period. This is not with more than one person at a time. We are satisfied that we are ensuring these times are safe and are fully away no staff member “is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment”

  • Reducing face to face work during bridal appointments
  • During any day to day working activity will not put undue risk upon our staff

Each staff member will be assigned their work pack, including fitting tools, a tablet and fitting room.

Lunch breaks will be staggered and take place within the building in the office one at a time.

Staff will be required to bring their food and utensils in with them. No food preparation or washing will be taking place in the building.

Deliveries to be received and left in the designated space, sanitized if necessary and dealt with by one staff member.

Brides dresses in gown covers to be handled via one person only. No passing of items between staff members, When preparing for fittings to be taken from the store room onto the preparation rail 72 hours in advance of the appointment.

Dress preparation for bridal collections to be carried out following the above procedures and carried out by one staff member. Dresses will be prepared in one session and hung separately once finished. Dress not to be touched again until placed back in the back for collection.

Toilet and kitchen facilities. When using either facility to clean the areas after every use. To not wait to use either unless observing 2 metre distance.

Office to be only used for lunches and to keep tidy and not have items left out that are used by team members.

Steps we are taking to maximize social distancing when arriving and leaving the shop:

  • Staggering staff arrival and departure times to limit contact
  • Once arrived, staff members will remain in the building for the full working day, unless absolutely necessary to leave
  • Staggering appointment times to limit crowding
  • Using clear walkway systems, with clear 2m markings throughout the building.
  • Hand sanitiser at entrance and exit points and in every room of the building
  • Staff members will not go into other fittings rooms. To reduce movement.
  • Our “front of house safety nominee” will be regulating high traffic areas in the shop enforcing social distancing in these areas.

Steps we are taking to ensure staff can maintain a safe distance in the shop

  • All layouts have been reviewed and we are confident staff can work safely together during non appointment related tasks
  • Use floor tapes and mark areas to help everyone keep to a two-metre distance during appointments and other day to day activities
  • Avoid face-to-face scenarios, practicing our new back to face working practices in fittings.
  • Utilising the “front of house safety manager” (FHSN) to reduce movement around the shop
  • Each staff member will be allocated a box to put all their personal belongings in. These will not be allowed onto the shop floor and stored in the office.

Accidents, Security and incidents

Health and safety procedures and accident reporting has been adjusted and reviewed to keep in line with safe working guidelines wherever possible.

  • All heavy lifting requiring two people unless wholly necessary will stop.
  • Unloading of deliveries will be done downstairs and items moved separately
  • Any accident occurring in the shop will need to be assessed at a safe 2m distance before deeming necessary to offer aid.

In an emergency 2m social distancing would not be applicable:

  • an accident
  • provision of first aid
  • fire or break-in.

All doors and locks will need to be cleaned after locking and unlocking

Each staff member to use their own keys to unlock and lock doors

Managing customer interactions

Steps we are taking to manage contact with customers:

  • Reducing number of bridal appointments at any one time.
  • Shop layout means it is necessary for customers to only bring one guest with them.
  • No guest will be permitted for fitting appointments
  • No children or vulnerable adults will be able to accompany a bride.
  • Should bride be classed as vulnerable extra steps will be taken to ensure safety
    • No other appointment in at the same time
    • Reducing fitting times significantly by organising all appointments online.
    • Bride will be asked to put the dress on herself and staff pin when the customer is  dressed.
  • If waiting outside to gain entry, a customer will be asked to adhere to the markings displaying the 2 metre distance rule.
  • The local authority will be contacted to discuss the implications outside queing may have
  • All areas will have have clearly designated positions from which staff can provide advice or assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance
  • Transferring to paperless sales by signing online for their orders and receiving receipts via email.

Signage and visual aids communicating our social distancing measures to customers and staff prior to entering and during their time in the shop will be clearly displayed.

Customer fitting rooms

In order to operate our business and it’s sole purpose, fitting rooms will need to open to enable brides to try on dresses. In light of the safety issues involved set  procedures will be in place

Reduced assistance from staff. This will be in a staggared format.

  • Staff member will get the fitting room ready
  • Dresses will be prepared and ready for trying on
  • Staff member leaves the fitting area
  • Bride will then get undressed and ready
  • Staff member will go back into fitting area and using our back to face working fit the dress.
  • Staff will be retrained to identify best fitting practices that are time efficient.

Some dresses may not be suitable due to fitting concerns such as lace up backs.

Time spent in fitting rooms will be reduced. Layout of the fitting rooms will be altered to best suit “quick fitting” practices.

Final try on appointments will be reviewed at second appointments to decide if necessary or not. Final try on appointments will be cancelled if not deemed necessary.

Measuring a bride – back to face measurements using our new technique.

  • Retraining to do this effectively will be carried out.

Cleaning and hygiene

Before opening

  • Full shop deep clean, each area has been assessed for social distancing and high touch point risk areas that we need to clean regularly.
  • Prepare and stock up on cleaning and sanitising products
  • Air condition units serviced and fully operational
  • Santising equipment has been bought and full training will be provided for effective use
  • Furtniture less easily cleaned will be replaced with suitable, easily cleaned items.
  • All velvet chairs and waiting area chairs to be removed and replaced with wipeable non porous options.

Daily cleaning schedule

  • A Cleaning rota to enable all items are cleaned and nothing is missed.
  • Full Daily, weekly and monthly clean schedules
  • During and after bridal appointments
  • Traffic light system for the toilet will be in place. FHSN will be in charge of this.
  • When the toilet is used, it cannot be used again until the Green sign has been reassigned.

Front of house safety nominee will be in charge of keeping on top of cleaning schedule.

A cleaning rota will be completed at the beginning and end of every day. As well as a cleaning schedule throughout the day, during and between appointments.

Frequent cleaning of non shop floor areas and equipment between uses adhering to our cleaning log.

  • Toilets
  • Office
  • Sanitising room
  • Sample dresses and other sample items

Signs to build awareness of good handwashing techniques in the toilet are in place.

Sanitiser units in all areas

Staff and customers  will be encourage to

  • Increase handwashing frequency
  • Aavoid touching their face
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not readily available.
  • Routinely use our hand santiser sprays throughout the working day as well as during appointments.

Increased waste bins placed in all areas, these will be cleared and disposed of routinely thoughout the day but the FHSN

Hand paper towels will be provided in toilet and kitchen area rather than cloth.

Customers Handling of products

Managing handling of products

  • Customers will not be permitted to handle the samples or other products.
  • All products worn by customers will be taken to our sanitising area and prepared.
  • A track and  trace marker system to identify products ( specifically dresses) that have been handled and by whom. All markers removed once steamed and Filed in a cleaning log.
  • Brides wedding dresses will have their own handling log in their gown covers. With a sticker marking when last handled.
  • Preparation will involve either suitable cleaning products or a UVC light to sanitise the products. Lengthly research has deemed this the most suitable sterilizing method for our products, which are mainly porous fabrics.
  • Where necessary items will be stored securely for 72 hours before being reused.
  • UVC light will be used on all brides dresses, no cleaning products will be used on these.

Only the staff member constulting the bride will touch hangers.

  • Dresses no longer needed in the fitting rooms will not be taken back to the shop floor immediately
  • FHSN will remove them from the fitting room and prepare them

Hand sanitising throughout the appointment and between every dress try on will be required.

  • Customers will be informed of this with signs and discussions at the beginning of the appointment

Brides dresses in gown covers to be handled via one person only. No passing of items between staff members, When preparing for fittings to be taken from the store room onto the preparation rail 72 hours in advance of the appointment.

  • Unlesss sterlised dresses will be left in their gown covers and left for 72 hours before alterations are carried out.

Alterations on dresses will need to adhere to the 72 hour stored rule or will be sterilised after completed, if this isn’t possible.

Dress preparation for bridal collections to be carried out following the above procedures and carried out by one staff member. Dresses will be prepared in one session and hung separately once finished. Dress not to be touched again until placed back in the bag for collection.

Customers handling cash

To reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission, the government’s guidance focuses on limiting the handling of merchandise by customers and cash.

contactless payments via BACS for collections and final balances will be encouraged.

Steps we are taking to reduce handling of products and cash

  1. The merchant terminal will be in a communal area and cleaned between every use. Cash will not be accepted. If absolutely necessary, the customer will count it out place it into an envelope and stored safely for 7 days before it is dealt with.
  • Customers will not be permitted to handle the sample dresses. All products will be removed from fitting rooms by the FHSN.
  • Products placed back onto the shop floor will only be so by the FHSN
  • A designated collection point, for Brides to collect their dress will be set up at the front of the shop, rather than passing goods hand-to-hand.
  • Staggered collection times for customers collecting items, with a queuing system in place to ensure a safe distance of two metres will be enforced if they overlap.
  • Guests will be provided with a sanitisied storage box to keep all personal items in and to reduce any potential transmission from items brought in from home.
  • Any belongings such as shoes for fittings will be allowed, yet they will need to be put on by the bride.
  • Staff members will be following our new back to face working practices during appointments.

Personal Protective Equipment and face coverings

PPE guidance

  • PPE may well be essential when carrying out bridal appointments, measuring, alterations. Further guidelines amy be needed to decide which will be required, for now we are satisfied the following items are satisfactory:
    • face masks/coverings

Statement from the government guidelines state  “when managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.”

  • Based on this statement and our risk assessment we are satisfied our safe working procedures are enough to manage the risk.

Face coverings guidance

  1. Regarding face coverings, the government recently shifted its policy and now says their use in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible can be beneficial, however, stresses that they are not a replace for increasing hygiene levels and strict social distancing.
  2. Face coverings are not required by law but we are implementing them into our safe working practices for the time being along with:
  • washing hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on and after removing it
  • When wearing a face covering, staff will be encouraged to avoid touching the face or face covering.
  • Staff will change the face covering if it becomes damp or if the user has touched it
  • Continuing to wash hands regularly
  • Change and wash the face covering after each appointment or contact with customers
  • If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in the waste bins provided
  • Practise social distancing wherever possible

Communication

Communicating procedures to employees and customers

  • Full training and review of new working practices will be carried out to returning to the shop, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.
  • Our Risk assessment and procedures have been shared, devised and approved with staff agreement.
  • This policy is readily available on our website, a link will be provided in every email sent to customers.