Renfrewshire Council

Image - working with covid

Last reviewed: 18.00, 24 Aug 2020

COVID-safe depots

The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in significant changes to how we work as a council, with our home and working lives changed significantly and almost overnight. It's been a real team effort and a great example of teams and individuals from across the council coming together to provide a vital service to the community.

Whether you have continued to work throughout the pandemic in your current role or whether you volunteered to be at the forefront of our response during the crisis, everyone has played their part.

Download the  Covid Safe Depots Guide [128KB]  

On this page:

Changes to the workplace

Many of you will already be used to the changes and the new health and safety measures in place across our depots and other buildings, however for those that are returning it will be very different and you will need to adjust to your new working environment.

As all our buildings are different, the new measures in place will vary slightly depending on your workplace, and your manager will advise you of the local arrangements in place before your return. There will also be posters and signage (see page 2) displayed throughout the building acting as a constant reminder.

In response to the pandemic, we closed the vast majority of our buildings - with the exception of Underwood Road depot and some of our schools - as this was key to ensuring we were able to continue to deliver essential services to individuals and communities across Renfrewshire.

In making plans to reopen our buildings, priority is being given to services that require access to specific equipment or facilities, and to services where there is a demand from customers that need direct contact or support.

Your health and safety is our number one priority. Since the beginning of the pandemic we have been working closely with the Trade Unions and all of our decisions have and will continue to be informed by the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and government guidance and made in consultation with Trade Unions.

If you do have any concerns about your return, please speak to your line manager, a member of the Health and Safety Team or your union representative and ask about the safety measures that will be in place for your workplace.

Keeping you safe at work

To help keep you safe at work the following measures are in place at Underwood Road and our other depots. This guidance is likely to change over time, please follow the updated posters and signage advising the measures in place at your depot.

These measures include:

  • Enhanced cleaning regime

  • There will be fewer shared facilities and more rules in place about how you use these

  • Restrictions on the numbers permitted in all Council vehicles

  • Hand sanitising and other hygiene measures will be very important

  • Physical distancing measures will be in place, fewer desks will be in operation and meeting rooms will have less capacity

  • All staff must clean all surfaces, equipment, chairs and tables with the product provided in cleaning caddies before leaving

  • One-way systems will be in place, with one entrance and a separate exit

  • No on-site cafĂ© facilities. Use vending machines, shop local and/or bring own food and utensils.

If you start to feel unwell at work

If you have a continuous cough, high temperature, or loss or change in taste or smell, self-isolate and let your line manager know. They will take a note of your symptoms and make arrangements to help you to get home safely.

If you need to use public transport, please keep away from other people and wear a face covering.

Once you are home, make sure you arrange a test as soon as possible:

  • if you can't get online, you can call 0800 028 2816

If you test positive for the virus inform your manager immediately and self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days, and all members of your household should isolate for 14 days from the first day you had symptoms.

You can obtain an isolation note at

Managers must in turn inform HR via the COVID helpline - 0141 618 7323, 0141 618 4031 or 0141 618 6676, or by emailing HR Systems when all phonelines are busy.

NHS Scotland's Test & Protect service is the next step in tackling coronavirus. It works by identifying who has the virus and who they have had close, recent contact with to break chains of infection and stop the spread.

There's lots more information about Test and Protect and what to do if you develop symptoms in our Working safely during coronavirus guide [182KB] .

Travel to work

If you live nearby and are able, you should walk or cycle to work wherever possible.

If you are driving to work, free parking is available at our depot car parks although spaces are limited.

If you must use public transport, don't board if you think it's not safe, please try and avoid busier times, maintain physical distancing, and remember that face masks are compulsory on all forms of transport including buses, trains and taxis.

If you have any concerns about travelling to or from work, please speak with your line manager in the first instance.

For the latest guidance on travelling within Scotland visit the Transport Scotland Travel Guidance during Covid-19 webpage 

Health and wellbeing

Everyone is adjusting to a new and changing situation and we want to do everything possible to safeguard your health and wellbeing. It's okay not to be okay and to need some support or someone to talk to, especially about balancing your home and work life.

Your line manager should be the first port of call, so if you can share how you are feeling with them, please ask for help and support. Alternatively, you can email Douglas Blair in the Health and Safety team or contact him on 0141 618 7630 or 07770398143.

Our priority has been keeping staff safe and well and making sure that everyone, who is still at work, is following Government guidelines on social distancing and good hand hygiene in the workplace.

Any frontline member of staff who is undertaking home visits such as care at home, child protection, community meals, community alarm response or emergency repairs, and doesn't feel they have the appropriate PPE, should contact their line manager immediately.

We are continually reviewing the latest guidance to ensure we have the right practices in place and that all staff have access to the appropriate PPE kit and guidance. Our new Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Work page is also updated regularly.

This includes:

  • Advice and guidance on the use of hand gels, hand washing and drying. While good hand hygiene helps prevent the spread of Coronavirus, one downside of the increased use is the potential to remove natural oils from the skin, which can lead to dermatitis or the risk of infection. Please see our Hand Care Guidance [111KB] for tips on how to look after your hands. Details on when hand sanitiser should be used, and the precautions to take while using it, are available in a separate Hand Hygiene Guidance [322KB] document.

  • Information about the council's employee assistance programme. Managers must ensure that, where appropriate, referrals and signposting are still made to Occupational Health and Time for Talking Employee Counselling. These services are currently being provided via telephone and video conferencing.

  • For ideas on exercising, healthy diet, maintaining a social life and staying emotionally centred visit Scottish Government Clear Your Head campaign page.

Further information on the package and DSE virtual support is available from the Health and Safety Team, HR & OD.


For the latest advice on shielding, please visit our dedicated staff advice on coronavirus page webpages.

Annual Leave / Special Leave

For the latest information, see our advice and guidance on annual leave and foreign travel.

FACTS key messaging

To prevent the spread of the virus we should all follow the FACTS. It is the sum of our individual actions, our collective endeavour, that is helping to suppress the virus.

  • Wear a face covering on transport and in shops and crowded spaces
  • Avoid crowded spaces
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre distance
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.