In line with the latest Government advice we plan to open rLab again from the 5 July 2020, with some rule changes to help mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you would like to visit then please read these rules in their entirety, as there have got to be some changes to how the lab is used to keep things reasonably safe for everyone.
Just because restrictions are being lifted it does not mean that COVID-19 has gone away or that the risks have vanished. Think carefully about whether your projects are necessary and a visit to rLab is warranted, consider if there’s other ways of accomplishing your project that do not require you to come in. We hope that with the following precautions the risk of transmission at rLab will be low, but all contact still carries risk both to you and to your family.
From 5 July 2020 access to rLab is subject to the following new rules
These rules are based on government guidance on being “COVID-safe” and the precautions we are putting in place to lower the risk of transmission. Entering the space constitutes an acceptance of these rules.
Do not visit rLab for any reason if you have any of the following symptoms:
- High temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
If you have any of these symptoms you must self-isolate and seek NHS guidance: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
- Initially rLab will be open from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.
- The overnight closure is because we will be using an ozone generator to help keep rLab clean and safe by killing viruses and bacteria, but high levels of ozone are hazardous to human health. For your own safety you MUST leave the lab before midnight when the ozone generator starts. The ozone will have fully dissipated by 8am in the morning and will no longer pose any risk to members.
- We will not be open to guests (including family members) or new members, and we will not be having the open night / social on Wednesdays. Avoiding bringing any new people into the space should help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. If these restrictions continue long term, then we may investigate means of running virtual tours, social meet-ups, and sign-ups for new members.
- There is no guarantee the space is COVID-safe and rLab / Reading Makerspace Limited accepts no liability for any infections that occur after visiting the lab. Coming to rLab is entirely at your own risk, and you alone are responsible if you become infected or spread infection to others.
- You will be required to wear a face mask / covering at all times, you will need to source your own as the price of the standard FFP3 masks that we normally provide has become unsustainable when one mask, per person, per day is needed. Home-made cloth masks are acceptable for upstairs, and non-dusty work downstairs, but heavy dust-producing activities downstairs will need you to provide something better.
- Always maintain a 2m distance from other members wherever possible, and if not, a 1m+ distance. If the lab has become too busy to sustain a 1m distance (which we do not think is likely) then you must not start work and return at a later time.
- After discussion between the directors we have agreed to keep shared PPE in rLab, as the risks of not using PPE may be greater than the COVID risk, but you are strongly advised to bring your own PPE. If you do choose to use shared PPE you must disinfect it both before and after use. PPE is still required as per normal. Lack of PPE, or concerns around using shared PPE, are NOT an acceptable reason to avoid using PPE. If the normal PPE requirements for any job cannot be met, for any reason, that job cannot begin.
- All touch points need to be wiped down before and after use. There are many more touch points than you might think. Antibacterial wipes have been provided for this around the lab with more in the normal cleaning cupboard.
- Keeping the lab clean is more important than ever in these circumstances. Businesses that have opened are having their staff conduct regular deep-cleans of their premises to keep people safe. We do not have any staff, so it’s up to members to deep-clean their work areas and tools to a high standard, every time they leave.
- Hand washing is the most effective way of minimising spread. Please ensure good practice and wash your hands on a regular basis. There is hand-soap provided by all sinks and more in the cleaning cupboard upstairs if needed.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in all rooms. Please make use of it!
- If you use any items of crockery, please use the dishwasher to clean them. Do not hand wash and return to the cupboard. Preferably members should minimise eating and drinking in the lab.
- You understand and agree that CCTV will be remotely monitored to ensure safety of members and compliance with the rules, and you understand and agree that access logs may be shared with NHS contact tracers if they request them for the purpose of tracing people who may have been exposed. These measures are temporary and will cease once the government lifts all COVID precautions.
- These rules are being kept under review and will change based on how the lab is being used or changing government recommendations.
- All rLab’s existing Health and Safety rules continue to apply.
It is only by following the above rules that rLab can be open, so it is up to all members to ensure that they are followed.These measures are part of our plan for complying with the government’s rules for controlling the spread of COVID-19, and our legal case for remaining open depends on them.
We would like to thank everyone who was able to continue supporting the lab financially during the period when we have been closed. As we are now re-opening we need to ask all members who have suspended their contributions to resume them now. If your financial situation has been badly affected by COVID-19 and you do not feel able to make the normal £25/month contribution then please get in touch with us as we're very willing to work with you to find a contribution that you are comfortable with.