Managing COVID-19 in the workplace

Managing Covid-19 in the workplace – it seems like it’s never too late to join this party to help quash the rumours!

I heard from a business associate that someone had come into their workplace and said they should be only using bottled water or boiling all water before use. In response to this I am posting the official advice from the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) the Chartered body for health and safety professionals – my professional organisation

Managing Covid-19 in the workplace – it Sseems like it’s never too late to join this party to help quash the rumours!

What employers can do

IOSH emphasise the importance of  employers communicating with their staff in order to allay these concerns to the best of their ability.

They say employers can do this by:

  • being clear to workers who feel unwell that they should not be coming into the workplace
  • exploring how their organisation will continue to function if workers, contractors and suppliers cannot come to their place of business
  • developing plans for different working shifts so that staff overlap is kept at a minimum
  • implementing split site or location operations where feasible
  • finding ways of planning and modifying processes in the event that large portions of the workforce are absent for a period of time.

Personal hygiene is also an important preventative measure to curtail the spread of the disease. Employers have a duty of care to their workforce and should ensure workers have access to appropriate hygiene facilities such hot water, soap, hand sanitiser and bins to dispose of used tissues.

What workers can do

Workers are advised to maintain good hygiene standards around the workplace by following the latest advice from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website which includes the following basic protective measures: 

  • Wash hands frequently with alcohol-based hand wash or wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Maintain social distancing- maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet distance) between themselves and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose
  • Practice respiratory hygiene – Using the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

The National Health Service (NHS) has advised people to stay at home for 7 days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough. They have also said not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital and that you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

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