Employers and employees have a crucial role to play in stopping COVID -19 and reducing the impact of the disease on society. A key area of EPI-WIN’s work focuses on how to create a COVID-safe workplace and prevent transmission of the disease between employees through the following measures:
- Implement remote work practices (tele-working)
- Social distancing measures in the workplace when on-site presence is required (at least 1 metre)
- Hold fewer in- person meetings
- Restrict the number of visitors entering the workplace
- Limit travel beyond non-essential travel
- Ensure people with symptoms or with family members with symptoms self-quarantine for 14 days
- Check the body temperature of employees daily so that employees with fever don’t come to work
- Facilitate access to reliable information for employees to promote understanding of the disease and its symptoms and the personal preventative measures (respiratory etiquette, hand washing, self-isolation if sick)
- Check and follow the advice from the authorities in the community before holding a meeting or event;
follow all necessary precautions, protective and self-isolation measures, should a meeting go ahead.
Maintain a safe and healthy work environment
- Develop a business continuity plan
- Develop a contingency and business continuity plan for an outbreak in the communities where your business operates and for when your employees return to work during or after COVID-19 according to national and local health authorities.
- Promote regular and thorough hand washing by employees, contractors and customers, as well as good respiratory hygiene.
- Clean workspaces frequently with disinfectant including high risk areas/space (e.g. door handle, reception counter, elevators, disinfection of working stations of COVID-19 cases)
- Provide alcohol-based gel or washing hands stations
- Establish a reporting system for any cases among employees
- Establish a system to quarantine close contacts of a suspect or confirmed case among the employees
- Ensure good ventilation
- Develop a food delivery system that reduces contacts with food deliverers and avoid employee lines
- Ensure psycho-social support of employees during the pandemic. Incorporate mental health resources into human resources policies. Your employees may be suffering from emotional distress during this period; and may also suffer distress when experiencing changes like returning to work.
World Health Organization. 2020