Public Health Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The plan going forward should include preventative actions for staff on how to reduce the spread of infectious diseases (e.g. COVID-19)
Cleaning and Disinfection:
The workplace must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before work resume with focus placed on the following surfaces:
- Doorknobs, light switches, sink handles, countertops, desks, computer keyboards, floor, walls, chairs, handrails etc.
These surfaces must be routinely clean and disinfected. Visit Central Board of Health facebook page for a list of approved disinfectants. Provide staff with disinfecting wipes to clean commonly touches surfaces (keyboards, controls, mouse, etc.) before use. Additionally, maintain adequate supplies to support cleaning and disinfecting practices.
Other strategies to focus on are:
- Provide a hand hygiene station at the entrance. Employers and Customers must perform hand hygiene before entering the facility
- Practice Physical Distancing (6ft feet between each other.) Management should consider modifying workplaces where employees are likely to be in very close contact; increase the space between desks, and limiting nonessential visitors. Ensure that Social Distancing is practiced with your customers also.
- Ensure frequent hand-washing practices include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Place hand washing signs in the bathrooms.
- Ensure that all bathroom facilities are equip with liquid soap and single use tissue
- Provide hand sanitization station at key points in the facility.
- All the staff must wear a face mask
- Reinforce healthy hygiene practices.
- The seating for customers should be of an impervious material to facilitate easy cleaning
Management should monitor and plan for absenteeism, review attendance, sick leave policy, and if necessary, operate with reduce staff/reduce shift. Identify critical job functions and positions, and plan for alternative coverage by cross-training staff.
Establish procedures to ensure staff that becomes sick at work, are sent home as soon as possible. Identify an area where sick individuals can be isolated until they can leave work.
Consider alternative mediums for meetings such as having virtual meetings which will prevent gatherings.
When a confirmed case has entered the workplace
When a confirmed case has entered the workplace, regardless of community transmission, short-term closure procedures will need to be implemented. If this happens, Central Board of Health recommends the following procedures:
Coordinate with local health officials. Once you learn of a COVID-19 case in the workplace, immediately notify the Ministry of Health Surveillance Unit or the COVID Hotline
Dismiss employees who came within close contact with the confirm case for 2 week. During this dismissal, intensify cleaning and disinfection of the surfaces around the office spaces.
Communicate with employees. Keep employees informed while maintaining confidentiality.
Clean and disinfect thoroughly. Close off areas used by the individual(s) with COVID-19 and wait as long as practical recommended 72 hours, before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Clean and disinfect all areas of the workplace, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
Implement strategies to continue work. Implement remote working options that are feasible and appropriate.
Display visual guidance i.e flyers, posters, brochures, etc. on preventative measures throughout the workplace. Keep staff informed.