Coronavirus: Govt wants businesses to curb contact between staff

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On Tuesday, the Department of Employment and Labour issued new guidelines to employers to prevent coronavirus infections.

?The department reminded employers that they need to adhere to legislation that require them to provide and maintain as far as is reasonably practicable a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of employees.

The new guidelines include:

  • installing high-efficiency air filters
  • increasing ventilation rates in the work environment
  • installing physical barriers such as face shields to provide ventilation  
  • minimising contact among workers
  • replacing face-to-face meetings with conference calls and Skype
  • minimising the number of workers on site at any given time e.g. rotation or shift work
  • discontinuing nonessential local and international travel
  • providing workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviours (e.g. cough etiquette and care of personal protective equipment
  • use of no-touch refuse bins,  hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 70% alcohol
  • provide disinfectants and disposable towels for workers to clean their hands and their work surfaces
  • display handwashing signs in restrooms

Companies must also supply personal protective equipment when appropriate, including gloves, goggles, face shields, face masks, gowns, aprons, coats, overalls, hair and shoe covers.

For now, the department will keep its labour centres opened, but queues will be limited to adhere to the 100 people not gathering in one place at the same time.

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