(The below policy has taken guidance from the NSAI COVID-19 Workplace Protection and Improvement Guide)
The Company appoints Art McCoy Jnr / Lee Waterson to be COVID/19 RESPONSE MANAGER/TEAM.
The Company requires all employees and contractors to be aware of:
Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home, if they are well enough to do so or to contact the health service if they are acutely unwell. They should not come to work and should restrict their movements for 14 days from symptom onset, the last five days of which should be fever free.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection: Cough, Difficulty in breathing, Fever (38.0° C [100.4° F] or greater using an oral thermometer).
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
Wash hands properly and regularly and especially:
It is important to follow good practices for hand washing which include using soap and water and washing for over 20 seconds. Touching of the face should be avoided.
Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing. Cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your arm or sleeve (not hand), put used tissues into a sealed bin and then wash your hands.
The introduction of physical distancing measures will be implemented across the business. Employees should keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between themselves and other people. However, the Company may introduce other measures to ensure physical distancing in the workplace. These measures can include but are not limited to:
Work areas will be divided into zones (service bays are now individual zones) with personnel allocated to work within each zone. Zones may be identified by colour, number, section, tiles etc. Movement between zones should be minimised and controlled at all times. Cleaning of all work areas must be conducted at regular intervals using disinfectants to kill germs and stop the spread of disease and in a visible manner to instil staff and visitor confidence.
If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty in breathing, the COVID-19 manager/response team should isolate the employee by accompanying the individual to a designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2 metres away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic person at all times. The unwell individual should be provided with a mask if available.
The COVID-19 manager/response team should initially assess whether the unwell individual can immediately be directed to go home, call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home. Where that is not possible, the unwell individual should remain in the isolation area and call their doctor, outlining their current symptoms.
They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice should be given to the unwell individual to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
The COVID-19 Manager/response team should notify management and arrange transport home or hospital for medical assessment. Public transport of any kind should not be used.
The COVID-19 Manager/response team should carry out a risk assessment of the incident, which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery. Advice on the management of staff and workplace will be based on this assessment. Immediate action following a suspected case should include closure of the isolation area until appropriately cleaned.
If a confirmed case is identified in the workplace, staff in question will be asked to stay at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case and follow the restricted movement’s guidance on the HSE website.
All affected staff will be actively followed up by the COVID-19 manager/response team. If the person develops new symptoms or their existing symptoms worsen within their 14-day observation period they should call their doctor for reassessment. The above eventualities will be recorded by the COVID-19 manager.
If an employee is suspected of or has tested positive for Covid-19, here are some general tips for cleaning/disinfecting rooms where the employee was situated in the workplace:
Keep the door to the room closed for at least one hour before cleaning. Do not use the room until the room has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.
Communal areas and bathroom facilities should be cleaned with household detergent followed by a disinfectant (as outlined above), Pay special attention to frequently touched sites including door handles, backs of chairs, taps of washbasins, toilet handles. Once cleaning and disinfection have been completed and all surfaces are completely dry, the area can be put back into use.
Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.
Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
Cleaning should of communal areas should be done after usage by all staff. This should not be the responsibility of just one person.
For further detail on environment cleaning following a confirmed COVID-19 case within the workplace see Interim guidance for environmental cleaning in non-healthcare facilities exposed to SARS-CoV-2: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/coronavirus-SARS-CoV-2-guidance-environmental-cleaning-non-healthcare-facilities.pdf
All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a normal waste bag. Double bagging should be used. The waste bag should be kept for 72 hours, then thrown into the normal waste.
Special attention should be paid to any groups that are considered high risk or with physical disabilities or other specific needs (e.g. pregnancy, temporary disability due to injury). Planning in advance to meet these requirements can reduce risk and reassure those affected. The long-term impacts of incidents should not be underestimated.
The company’s priority at all times is to promote employee safety and wellbeing within the organisation.
Failure to Adhere to Covid-19 Policy
Failure to adhere to the company policy on Covid-19 will be dealt with, in the first instance, under employee disciplinary procedures and could lead to dismissal.
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