Currently Resuming Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic is the global burning issue for Governments, companies, businesses, employers, employees, nearly everyone. The working environment has changed significantly. The surrounding of the whole working area has changed drastically. Workplace Safety is a high priority at this time for everyone.
The extended lockdown much more than expectations has brought a great depression in the world economy and hit the unemployment rate to a record high.
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Activities for production, distribution, wholesale and retail trading and for many other day to day necessary functions can not hold up after a considerable period. They should be resumed as soon as possible.
Never before the whole world has experienced such a discrete condition. All the sections of society including National administrations, local governments, companies, industries, traders, employers, NGOs, and social partners must establish non-binding guidelines and regulations for safe return to essential activities with each other’s coordination. Appropriate measures should be defined for proper interaction between people on work to avoid infection from COVID-19.
While setting the guidelines on Resuming Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic following basic terms should be considered for Workplace Safety,
- Applicable to every workplace regarded to how and to what extent normal activities would resume.
- Minimizing exposure to suspected infected people.
- Taking care of worker’s disturbed mental and physical health due to pandemic.
- Coping with the problems arise on resuming work after a long period of closure.
- Managing maximum workers working from home.
- Adjusting with a high rate of absence.
- Keep eye on the local status of a pandemic.
- Planning for future activities.
- The guidelines ensure the stepwise, gradual resumption of work activities.
Up to the invention and general application of anti-COVID-19 vaccine, the physical distancing is the only measure to reduce its transmission rate.
The globally recognized organization OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has divided risk into 4 levels on the basis of risk of exposure to the Covid-19 Virus considering Workplace Safety,
- Lower Exposure Risk
- Medium Exposure Risk
- High Exposure Risk
- Very High Exposure Risk
1. Lower Exposure Risk
Possibility of having minimal occupational contact with suspected infected people. This includes remote workers working from home or personal offices, workers not having close contact with coworkers at workplaces, long-distance drivers, etc.
2. Medium Exposure Risk
This includes people who require frequent close contact at workplaces with suspicious infected people, with travelers returned from national/international hotspot locations, with people working in dense population environments. Medium exposure risk level also includes retailers having contact with the general public.
3. High Exposure Risk
High exposure risk includes health care and supporting staff especially attending suspicious infected persons. Ambulance service staff and mortuary workers.
4. Very High Exposure Risk
Doctors, nurses, paramedics directly come in contact with infected patients. Persons involved in particular laboratory procedures, postmortem or pathology sample collection and analysis include in potentially very high-risk exposure.
Considering all the levels of exposure to COVID-19, the guidelines should be set accordingly to avoid a steep increase in infection rate.
The following are some suggestions to set guidelines to follow On Resuming Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic for Workplace Safety.
Guidelines For Organizing Meetings Or Events
- Postpone the meeting or replace it with tele or video conference if possible.
- Minimize the number of attendees.
- Check that instruction for social distancing should be followed strictly.
- Ensure enough supplies of PPEs (Masks, Sanitizers, Hand Gloves, etc.) for all attendees.
- Keep updates of contact details (Mobile Number, Email, and address) of every person.
- Keep handy the contact numbers of local Health Care and ambulance, in case of any emergency.
Guidelines For Management Control
- Before the call for employees to rejoin their work, develop a committee of efficient officers.
- Every member of the committee understands their responsibility for maintaining safe work procedures.
- They should strategize policies to sustain an infection-free workplace environment.
- The policies should be planned with the consideration of the global, national, and local status of COVID-19 infection.
- The members need to be aware of the guidelines issued by Government and Healthcare organizations and strictly follow them with the ‘zero-tolerance policy’.
- Keep an eye on employees to ensure that they understand and follow the new restricted procedures.
- The committee should have the right to stop the activities at once in case any abnormality occurs.
Tracking Of Employees
For the safety of employees on Resuming Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic following norms need to be followed
- The minimum number of employees as per requirement should be resumed.
- Track their recent travel history domestic and international both.
- Track employees ‘family members’ health and travel history. Closely check COVID-19 infection conditions from the Hot Spot area.
- Entry and exit should be strictly restricted through designated Gates and routes.
- Permission to enter is only for allocated persons for duty. Visitors are strictly prohibited.
- Avoid the Biometric or Fingerprint identification process. Manual attendance, facial recognition, or card without touch should be preferred.
- Ensure employees must pass through the sanitization tunnel. Sanitize hands and surfaces thoroughly they have to touch.
- At the exact working spot maintain social distancing between employees. If the distance between 2 persons is less than 1 meter, manage the acrylic partition between them.
- All employees should wear proper PPE according to the COVID-19 safety measures (Cap, Mask, Gloves, and a Bottle of Sanitizer).
- Working areas are to be cleaned and disinfected before closing.
- Employees have to maintain a daily temperature record. Inform immediately to their superior officer in case any abnormality regarding COVID-19 is found.
Transportation For Employees
- The use of public transport has a potentially high risk of exposure to the virus. It is better to arrange pick up vehicles by companies.
- Choose the transportation modes and routes considering risk exposure areas and social distancing norms. They should be approved by the company’s Safety Committee.
- Disinfect the vehicle before and after every trip.
- Check temperatures of driver, attendant, and passengers before boarding.
- Social Distancing should be maintained during traveling, boarding, and alighting.
- Everybody must wear a mask and gloves throughout the journey.
- Use E-wallet or exact change at fuel stations.
Education For Employees for Workplace Safety
- Train the employees to be aware and strictly follow all the guidelines set by the Safety Committee as they are for their betterment.
- Maintain Social Distancing.
- Use proper PPE. All touching is to be done by wearing gloves.
- Maintain a daily temperature record. Inform immediately to the authority in case of any deviation.
- Keep updates and contact information of the local Health Care Organizations.
- Also trained the people in handling the materials.
- Avoid touching the materials immediately after receiving from suppliers. Touch after a minimum of 6 hours, and also disinfect it if possible.
On Resuming Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic, the priority of the management is to ensure your employees for providing them a safe environment. In these abnormal conditions of fear of getting infected, activities at the workplace will go smoothly if the guidelines developed by the Government, and by the company are followed properly.
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