Coronavirus - Health and Safety at Work
With it being cold and flu season and the increasing public concern over coronavirus, it is a good time to ensure adequate steps are in place to promote good hygiene practices throughout your workplace. Simple steps can make a big difference in protecting against the spread of viruses and other infectious illnesses.
Please follow the checklist below to get thinking about whether your workplace is taking every reasonable step to protect your workforce and any visiting public.
- Is warm water readily available at every wash hand basin and sink?
- Is liquid or foam antibacterial hand soap available at every wash hand basin?
- Are there hygienic hand drying facilities e.g. disposable paper towel or hot air dryers available and easy to access from the wash hand basin? If disposable paper towel is used does the bin have a lid and is it emptied regularly?
- If hand washing facilities are not readily available are sanitiser hand gels available for use? Unless automatically dispensed do the hand pumps get cleaned regularly?
- Could you provide tissues for people to use if they are sneezing/coughing, for example in reception areas?
- Have you got plenty of bins for people to quickly dispose of waste such as used tissues and are these bins emptied regularly and cleaned especially at hand contact points?
- Do staff have access to adequate cleaning products, for example disinfectant sprays and disposable cloths, to keep their immediate work environment clean? It is important to read the label on the cleaning products to ensure they are being used properly, for example to check for dilution rates, how long the spray is left on the surface before being wiped off etc.
- Are there regular and thorough cleaning procedures in place to cover hand contact surfaces, including light switches, door handles, toilet handles, bins, taps, equipment surfaces that frequently get handled e.g. fridges, cupboard doors and drawers?
- Do staff know how to access up to date information on coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public?
- Could your workplace be doing more to advise people on coronavirus and on maintaining good hygiene practices, for example by displaying posters like the NHS’s ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ poster or the coronavirus public information poster available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/london/2020/02/03/coronavirus-public-information-campaign-launched-across-the-uk/?
- Although it is unlikely, has your workplace thought about the actions to be taken if a person reports having symptoms and is concerned that they may have coronavirus? Current Public Health England advice is to keep this person away from other people, ideally by finding a nearby room, for example a changing room or staff office, where this person can be isolated. The room should be quick and easy to access without requiring the person to come into contact with others. If possible open the window to allow for good ventilation. The person should be prompted to call NHS 111 (or 999 in an emergency), where they will be given further advice. Other people should maintain a distance of at least two meters from the person at all times.
We thank you for your assistance in helping us do all we can to keep Dover a healthy and safe place to work and visit.