Precautionary measures at the work-space to mitigate the risk of Corona virus infections
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Following the outbreak of the Corona Virus, governments and organizations all across the world have taken different measures to mitigate the risk of the virus.
The Kenyan government via the president offered directives such as closure of schools, travel lock-down, encouraging businesses to have people work from home; except essential services.
Here at the SNDBX, we are also following suite and implementing best practice to allow remote work and the reduction of public events. However we understand that it may not be as simple for some businesses to switch to this and may still need to operate from the office. We've set some measures here at the SNDBX and recommend the following directives to make the workplace a safe space and to reduce the threat of infections:
1. Promote and practice hygiene
Providing clean and well maintained hand washing facilities.
Clean hands at the door and schedule hand washing reminders
Offering alcohol-based hand sanitizers when regular facilities are not available (or to field staff and those on the road).
Regular cleaning objects that are touched frequently, such as doorknobs, handles, railings, kettles, etc. more often with regular disinfectants or soap and water and assigning specific staff to do so.
Providing sufficient boxes of tissues and encourage their use.
Reminding staff to not share cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery. Specific staff to be assigned responsibilities to ensure dishes are washed in soap and water after use.
Removing magazines and papers from waiting areas or common rooms (such as tea rooms and kitchens).
Making sure ventilation systems are working properly. Workplaces may contact DOSHS-Approved Air Quality Monitors to verify the status of the air quality. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning.
Cleaning workstations or other areas where they have been if a person has been suspected or identified with an infection
Limit all forms of employee gatherings
Provide specific protection to persons living with disabilities at the workplace and ensure effect measures are in place to promote their safety and health.
2. Be careful with meetings and travel
Using social distancing techniques, such as using telephone, video conferencing, or the internet to conduct as much business as possible (including within the same building), allow employees to work from home, or to work flexible hours to avoid peak public transportation times or crowding the workplace.
Assess the risks of business travel and ensure no travel is conducted without an approved travel risk assessment.
3. Promote safe food handling
Limit food sharing
Strengthen health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts
Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene.
4. Promote Home stay policies for employees
Ask employees to stay at home and go to hospital if they are feeling sick
Ask employees to stay at home if they have a sick family member in their home.
5. Promote prompt reporting of suspected cases
All employers and workplaces should ensure reporting of all suspected cases among their workforce and in turn employers must provide mechanisms of recording and reporting the incidences to the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services.
These policies will ensure that the workplace reduces the risk of spreading the disease. They are guided by the Directorate Of Occupational Safety and Health Services (DOSHS) whose mandate is to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Occupational safety and health Act 2007 and promote safety and health of workers.