- ORGANIZATION AND DUTIES OF THE PREPARATION TEAM
The implementation of the below mentioned issues in our workplaces is of great importance for an effective fight against the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the workplaces. These measures are taken by the Committee in the workplaces with an Occupational Health and Safety Committee and in other workplaces, under the coordination of the employer or its counsel, by the team consisting of, if available, the workplace doctor, occupational safety specialist and other health personnel and employee representative and, if possible, people who have received first aid training or have the relevant experience. In the workplaces providing health services, the Occupational Health and Safety Committee carries out its activities in coordination with the Infection Control Committees if available.
The Preparation Team
- Will carry out the works with respect to the measures to be taken;
- Will carry out the necessary works with respect to the hygiene and cleaning of the workplace;
- Will coordinate the internal and external communication and
- Will keep the emergency plan up-to-date.
For the isolation and quarantine procedure of the suspected cases, will ensure contact with ALO 184 Coronavirus Hotline and nearest hospital of the Ministry of Health.
The Committee or Preparation Team is liable to follow the recommendations of the official authorities and information published by the Directorate General of Occupational Health and Safety and to act accordingly.
- EMERGENCY PLAN AND RISK ASSESSMENT
It is required to
- Activate the emergency plan after updating the measures planned against the epidemics according to the current COVID-19;
- Organize the activities carried out in the workplace and working organization as to prevent COVID-19 exposure of the employees;
- Ensure the informing of the employee representatives and/or employees about the updated emergency plan and their awareness regarding what to do and not to do within the framework of the plan and
- Perform a separate risk assessment or update the current risk assessment by determining the dangers specific to the workplace with respect to COVID-19.
- PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE OUTBREAK
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent the outbreak is to avoid exposure to the virus. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace, the preventive measures should be immediately taken. These measures prevent or slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The below mentioned issues should be taken into consideration by the employers:
- Before starting to work, all employees should be checked with a non-contact infrared thermometer and those with high fever should be directed to the workplace doctor.
- A working model suitable to ensure the social distancing of the employees throughout the workplace should be developed.
- Signs/posters/instructions promoting the employees to stay at home when feeling sick; including the coughing and sneezing etiquettes and emphasizing the importance of hand hygiene should be hang at the entrance of the workplace and other places visible by everyone.
- Single-use tissues should be provided to the employees and separate trash bags should be provided for separate biological wastes and the necessary implementations should be carried out by the cleaning personnel for emptying the trash without any contact.
- The employees should be informed about washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before entering the workplace and during work. In case of no access to water and soap, the hands should be frequently cleaned with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- There should be sufficient cleaning materials in the workplace for the use of the employees. The sanitizers should be available in the common areas to promote hand hygiene.
- If possible, the homeworking of the employees in the vulnerable groups should be ensured.
- In case an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the employer should inform the other employees regarding the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and contact the health institutions.
- In order to protect the mental health of the employees, by assessing the psychosocial risk factors, measures should be taken with accurate and effective informing.
- The reliable sources of information (such as the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (“WHO”)) should be used to follow the up-to-date information.
- The occupational health and safety trainings to be provided to the employees should be provided as distant training by prioritizing the workplace hygiene and organization, hygiene and psychosocial risk factors. In the trainings, suggestions with respect to the family and communal living should also be given.
- CLEANING AND HYGIENE
In the workplaces, the cleaning and hygiene standards should be maximized.
- In accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, necessary additional measures should be taken.
- In the workplaces, the close contact of the employees and common use of the equipment, tools and materials should be prevented as much as possible.
- The employees should wash their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds before starting to work and during work at certain intervals.
- The regular cleaning implementations including the routine cleaning and disinfection of the surfaces, equipment and other elements of the work environment should be maintained. The hygiene requirements should be followed in the common areas such as the work environment, sinks, toilets, bathrooms, handrails, faucets and cafeterias, dormitories, resting areas, dressing/changing rooms, doors and turnstiles.
- The keyboards and other devices should also be regularly cleaned. The use of the telephones, tables, offices or other working tools and equipment of the other employees should be prevented as much as possible.
- Applied proper hand washing trainings should be provided to the employees by the responsible health personnel in the workplaces and their awareness about hygiene should be raised.
- In case of coughing and sneezing, the mouth and nose should be covered with a single use tissue and in case of no tissue, should be covered with the inner side of the elbow. Touching the face should be avoided.
- The visits to the workplaces should be restricted and non-urgent visits and non-urgent outsourced services should be cancelled.
- Everyone visiting the workplace including the business partners and subcontractors should have access to the hand washing areas. In case it is not possible to wash hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be available.
- The employers, counsels of the employers and directors should set an example to their employees as the significant role models.
- The cleaning and hygiene of the shuttles, especially and principally the frequently contacted surfaces, should be ensured at frequent intervals.