Managing Safety in the time of COVID-19
Creating a safe workplace to protect your employee, your brand and your customers is crucial.
In order to help, convenience stores, supermarkets, pharmacy’s, hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. are having to adapt their routines so their work can continue to be done without risk.
Many employers are still confused about how to organize, maintain and implement a plan in accordance with the OSHA guidance, so we have prepared some checks and tasks to help employers, business owners and managers prevent the spread of Covid-19 and get their business open and running to maximum capacity in a safe environment for all customers and staff.
1. Working together to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace
Employers and workers must work together to keep the workplace safe. Maintaining a robust communication between employers and workers is important in protecting against the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Information and guidance should be provided by employers to all staff, keeping everybody updated about the situation and the way to perform simple tasks, following the proper procedures, like cleaning routines and waste disposal, hand hygiene, physical distancing etc.
Each workplace should have, at minimum, one lead worker charged with ensuring that COVID-19 measures are adhered to.
2. Be prepared to respond to a rapidly changing environment
Staying informed is crucial to be able to act quickly within the face of this ever-changing scenario of uncertainty. Check the information provided by the appropriate agencies and also the latest measures introduced by Government.
Existing measures that are essential have continued to operate normally, however businesses should review their existing measures to ensure they are in line with the protocols around COVID-19. For more general matters related to occupational health and safety (OSH) requirements, check the guidance and advice available on the Health and Safety Authority: www.hsa.ie
3. Develop a COVID-19 response plan
• Consider individual risk factors.
• Include a response plan to handle a suspected case of COVID-19.
• Plan actions necessary to deal with the identified risks.
• Plan contingency measures to deal with new absenteeism levels.
• Implement measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
• Develop plans in consultation with workers and communicate once completed.
4. Develop procedures for prompt identification and isolation of workers who may have symptoms of COVID-19
• Employers should provide information on the general Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie.
• Provide instruction for workers to follow if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
• Workers should make themselves responsive to signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
• They have to self-isolate at home and get in touch with their GP promptly for further advice if they feel any of the symptoms.
• Communicate to the managers immediately if any symptoms develop during their shift.
5. Implement and communicate workplace changes and policies
• Review and revise existing sick leave policy.
• A business’s occupational health service should provide training and advice on the measures recommended to reduce the spread COVID-19.
• Make available public health advice from the HSE and other sources
• The lead worker should be involved in communicating the health advice about COVID-19
OBS: It’s important for employers and workers to remember that flexibility is required
on the part of employers and workers in meeting the measures to reduce the spread.
6. Implementing the COVID-19 prevention and control measures to minimise risks to the staff and customers
Provide an induction training about the latest up to date advice and guidance on public health for all workers. This training should include:
• What employees should do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19;
• The details of how the workplace is organised to deal with the danger from COVID-19
• Present the COVID-19 response plan.
• Introduce the lead worker charged with ensuring that COVID-19 measures are adhered to.
• Show the points of contact from the employer and also the workers.
• And any other information or sector advice that will be relevant.
OBS: All the workers should be familiar with and hygiene guidance and advice
• Cleanliness and Social Distancing
• Face coverings.
• Follow cleanliness measures:
o Where possible, install ventilation and circulation
o Perform routine cleaning and disinfection
o Provide hand sanitizer
o Clean work stations at the beginning and end of each shift;
o Frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
o Avoid touching their faces with unwashed hands;
o Avoid physical contact or handshaking;
o Adopt good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, covering coughs and sneezes;
• Report unsafe or unsanitary conditions;
• Physical distancing of 2 metres is recommended to reduce the spread of infection, minimise risk of transmission is
Planning and Preparing
Managing safety during in time of COVID-19 can be a huge challenge. Using health and safety management technology to help protect employees and customers, creating a safe possible workplace should priority for every business. Nowadays, we can rely upon technology that has truly transformed the health and safety environment. Businesses now have innovative digital technologies to monitor, measure and improve their health and safety programs and plans.
As Inspections in this time are a critical component of any risk management, Retail Solutions has developed an app called iQoo that makes your job a little bit easier when it comes to health and safety management. iQoo is a digital HACCP management system that has now been updated to include Covid-19 checks. iQoo helps to ensure that a business is compliant with any current legislation or government recommendations in relation to Covid-19.
iQoo can be used to check and record the following:
• Cleaning Records
• Sanitizing checks
• Toilet checks
• Travel checks
• Contact details
• Fitness to work forms
iQoo is highly adaptable to suit every type of hospitality, supermarket, forecourt, pharmacy and anywhere that requires regular recorded checks. If you have to check it, we can record it.
so, it is not restricted to just the above records but can be programmed to cover almost any recording that a customer may require.
Give your Employees and Clients Confidence that they are Safe at your Business.
Further information can be found at:
Workplace Relations Commission (WRC): Https://www.workplacerelations.ie
National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI): https://www.nsai.ie/
Return to Work Safely Protocol Return to Work Safely Protocol https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/22829a-return-to-work-safely-protocol/
NSAI’s updates and resources in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic NSAI Guidance for Retailers https://www.nsai.ie/about/news/nsai-publish-covid-19-guide-for-the-retail-sector/
COVID-19 FAQS FSAI Guidance and FAQs on food safety during COVID-19 https://www.fsai.ie/faq/coronavirus.html
www.Gov.ie, www.hse.ie, www.hpsc.ie and www.hsa.ie