COVID-19 has spurred many businesses across a range of industries to take a closer look at their health and safety practices and procedures, with the importance of maintaining safe working practices now top of mind during the ongoing pandemic.
Safe Work Australia has updated policies regarding work safety during COVID-19. From implementing physical distance measures to using contactless solutions to check temperature, there are a range of methods you can implement in the workplace to keep employees protected and minimise their risk of infection.
Physical distancing in the workplace is crucial, as without it, catching the virus is much more likely. Without physical distancing, a person can breathe in micro-droplets from another person’s coughing or sneezing. By enforcing a 1.5 metre distance between employees at all times, you can reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
For some workers, it may not always be possible to keep 1.5 metres apart. If this is the case, you should undertake a risk assessment in the workplace. If close contact is unavoidable, consider implementing the following control measures:
- Minimising the number of people in a particular area.
- Staggering break times, as well as when employees start and finish.
- Moving tasks that can be completed off-site out of the workplace.
- Ensuring each worker is using their own equipment or tools.
- Providing and enforcing the wearing of face masks for employees when at work.
Worker and visitor hygiene is crucial at work. Everyone should wash and dry their hands: after coughing, sneezing, using the toilet, changing tasks as well as before and after eating.
Employees should wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and allow them to dry completely. An alcohol-based hand sanitiser made with the active ingredients of 70% isopropanol or 60% ethanol can be used should hand washing not be possible.
Good hygiene in the workplace also requires employees to:
- Cover all sneezes and coughs with a clean tissue or their elbow.
- Avoid touching their face, including nose, eyes and mouth.
- Dispose of rubbish properly.
- Clean and disinfect shared equipment after every use.
- Wash body, hair and clothes thoroughly each day after work.
- Have no intentional physical contact, such as high-fives or hand shakes.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
A key way to limit the spread and risk of exposure for COVID-19 is to implement appropriate cleaning methods for your workplace. Workplaces should be cleaned daily, including disinfecting surfaces, common areas, toilets and kitchens. Any frequently touched surfaces should be prioritised first, as they are most likely to be contaminated should there be an outbreak.
Drug Testing and Contactless Solutions
When considering how to manage the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, you should review drug and alcohol related policies. Safe Work Australia details that testing workers for illicit substances and alcohol may assist in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for some businesses.
Using appropriate, contactless measures to control the risks should be considered. The Soberlive FR Breathalyser with Facial Recognition not only tests for alcohol consumption, but also records time of entry and uses infrared technology to test body temperature through a contactless solution.
Increase Safety in Your Workplace
MediNat Australia can help improve safety in the workplace. Offering a range of saliva, urine and alcohol breathalyser tests, as well as onsite testing services we can help find a suitable solution for your workplace.