As of 9th March 2020, the fifth case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in New Zealand. Any infectious disease encountered in the workplace is considered a workplace hazard and employers carry a special responsibility to care for their staff.
The Ministry of Health has issued guidelines to minimise the spread of the coronavirus amongst employees. Here are 3 essential steps you can take to keep your staff healthy and safe:
Encourage good hygiene
Encourage your staff to follow basic personal hygiene as a preventative measure:
- Washing and drying hands regularly and thoroughly
- Staying at home when feeling unwell
- Covering coughs and sneezes
Why not share tips on an efficient hand washing routine with staff at your next team meeting as a reminder? https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/good-hygiene/hand-washing
Ensure a clean work place environment
Make sure surfaces, especially of common areas such as bathroom and kitchen facilities, are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Regular cleaning of the workplace environment will minimise the spread of infection by reducing workers’ contact with contaminated surfaces. Provide appropriate equipment for workers to wash and dry their hands.
Have a plan in place
Consider what measures you can take to protect staff in a wider outbreak in the community or in the case of a pandemic. Three key items you might like to consider include:
- How you will maintain your essential services or activities with high numbers of staff absence over an extended period.
- What essential goods and services you rely on and how you will manage any disruptions to supply.
- How you can implement alternative work practices in your workplace (for remote working capability)
Why not put up a few of these posters with practical steps up around the work place?
More information is available on the Ministry of Health website https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus or contact the Healthline team on 0800 358 5453.