Planning The Safe Re-Opening of Your Workplace

The Government of Kenya on Saturday, May 18, announced the extension of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, in the same vein, the Government has given guidelines on how certain restaurants can resume partial operations. Many organizations that precautionarily closed shop are wondering how to safely explore re-opening.

The measures that an organization can adopt for protecting workers from exposure to, and infection with, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, depends on the type of work being performed at that organization and exposure risk, including potential for interaction with people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and contamination of the work environment.

Therefore, leaders in organizations should adopt infection control policies based on a thorough risk assessment. An organization should look at appropriate combinations of physical and administrative controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent worker exposures.

Some Occupational Health and Safety standards that apply to prevent occupational exposure to COVID – 19 also require employers to train workers on elements of infection prevention, including PPE.

MedLux International Hospital has developed this interim guide to help prevent workers exposure to COVID – 19. The general guidance below applies to all categories of workers and employers.

Depending on where their work activities fall in terms of risk profile, workers and employers should also consult additional, specific guidance from the Ministry of Health.

General Guidance for All Workers and Employers

For all workers, regardless of specific exposure risks, it is always a good practice to:

– Frequently hand wash with regular soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If basic soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.

– Always wash hands that are visibly dirty.

– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

– Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow.

– Wear a face mask at all times and other relevant PPEs where appropriate.

– Screen everybody for fever using a contactless method.

– Stay home if sick (fever, cough, running nose and/or tearing eyes)

– Avoid close contact with people who you know to be sick.

– Ensure regular cleaning and decontamination of all surfaces using appropriate cleaning materials.

– Create innovative barriers to limit direct contact between workers and clients.

– Create and implement a training programme for workers on safe practices at the workplace

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