"We are a well-prepared health system but even the best-prepared health systems can face a challenge if you have large outbreaks." – Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer of Australia
Since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), WorkPlacePLUS has been engaged by a number of clients to review and update their policies and procedures regarding matters such as:
The purpose of an infection control policy is to prevent and control the transmission of infectious diseases in the workplace, and to promote health within the local community.
Your organisation’s infection control policy may already include various definitions, precautions and practices on Exposure, Infectious Diseases and Notifiable Diseases. Many employers may now need to update these policies to include Health Alerts and Exclusions.
Stop the spread
The Australian Government has advised that practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. It is important to remind your employees of what constitutes good hygiene, such as:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
Dry your hands properly after washing
Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people)
“It might sound basic, but avoiding touching your face and thorough hand-washing for 20 seconds is your number one defence against getting sick. I've been told the first verses of Dancing Queen by ABBA and Say My Name by Destiny's Child are the perfect length. Pick one and get scrubbing.” – Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
Some coronaviruses can linger on surfaces for up to 9 days. In addition to practicing good hygiene, extra steps can be taken to help stop the spread, such as:
Wipe down surfaces with a cleaning product
Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
Refrain from touching your face
Practice social distancing
Social distancing *
As a general precaution, employees may be encouraged to practice social distancing, intended to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases such as coronavirus or a flu-like virus. This may include:
New social etiquettes to replace handshaking, e.g. an elbow tap or foot tap
Maintaining a safe personal distance from co-workers (1.5 metres)
Avoiding large public gathering venues
Working from home where possible
[* Update 31st March: Australians are currently under lockdown restrictions enforceable by law, and must stay at home unless they have to leave for essential reasons e.g. going to work or school if you can't work from home, grocery shopping (only for what you need when you need it), medical reasons, safety, compassionate or parental sharing reasons, exercise. People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.]
Below are three downloadable posters by the Australian Government with information to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
For more information or assistance, please contact us today.