CREATE A SAFER WORKING ENVIRONMENT (LET US HELP FLATTEN THE CURVE)
- Background and scope
- Corona virus / COVID-19
- 1) Virus information
- 2) COVID-19 Signs and symptoms
- 3) How COVID-19 is spread
- 4) COVID-19 lifespan
- Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections
- 1) Preparing our workplace for COVID-19
- 2) Preventing spread and infection
- 3) Routine cleaning at work stations and work area
- 4) Guidance on the use of facemasks and relative personnel protective equipment
- What to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 at the Redot workplace
- 1) Procedure to follow: In case a employee or client becomes unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19
- 2) Procedure to follow: In case a employee or client with suspected COVID-19 has recently been in your workplace
- 3) When an employee or client in the workplace have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- 4) Procedure to follow: Cleaning of workplace, work stations and public places when there are suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19
- Quarantine and sick leave
- 1) If any employee is placed under quarantine by the employer, should the employee required to take sick leave
- 2) What if an employee request self-quarantine
- 3) What happens after quarantine period
- 4) What is a reasonable period of quarantine
- 5What if any employee contracts COVID-19
- Procedure to follow when traveling and attending meetings
- 1) Organizing meetings and shooting events
- Written safe work procedure
- 1) Written safe work procedure: Attending to clients, deliveries at office
- 2) Written safe work procedure: Attending students for training of firearm theory and close book test
- 3) Written safe work procedure: Attending students for practical shoot shooting range
- Covid-19 related emergency Contact information
- Further information and resources
- 1) Controlling and certifying absence from work
- 2) Handling of post or parcels
- 3) Resources
- 1 BACKGROUND AND SCOPE:
World Health Organization (WHO) declared on the 11th March 2020 that the corona virus COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. South Africa is working together with the WHO and Member State public health authorities to contain the COVID-19 outbreak
However, long-term success cannot be taken for granted. All sections of our society – including businesses and employers – must play a role if we are to stop the spread of this disease.
From a health & safety perspective, what legal obligations does an employer have in light of the global outbreak of Covid-19?
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 places an express obligation on the employer to maintain a working environment that is safe and healthy. On the issue of a healthy working environment, the employer must ensure that the workplace is free from any risk to the health of its employees as far as it is reasonably practicable. Within the context of Covid-19, there is a clear obligation on the employer to manage the risk of contamination in the workplace.
Practically, the employer can ensure a healthy working environment by ensuring that the workplace is clean and hygienic, promoting regular hand-washing by employees, promoting good respiratory hygiene by employees and keeping employees informed on developments related to Covid-19.
This guidance will assist employers in providing advice to staff on the following:
- Corona virus / COVID-19
- Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections
- What to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been at the work place
- Quarantine and sick leave
- Procedure to follow when traveling and attending meetings
- Written safe work procedure
- Covid-19 related emergency contact information
- Further information and resources
Redot only use guidance from reputable sources to determine risk of COVID-19. Redot did not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin; Redot will also make sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19; and be aware of persons who may be at particular risk (i.e. those aged over 60, have an underlying condition or chronic disease, or who are pregnant).
- 2 CORONA VIRUS / COVID-19
2.1) Virus information
As a group, corona viruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of corona virus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
Currently, the incubation period of COVID-19 is assessed to be between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed corona virus, they have not been infected.
Regularly updated information on COVID-19 is available from ECDC and our national authorities.
2.2) COVID-19 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- dry cough
- sore throat
- difficulty in breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
2.3) HOW COVID-19 IS SPREAD
Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are the main means of transmission
From what we know at this time about how the corona virus (COVID19) can spread is when there is close contact (1.8 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
There are two main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- Infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 1.8 metres) such that droplets could be inhaled into the lungs.
- it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
2.4) COVID-19 LIFESPAN (How long can it survive)
It depend how long any respiratory virus will survives on a number of factors, for example:
- what type of surface the virus is on
- whether it is exposed to sunlight
- differences in temperature and humidity
- exposure to different cleaning products
For what we know at this stage under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to decrease significantly over 72 hours.
We know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands. Therefore, regular hand hygiene and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces will help to reduce the risk of infection.
- 3 PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 AND OTHER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS
3.1) PREPARING OUR WORKPLACE FOR COVID-19
Contingency plan where our business operates.
Redot Firearm Solutions have equipped their workplace and training facility with the following consumables
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer are placed at the following areas of our workplace, work stations, kitchen and at the entrance.
- All work stations are issued with antibacterial wet wipes, tissues and waste bins lined with a plastic bag so that they can be emptied without contacting the contents
- Liquid hand soap in the bathroom and kitchen
- Paper cloth to dry hands and waste bins lined with a plastic bag so that they can be emptied without contacting the contents
- Student tables will be placed in a straight line 1.8 meters apart (student distance will be 1.8 meters apart)
- All students and clients have to bring their own stationary, black pen etc… (Black pens are available at Redot but students have to purchase the pen if they don’t have their own and may take it home after words)
3.2) PREVENTING SPREAD AND INFECTION
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
The following awareness measures put in place by Redot Firearm Solutions to help flatten the curve
- Redot have made awareness posters educating on cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to the workplace and in other areas where they will be seen.
- Instruct employees to clean their hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is provided at each working station.
- All clients, visitors and students entering the building will need to sanitize their hands with hands with alcohol based sanitizer provided by Redot
- All clients, visitors and students entering the building will need to complete a visitor’s form RED/079 with their personal information on it and reason for visit. (This document will be treated as confidential and will be filled accordingly)
- Social distance of 1.8 to be adhered to at all times
- All earmuffs used for shooting activities need to be cleaned before and after use with alcohol based wet wipes or alcohol based sanitizer
- Continue routine environmental cleaning through the day.
3.3) ROUTINE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANING
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, counter tops, and door handles. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.( Cleaning times 8:00 with opening of our office / 11:00 / 14:00 / 16:00 when closing office.)
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
3.4) GUIDANCE ON FACE MASKS
It is compulsory that all employees and clients need to wear a face mask when entering the office and work area of Redot Firearm Solutions, or when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance from other people. Such situations may arise not only in the workplace, but also at the shooting range and other public places, when supervising a practical shoot, visiting clients, suppliers or when using public transport.
Face masks should only be considered as a complementary measure and not a replacement for established preventive practices, such as physical distancing, cough and sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene and avoiding face touching.
It is essential that all employees use face masks properly so that they are effective and safe.
- It should fit properly, completely covering the face from bridge of nose to chin.
- Clean hands properly before putting the face mask on or taking it off.
- Only touch the cord or elastic at the back of the face mask when removing it, not the front.
- If the face mask is disposable, be sure to do so safely in a proper container.
- If reusable, wash the face mask as soon as possible after use with detergent at 600C.
- The best way to reduce any risk of infection is good hygiene and avoiding direct or close contact (closer than 1.8 metres) with any potentially infected person. Any worker who deals with members of the public from behind a screen should be protected from airborne particles.
- 4 WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED TO HAVE COVID-19 AT THE REDOT WORKPLACE
4.1) PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW IN A CASE AN EMPLOYEE OR CLIENT BECOMES UNWELL AND THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19
If someone becomes unwell in the workplace and there is reason to suspect they may have come into contact with COVID-19, the person should be removed to an area which is at least 1.8 metres away from other people. If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a closed door, such as a staff office (Admin office). If possible open a window for ventilation.
The individual who is unwell should use their mobile phone to call the designated public health service number. If it is an emergency (if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk) then you should call the corona virus COVID-19 hotline no: 080 002 9999 and explain the situation and relevant information, such as their current symptoms.
Whilst waiting for advice from the designated public health or emergency service, the affected person should remain at least two metres from other people. They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and should cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in a bag or pocket then throw the tissue in the bin. If they do not have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
If they need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.
4.2) PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW IN A CASE AN EMPLOYEE OR CLIENT WITH SUSPECTED COVID-19 HAS BEEN IN YOUR WORK PLACE
In case of any suspected contamination the following steps need to be taken:
- A risk assessment of each situation will be undertaken by the designated public health services with the lead responsible person in our workplace. They will provide advice on how to manage staff and members of the public, based on their assessment of the risk.
- The designated public health services will also be in contact with the affected person directly to advice on isolation and identifying other contacts to whom they will give appropriate advice.
- If a worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, employees should inform the HR Department of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality. The responsible person at Redot Firearm Solutions will contact COVID-19 Hotline and report the situation and follow the given lawful instructions
- Pest Control Vereeniging need to be contacted to clean the workplace and office area
- Workers who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify our HR department to assess their potential exposure and the measures to take.
4.3) WHEN AN EMPLOYEE OR CLIENT AT OUR WORKPLACE HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19
If a confirmed case is identified in our workplace, the designated public health services will be contacted (corona virus COVID-19 hotline no: 080 002 9999) in the following circumstances:
- any worker that has been in close face-to-face or touching contact
- anyone who has spent any length of time with the worker while he or she was symptomatic
- anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids
- close friendship groups or work groups
- any worker living in the same household as a confirmed case
Contacts are not considered cases and if they are feeling well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others:
- Those who have had close contact will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case. They will be actively followed up by the designated public health services
- If they develop new symptoms, or their existing symptoms worsen within the 14-day observation period, they should call the designated public health services for reassessment
- If they are unwell at any time within their 14-day observation period and they test positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated for the infection. If testing is not available, but the symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, they may nonetheless be considered as a confirmed case.
- Employees who have not had close contact with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions other than monitoring their health for symptoms and can continue to attend work.
4.4) PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW: CLEANING OF WORKPLACE, WORK STATIONS AND PUBLIC PLACES WHEN THERE ARE SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19
Corona virus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include dry cough, sore throat, fever, tiredness or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the person has come into contact with must be cleaned including:
- all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
- all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected.
If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned using disposable cloths and the usual detergents, according to current recommended workplace legislation and practice. Precautionary measures should be taken to protect cleaners.
All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a safe place and marked for storage until the result is available. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in the normal waste. Should the individual test positive, you will be instructed what to do with the waste by public health authorities.
- 5 QUARANTINE AND SICK LEAVE
5.1) IF ANY EMPLOYEE IS PLACED UNDER QUARANTINE BY THE EMPLOYER, SHOULD THE EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO TAKE SICK LEAVE?
If a medical doctor places an employee in quarantine, the employee should receive a medical certificate and in such circumstances, the employee will be on sick leave.
In the case of compulsory quarantine (i.e. quarantine required and enforced by the employer), the employee will not be on sick leave unless a medical certificate has been issued to the employee placing the employee in quarantine. An employer may require an employee to be quarantined if the employee recently traveled to an affected country or if the employee displays symptoms of the illness whilst at work. The employer could consider such an employee to be on special paid leave away from the office (depending on the nature of the work performed by such an employee). As an alternative to placing the employee on any type of leave, the employer could make it possible for the employee to work from home. The employer may need to put certain measures in place or assist such an employee to work from home if that is the arrangement. If it is not possible for the employee to work from home, the employer will not be able to deduct the period of quarantine as sick leave or annual leave as it was made compulsory by the employer. This will be a form of special paid leave that is over and above any other type of leave.
5.2) WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE REQEUST SELF-QUARANTINE?
In the case of voluntary quarantine (i.e. quarantine at the request of the employee for precautionary purposes), the employee is not sick and therefore, sick leave should not be imposed. If employees are forced to take unpaid leave or annual leave in these circumstances, they may opt not to self-quarantine. We therefore recommend that this should also be treated as special paid leave. However, to the extent that the employee who requests self-quarantine can work from home, no leave will need to be awarded.
The employer must carefully consider the circumstances under which special paid leave will be awarded to employees. These circumstances must be made clear to employees. It should be an option of last resort as it may be open to abuse by employees.
If the illness spreads across South Africa, the reality for employers is that employees may request to be placed in quarantine to minimize their risk of infection. In this instance, the employer will need to consider implementing remote working for employees who can work from home. The guidelines above need to be applied to determine which form of leave will apply.
5.3) WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE QUARANTINE PERIOD?
After the quarantine period and even if an employee does not display any symptoms, the employer may nevertheless require the employee to be tested by a medical practitioner and to provide the employer with a medical certificate confirming that the employee can return to work.
5.4) WHAT IS A REASONABLE PERIOD OF QUARANTINE?
The WHO has indicated that a person should be in quarantine for a period of at least 14 days.
5.5) WHAT IF ANY EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS COVID 19?
In such an instance, the employer should apply its sick leave policy to such an employee. The employee must obtain a medical certificate and any time out of the office will be considered as sick leave. Due to the nature of the illness, an employee with Covid-19 should not be permitted to return to work until that employee is cleared to do so by a medical practitioner
- PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW WHEN TRAVELING AND ATTENDING MEETINGS / SHOOTING RANGES / CLIENTS
6.1) ORGANIZING MEETINGS AND SHOOTING EVENTS
Organizers of meetings and events need to think about the potential risk from COVID-19 because:
- There is a risk that people attending your meeting or event might be unwittingly bringing the COVID-19 virus to the meeting.
- Others might be unknowingly exposed to COVID-19.
BEFORE the meeting or event
- Consider whether the meeting or event is necessary or whether it could be postponed or replaced with a tel or video conference. Can it be scaled down so that fewer people attend?
- Check and follow the advice from the authorities in the community where you plan to hold the meeting or event.
- Develop and agree a preparedness plan to prevent infection at your meeting or event
- Ensure and verify information and communication channels in advance with key partners such as public health and health care authorities
- Pre-order sufficient supplies and materials, including tissues and hand sanitizer for all participants.
- Actively monitor where COVID-19 is circulating. Advise participants in advance that if they have any symptoms or feel unwell, they should not attend.
- Make sure all organizers, participants, caterers and visitors at the event provide contact details: mobile telephone number, email and address where they are staying. State clearly that their details will be shared with local public health authorities if any participant becomes ill with a suspected infectious disease.
- Develop and agree a response plan in case someone at the meeting becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19
DURING the meeting or event
- Provide information or a briefing, preferably both orally and in writing, on COVID-19 and the measures that organizers are taking to make this event safe for participants.
- Build trust. For example, as an icebreaker, practice ways to say hello without touching.
- Encourage regular hand-washing or use of an alcohol based sanitizer by all participants at the meeting or event
- Encourage participants to cover their face with the crook of their elbow or a tissue if they cough or sneeze. Supply tissues and closed bins to dispose of them in.
- Provide contact details or a health hotline number that participants can call for advice or to give information.
- Provide dispensers of alcohol-based hand rub prominently around the venue.
- If there is space, arrange seats so that participants are at least two metres apart.
- Open windows and doors whenever possible to make sure the venue is well ventilated.
- If anyone starts to feel unwell, follow your preparedness plan
- Retain the names and contact details of all participants for at least one month. This will help public health authorities trace people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 if one or more participants become ill shortly after the event.
- If someone at the meeting or event was isolated as a suspected COVID-19 case, the organizer should let all participants know this. They should be advised to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. If they start to feel unwell they should stay at home and contact the relevant public health authority.
7.) WRITTEN SAFE WORK PROCEDURE
7.1) WRITTEN SAFE WORK PROCEDURE: ATTENDING TO CLIENTS, DELIVERIES AT THE OFFICE – DOCUMENT RED /083
- Welcome the client, visitor or delivery person in a kind and friendly way keeping social distance
- Show the client, visitor or delivery person the way to your working station and allocate where he / she can sit while consulting them
- After seated ask the client / visitor for the visitor form (Document RED / 079) he / she have completed before entering the office( this will be proof that the person in front of you was screened before entering the office area)
- Make sure that you and the client / visitor keep your face masks on during the consultation
- Encourage the client / visitor to use their own pen, if they don’t have their own pen provide him / her with a pen
- When the consultation is finished, accompany him / her to the door and wish them a safe journey
- When returning at your work station, file all relevant documents / parcels provided by the client, visitor delivery person accordingly
- Take a set of cloves provided by Redot and use the alcohol based wet wipes issued at your working station and clean the pen that was used by the client / visitor and clean the surface area where he / she was seated
- Discard the cloves in the bin allocated at your working station and sanitize your hands with the alcohol based sanitizer at your working station (On your table)
- Your now ready to attend to the next client
7.2) WRITTEN SAFE WORK PROCEDURE: ATTENDING STUDENTS FOR TRAINING OF FIREARM THEORY AND CLOSE BOOK TEST – DOCUMENT RED /083 (a)
- Welcome the student in a kind and friendly way keeping social distance
- Show the student the way to the class area and allocate where he / she can sit while attending the class informing them of social distance of 1.8 meters (The tables and chairs will be placed beforehand as required
- After seated ask the student for the visitor form (Document RED / 079) he / she have completed before entering the office( this will be proof that the person in front of you was screened before entering the office area)
- Make sure that you and the student wear your face masks on during the session
- Encourage the student to use their own pen, if they don’t have their own pen provide him / her with a pen (There will also be pens for sale if they want to purchase one)
- Make sure before the student leave that all relevant documents and the portfolio of evidence was filled in completely
- When class / session is finished, accompany him / her to the door and wish them a safe journey
- When returning at the class room, file all relevant documents provided by the student accordingly
- Take a set of cloves provided by Redot and use the alcohol based wet wipes issued at your working station and clean the pen that was used to the student and clean the surface area where he / she was seated
- Discard the cloves in the bin allocated at your working station and sanitize your hands with the alcohol based sanitize at your working station (On your table)
- Your now ready to attend to the next student
7.3) WRITTEN SAFE WORK PROCEDURE: – ATTENDING STUDENTS FOR PRACTICAL SHOOT AT SHOOTING RANGE – DOCUMENT RED /083 (b)
8.) COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELATED CONTACT INFORMATION (RED / 082)
- COVID-19 HOTLINE – 080 002 9999
- Midvaal Hospital – 016 454 6000
- Pest Control Vereeniging – 016 423 5172
9.) FURTHER INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
9.1) CERTIFYING ABSENCE FROM WORK
In relation to COVID-19, the employer should:
- Use discretion on the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to self-isolate due to suspected COVID-19 and follow advice provided by the national authorities.
- Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that workers are aware of these policies.
- Talk with companies that provide subcontracted or temporary workers about the importance of sick workers staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Not require a healthcare provider’s note for workers who are sick with flu-like symptoms to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
9.2) HANDLING POST OR PARCELS.
Employees should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work. There is no perceived increase in risk for handling post or freight from specified areas.
- OSH wiki article – Epidemics and the work place
- Occupational Health and safety act 85 of 1993
- ECDC Guidance- How can you protect yourself and others from infection
- Questions and answers on Corona virus – WHO
- The World Health Organization(WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOSH) have also published practical information for workplaces.
- WHOs Getting your work place ready for COVID-19
- GO Legal industry news and insight