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Posted On: 15 April 2020 04:38 pm
Updated On: 15 April 2020 04:51 pm

Employers responsibilities to prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace

Nabeela
Nabeela
Content Writer
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Employers must rapidly take the following precautionary measures to flatten the coronavirus COVID-19 curve and prevent the current pandemic from worsening and affect our community especially our vulnerable population. Employers must ensure that they follow national and WHO recommendations in order to keep workplace safe and healthy in the presence of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

Environmental cleaning

Employers MUST install hand sanitisers containing alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol 60 % minimum), isopropyl alcohol or benzalkonium chloride and ensure they are refilled regularly. Employers MUST also provide soap, water and tissues in all available restrooms.

Timekeeping

Employers MUST suspend the use of fingerprints for work timekeeping until further notice. Line Managers MUST be able to monitor their staff attendance manually, if necessary, until the situation is controlled.

Staff temperature

Employers can measure the staff temperature using a touch-less device one or two times a day all by respecting physical distancing.

External visitors and meetings

Employers MUST cancel external visitors and external business meetings. Technology is highly developed to provide solutions like Business Skype, Microsoft Teams, Virtual Meetings applications.

All entities MUST apply physical distancing and staff should remain out of group settings, mass gatherings, and maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 metres) from each other whenever possible. All employers MUST ensure restricted movement for all their staff and avoid social events.

Food and beverages

Employers should suspend temporarily the use of an external company to serve tea and coffee. Employers should notify staff that all personal deliveries to the office are also suspended and that employees should self-serve themselves and bring their personal food and preferably disposable items (spoon, mug, glass, plate, etc).

Mental health and stress management

Employers MUST share the facts about coronavirus (COVID-19) with all employees and regularly communicate through emails or social medias. Providing the comfort in understanding employees’ fear and support with continuous internal communication on status as well as understanding that actual risk, can make an outbreak less stressful.

When employers share accurate information about coronavirus (COVID-19) they can help make employees feel less stressed and allow them to connect with their managers if they feel the need to. It is the Employers responsibility to take necessary measures to ensure employees feel free to talk should they have any symptoms, with no fear of being discriminated against at the workplace.

Work flexibility

Employers at times of extremely high health risk MUST be flexible and enable people to work from home when tasks and functions allow that. Employer, as a minimum, MUST follow National Directives and implement immediately the following: People suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, people above 55 years and pregnant women MUST work remotely from home.

What should an employer do if one of his/her employee is infected?

Employers must provide the employee a surgical mask that he/she will wear appropriately and put the employee in an isolated area or room before calling the MoPH hotline 16000.

Employers MUST follow the Ministry of Public Health National Infection Prevention and Control Interim Guideline for coronavirus (COVID-19) and housekeeping staff shall use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. Employers MUST communicate with the patient coworkers especially those at risks for them to take any necessary measures and precaution without introducing stigma and discrimination in the workplace. Employers MUST make sure the patient has a medical clearance before returning to work

For more information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), visit www.moph.gov.qa or call 16000

Cover image credit: HMC