Take all preventive measures and prepare for a coronavirus outbreak in your company.
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The corona pandemic is a severe blow to the global economy. Despite the gradual easing in individual countries, the circumstances have a lasting impact on the world of work. Companies are confronted with uncertainties they were not aware of before. Many companies have adapted their processes in order to remain capable of acting and working in the "new normality".
Having a working business plan during the pandemic is extremely valuable as it allows for flexibility in responding when an outbreak occurs within companies. The following are steps that any company can take to manage one outbreak and prevent another.
Some companies already have a pandemic plan in place in response to a wave of influenza. These only need to supplement their contingency plans in view of the specific nature of the COVID-19 virus. For others, however, pandemic planning has not been a major issue. Only now are they realising how important such a plan is.
To manage a COVID-19 outbreak in the company, such a plan should be in place. It is based on available guidance, information and recommendations from federal, state and local health authorities. Careful consideration is given to how these can be integrated into the various workplaces and work tasks of the company.
The following factors should be taken into account in a pandemic plan:
It helps to use checklists to identify risk factors and implement measures. In this way, procedures and stages of completion can be easily traced. The following four checklists are helpful in drawing up and reviewing a pandemic plan:
It is important to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the company, to introduce good hygiene and infection control practices among employees. Preventive measures provide security and ensure the well-being of employees. Preventive measures include:
Supporting employees during the pandemic can minimise the negative consequences for the company, the employees and their families. When employees return to work, employers must establish protection and hygiene measures to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the company. Only in this way can business operations be maintained in the "new normality". It is the task of employers to ensure flexibility and protection in the workplace.
A good example is to encourage sick employees to stay at home. Flexible policies for sick leave and home office can also be introduced. Employers should also inform their employees appropriately about the new situation at work. To do this, they can provide training and information for the various work functions to ensure that they are carried out by COVID-19's health and safety guidelines.
It is important to identify and isolate potentially infected individuals early, to manage a COVID-19 outbreak in businesses. This is the only way to ensure the protection of employees, customers, visitors and other people on site. Employers should be proactive and take the following measures:
The experience from previous risk assessments shows that it is important to control hazards in the workplace and to remove them systematically. However, during a COVID-19 outbreak in business, it may not be possible to eliminate the hazard. Therefore employers should take the following protective measures in advance:
Technical Protective Measures - these have little effect on the behaviour of the workers, but reduce the exposure to hazards. These include physical barriers, highly efficient air filters or protective windows in customer areas.
Administrative Measures - these include changes to work policies or procedures to reduce or minimise the risk. These may include staggered shifts, training, home office, and the discontinuation of unnecessary business travel.
Safe Working Practices - these include procedures for safe and proper working to reduce the duration, frequency or intensity of exposure to a hazard. These include, for example, distance rules and hand hygiene.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) - this measure (e.g. gloves, goggles, face protection, etc.) is considered to be the most effective, as it not only minimizes exposure but also prevents certain exposures. However, PPE should not replace other preventive measures.
Not every industry requires the same hygiene requirements and protective measures. Therefore, federal, state and local authorities offer industry-specific advice to help them work safely. These can change and adapt again and again, so employers must keep up to date throughout the pandemic. Policies should always be carefully reviewed to ensure the safety of employees, customers and other stakeholders.
The COVID-19 pandemic changes from time to time. Without an effective vaccine, the increase in infection numbers is a constant risk. Establishing a secure business plan will help to significantly reduce the severity of the risks in the workplace caused by the pandemic and the follow-up costs for companies.
A digital solution, such as Lumiform's mobile app, makes it easier to monitor preventive and protective measures. Any kind of quality and safety inspection is performed by authorized personnel simply by tablet or smartphone - online or offline. Check lists for all necessary measures are created with the desktop software. The data collected on site can then be easily evaluated. This significantly reduces the risk of quality losses, work stoppages, documentation errors and damage to reputation.
The advantages of the app and desktop software for the COVID-19 measures at the workplace at a glance:
Lumiform has compiled templates relevant to COVID-19 containment to support entrepreneurs. They can be used to ensure the safety and health of employees, customers and other stakeholders. The templates can be easily and immediately adapted to the needs of a business.