Following the unconventional coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019) pandemic, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has put in some measures, to fight the spread of the disease. The labor force worldwide is severely affected in the course of this disaster, therefore, all sections of society – businesses, employers, and social partners – need to play a role in order to protect employees, their families, and society at large. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting pressure on employers and employees, whether they needed to enforce new processes and practices in a completely brief time or to suspend their work and business activities. Appropriate preventive measures will help to achieve a safe and healthy return to work following relaxation of physical distancing measures, and also contribute to suppressing transmission of COVID-19.

The implementation of safe work practices to limit exposure to COVID-19 at work is essential. This means putting in place control measures to first eliminate the risk and if this is not possible, minimize worker exposure. Start first with collective measures and if necessary supplement them with individual measures, such as personal protective equipment (PPE).  

Below are some examples of control measures, however, not all of them will be applicable to all workplaces or jobs due to their nature.

  • Carry out only crucial work for the time being; it can be viable to postpone some work to whilst the threat is lower. If feasible, deliver services remotely (phone or video) rather than in person. Ensure that only employees who're critical to the job are present at the place of job and decrease the presence of third parties.
  • Reduce, as much as possible, physical contact between workers for example, during meetings or in the course of breaks). Isolate workers who can perform their tasks alone safely and who do not require specialized equipment or machinery that cannot be moved. For example, whenever possible, arrange for them to work alone in a spare office, staff room, or board room. If possible, ask vulnerable workers to work from home, for instance older staffs with chronic conditions (including hypertension, lung or heart problems, diabetes) and pregnant employees.
  • Eliminate, and if not feasible restrict, physical interaction with and among For example, through on-line or telephone orders, contactless delivery or controlled entry (whilst also avoiding crowding outside office building), and social distancing both inside and outside the premises.
  • When delivering goods, accomplish that through pick-up or drop outside the premises. Advise drivers on good hygiene inside the vehicle and provide them with suitable sanitation gel and wipes.
  • Place an impenetrable barrier between employees, if they are not able to maintain a two-meter distance from each other. If a barrier can't be used, additional space amongst workers should be created by ensuring they have at least 1 empty desk space between workers.
  • Arrange the timing of meal breaks to reduce the number of people sharing a cafeteria, staff room, or kitchen. Ensure there is only one worker in changing Also, organize shifts to take account of cleaning and sanitation duties.
  • Supply soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer at convenient locations and encourage employees to wash their hands Clean your office premises frequently, especially counters, door handles, tools, and different surfaces that people touch often and provide proper ventilation at all times.
  • Provide employees with tissues and covered waste bins with a plastic bag for easy disposal without contacting the contents.
  • Employee should always use their facemasks at all times. Employers can also provide all necessary PPE to their employers. It is also important to train workers correct use of PPE, ensuring that they follow the guidance available on use of facemasks and gloves.
  • Place floor and wall stickers that to help remind and reduce the spread of the virus at your work place. They are affordable and durable. You can place your orders from SAFETYDIRECTNIGERIA.COM. Place them at entrances to the workplace and in areas that can be easily seen.

These guidelines aim to help employers and workers to stay safe and guarded in a working environment during this COVID-19 pandemic.

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