Safely back to workplace
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On 4th of May 2020, the Government has issued a recommendation to continue remote working at least until the end of the summer. This recommendation is an important part of managing the corona epidemic. The situation has not changed for the better in such a way that it would be safer to return to the workplace than for example, a month ago.
Heltti recommends that its customer companies continue their remote work arrangements as widely as possible. However, remote working is not possible for everyone, so Heltti has written instructions for workplaces to avoid infections and prevent the spread of the disease. It is recommended that the company draw up a plan to ensure that the return to the workplace is safe once the restrictions are being erased.
Heltti recommends defining a responsible person and group who will make the required arrangements and who can answer questions related to the internal affairs of the workplace.
The most important thing is to communicate to employees that they must not enter the workplace if they have respiratory symptoms. If symptoms occur during the working day, employees should leave the workplace and notify the supervisor. The aim is then to identify the people whom the employee has been close to during the working day and to direct them to remote working until further information is available of a possible corona infection. Persons exposed to COVID-19 are defined as individuals who have been in contact with COVID-19 during the 24 hours before the onset of symptoms in the case and 14 days after the onset of symptoms (THL). If the symptomatic test is positive, the exposed individuals are quarantined.
Below is a condensed list of things to consider when returning to the workplace.
When planning a return to workplace, it is good to take into account at least:
- Ways to minimize physical contact in the workplace
- Hygiene and general cleanliness in the workplace in the work and customer areas and in the use of shared work equipment
- Practices for organizing shifts and working hours, size of work groups, rhythm of work
- Adequacy of resources, substitute practices
- Meeting practices
- Arranging breaks and meals
- Visiters by external parties (eg suppliers) and hygiene
- Mental wellbeing
- Return to work after suffering from COVID-19 disease
- Travel practices
- Informing employees about procedures and guidelines
- Arranging the necessary support
Instructions for employees:
- Do not go to workplace if you are having a respiratory symptoms. If respiratory symptoms occur in the middle of the working day, it is recommended to leave the workplace immediately and notify the supervisor. Employees should keep a distance of at least two meters from each other at all times.
- Diligent hand washing with warm and running water for at least 20 seconds is important. Hands should also be washed before and after touching face or nose blowing.
- A disposable napkin should be used for blowing nose and throw in the trash immediately after use. If there is no a disposable napkin to use, you should cough at the top of your sleeve, not in your hands.
- Face touching should be avoided.
- Employees should keep work desks clean to help cleaning and disinfection of them to reduce the spread of disease.
- Avoid using other employees’ equipment, such as a telephone or computer. Computer keyboards in particular are difficult to clean properly.
- Consider common surfaces, such as door handles and workplace equipment.
- Trips between home and work are handled safely by walking or cycling to work whenever possible. Driving with your own car is safer than using public transport, but when using public transport, you should remember safe distance and hygiene instructions.