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Covid-19 workplace safety tips for essential services

Published Apr 24, 2020

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DURBAN- Essential services that have remained open during the lockdown are on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, communication between peers and workplace safety needs to be firmly implemented.

Salona Reddy, a health and safety manager at Wozani Berg Gasoline, said companies that remain open have to meet the demands of production whilst ensuring the safety of all their workers, which can be a tedious task.

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Here are Reddy’s tips for workplace safety for essential services:

Have a plan

Arguably one of the most important aspects of business is a plan. As the virus rapidly spreads throughout the county, businesses need to have a plan in place to

respond to employee infection. The worst thing is not knowing what to do. This lack of

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preparedness could spread the infection amongst workers and ultimately shut down the business.

Know the risks

Employers need to conduct a risk assessment for their operations. Knowing the risks your

employees are exposed to and implementing measures against those risks will assist in ensuring employee safety.

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Appoint a task team

The company should elect a Covid-19 task team to implement strategies, policies and safe working procedures for the duration of the lockdown. This team can ensure that all relevant legal and internal strategies are complied with.

Employee screening

Employees should be screened for Covid-19 related symptoms daily and encouraged to

continue self-monitor symptoms even when they are off duty. Early detection is

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vital in curbing the spread of the virus to fellow employees, suppliers and customers.

Engage with employees

As much as there may be a high demand for production and service delivery, employers need to constantly engage with employees keeping them up to date with the latest developments of the pandemic and reminding them of the safety precautions and hygiene standards. Encouragement and gratitude is also crucial as essential service workers will be experiencing high-stress levels and even the fear of becoming infected. This will play a big role in the well-being and mental health of employees.

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