Risk Management guidelines for the Covid-19 Phased Resumption of Outdoor Work

                           

BUSINESSES have been struggling to cope with the challenges posed by the COVID -19 crisis management. We have generated this guide to help organisations and their employees protect themselves in the process of initiating phased resumption in these unusual circumstances.

This guide provides information on
The 4 Es stated below:
Employers’ roles and duties
Employees’ buy-in and compliance
Essentials of phased resumption
Extra information for positive work results

The principal policies, laws and regulations on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in Nigeria include the National Policy on OSH, the ILO Convention No. 155 on OSH and the working Environment 1994 ratified by Nigeria, Factories Act 1990, Mineral Oils Safety Regulations 2004, and Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010.


They all prescribe a general primary duty for employers of labour to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all workers as far as reasonably practicable. At all times, including this difficult period of the COVID-19 emergency, all employers are expected to demonstrate that they comply with these responsibilities.

There are a number of other specific duties prescribed in the regulations and we will touch on them below in view of their relevance to the phased resumption of outdoor workers.

EMPLOYERS’ DUTIES.
The key duties include:
Managing and conducting all work activities to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees. 
Providing safe systems of work that are planned, organised, maintained and uncrowded.  
Assessing risks and implementing appropriate control measures.  Providing safe equipment including personal protective equipment required and adequate First Aid facilities. 
Providing employees with information, instructions, training and supervision in relation to safety and health. 
Displaying prominently at the entrance and the front office COVID-19 Company Compliance Precautionary Directives or Requirements.
Developing COVID-19 Response Plan and updating to deal with any suspected case in the work place. This is to include temporary isolation room and nearest NCDC Contacts.

EMPLOYEES DUTIES.
All employees are required to fully comply with all safety and health laws and regulations, as well as requirements of safe work conditions as stipulated by the employer.

ESSENTIALS OF PHASED RESUMPTION
Following the prescription of the National Committee on Disease Control (NCDC) and Governments’ consultations with the private sector stakeholders, the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) issued advisory information designed to support employers on general measures to put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the work place. The essentials are covered in this Guide. You may check details in www.neca.org.ng

COVID-19 Compliance Officer
The need to appoint a COVID-19 Compliance Officer who is well informed to oversee all matters of health and safety of all employees for work resumption, and during the office hours should not be overlooked.
Each work group should also have a COVID -19 Champion to support and reinforce the efforts of the COVID -19 Compliance Officer.

Health Check for Returning Employees
Every employee should complete a Pre-Return to Work Form before resumption. A Sample Form is at the end of this document.
Mandatory medical check-up of all workers is to be conducted to identify
workers who are medically fit for resumption, while appropriate steps should be taken to assist non-medically fit ones as may be necessary.
Thermal Scanning is mandatory for all concerned to access the site, including re-entry every time.

Full Accountability Record of All Humans on Site
Identify and properly record details and Contacts of everyone on Site every day.
Ensure strict restriction of all non-essential visitors to the premises, work site and living camps.

Social Distancing Measures
Ensure work space can allow the 2 -metre separation or take additional risk control measures if this is not feasible.
Ensure 2 - metre separation is maintained in welfare facilities (toilets, dressing rooms, canteens) or take additional risk control measures if this is not feasible.
Adopt shift arrangement to avoid congestion on site. Consider 50% workers’ rotation on alternate days and staggered resumption and closing time.
Reduce number of persons using lifts or hoists. Encourage use of stair case when feasible.
Consider worker-travel alone, e.g., by bicycle, private car, etc. Avoid public transport, if possible.
Sit far apart in vehicles with open windows for ventilation.

Hygiene
Disinfect the work premises (construction site, camp, canteen, toilets, entry/exit gates etc.) regularly.
Disinfect all vehicles, equipment, tools, machinery and materials coming to the site. 
                     Provide facilities for hand washing, sanitizing in the site
                     Limit plant and equipment use to one person where possible
                     Avoid sharing of hand tools and equipment. Clean touch points of tools and equipment before and after use
                     Practice correct coughing and sneezing etiquette
                     Wash hands before and after eating and toilet use
                     Dispose used tissues in hands-free closed up bins/containers
                     Avoid touching your Mouth, Face, Eyes and Nose

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
On all construction, engineering and manufacturing sites all regular PPEs required for work prior to COVID-19 pandemic should be worn during the resumption period. These may include:
safety helmets, eye googles, ear muffs, safety boots, hand gloves, coverall, high-visibility clothing, safety harness, face/nose masks, etc.
In COVID-19 era, all PPEs should now be completely personal, not to be shared with any other person.
Take note that disposable gloves are not a full and final replacement for hand washing. Hands can be contaminated when gloves are taken off. Face masks should be worn by the sick and every employee since no one knows who is already infected.

Other Recommendations
Conduct daily morning Safety Tool Box (HSE Briefing)
No sharing of belongings: food, water, bottles, utensils, mobile phone etc. with other.

Click here for a Checklist of  your employee’s awareness of safety & health requirements

For more information contact our Risk Management Subsidiary, The Industrial Risks Protection Consultants Limited (IRPC) via email info@irpc.com.ng or call +234 802 225 2906


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