On 11th March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as pandemic. The European Commission is working together with the WHO and Member State public health authorities to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
AWCape & Applico closely follow guidelines and Regulations by the WHO and the South African Authorities to minimise contact between staff and the public to prevent transmission, and to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is contained. As such, AWCape & Applico have put in place a Protocol for the workspace and more specifically, for classroom training. All staff and third parties are obliged to follow the protocol at all times to eliminate the risk and minimise exposure.
Spread of COVID-19
The main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) such that droplets could be inhaled into the lungs.
- someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching doorknob or shaking hands then touching own face)
- AWCape & Applico have appointed a safety manager to ensure that the COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to.
- Upon entering the AWCape & Applico workspace:
- It will be mandatory before entering or exiting the building to sanitize hands at the sanitizer units mounted directly outside and inside of the entrance door to the AWCape building.
- Likewise, it will be mandatory for each person entering the building to sanitize their shoes by spraying the soles with a disinfecting liquid.
- The temperature of all persons entering the building will be checked with a non-contact infrared thermometer.
- All persons, including staff, will be screened for additional symptoms of COVID-19.
- All persons must wear masks at all times.
- Cloth masks will be available, free of charge.
- No persons with COVID-19 symptoms will be allowed to enter the workspace.
- Only trainers or staff who are essential to the job may be present at the workplace on days of training.
- Workers will be trained in the correct use of personal protection equipment to ensure that they follow the guidance available on use of facemasksand gloves.
- Face masks should only be considered as a complementary measure and not a replacement for established preventive practices, such as physical distancing, cough and sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene and avoiding face touching.
- It is essential that delegates and staff use face masks properly so that they are effective and safe.
- It should fit properly, completely covering the face from bridge of nose to chin.
- Clean hands properly before putting the face mask on or taking it off.
- Only touch the cord or elastic at the back of the face mask when removing it, not the front.
- If the face mask is disposable, be sure to do so safely in a proper container.
- If reusable, wash the face mask as soon as possible after use with detergent at 600C.
- Classrooms will be arranged to ensure a minimum of 1,5 meters between delegates as well as between delegates and trainers.
- Only one person at a time will be allowed in the toilet areas. A sign will be placed on the main door indicating when one of the toilets is in use to ensure that only one person at a time enters.
- Soap and water or appropriate hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol content will be supplied at convenient places and delegates and staff will be advised to wash their hands frequently.
- Timing of meal breaks will be arranged to reduce the number of people sharing the staff room or kitchen.
- The premises will be cleaned frequently, especially counters, door handles, electronic equipment, tools and other surfaces that people touch often and provide good ventilation if possible.
- Communal and shared equipment will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Disposable wipes will be freely available so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by workers.
- Tissues will be provided for each workstation and waste bins lined with plastic bags so that they can be emptied without contacting the contents.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- dry cough
- sore throat
- difficulty in breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Any person should immediately inform the trainer or safety manager if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Not doing so is a contravention of the Regulations and the Occupational Health and Safety Act and puts others at risk.