The Fourth Wave of the Covid-19 Epidemic has been creeping from silently to blatantly in the community, including production and working spaces of many enterprises, causing damage to business results as well as the health of workers. Facing with the existential danger from this invisible enemy, enterprises not only have interests but also responsibilities to accompany the State and the whole society to fight the epidemic.
In particular, following the guidance of the National Steering Committee for Prevention against Covid-19 and the Ministry of Health on infection prevention and handling of internal cases is the most useful thing that enterprises should do at present. Here are 04 important guidelines from Decision 2194/QĐ-BCĐQG and Decision 2787/QĐ-BYT that enterprises, especially large-scale enterprises, should pay attention.
Establishment of Steering Committee for Covid-19 prevention and Covid-19 Safety Team in enterprises
Enterprises need to establish a “Prevention against Covid-19 Steering Committee” including directors/managers, department of health, human resource management, occupational safety and health, trade union/employee’s representative organization, etc. (if any) to be responsible for responding to the epidemic internally.
In particular, the health department plays a permanent role, being the Committee’s “brain” by developing an epidemic prevention plan at the workplace of the enterprise. The core force of this department is the staff in charge of medical work at the enterprise, with the responsibility of regularly reporting the epidemic situation to managers, training and propagating personal hygiene and epidemic prevention measures for other workers.
For large-scale manufacturing enterprises and industrial parks, it is recommended to establish further “COVID-19 safety teams” according to workshops, production lines and production teams, in order to closely support and implement activities of prevention against epidemic. Each Safety Team has from 03 to 05 persons including: manager of department/workshop, occupational safety and health staff.
Development of plan to prevent against the Covid-19 epidemic
The epidemic prevention plan is an outline of the “battle” works. The content of the plan includes (1) works need to be done; (2) person in charge and implementation time; (3) inspectors or supervisors; (4) implementation cost. This structure ensures a clear and substantive plan that is highly workable. Enterprises also need to regularly evaluate and adjust the plan in line with reality.
In particular, the action plan must have a sub-plan for temporary isolation, including arrangement of rooms, for employees who show symptoms of illness (fatigue, fever, cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing), sick or F1, F2 contact. Isolation and tracing are the leading anti-epidemic measures in the context that herd immunity has not been achieved.
Ensuring a safe production and working environment in social distancing
“Prevention is better than fight against”, enterprises need to measure body temperature and ensure the social distancing between workers at the entrance gate and large lobby. On the other hand, fully equipping with “weapons” (masks, gloves, clean water, soap, hand sanitizer) at risk locations (toilet areas, ATMs, public drinking water bottles, vending machines, etc.); increasing ventilation in the workplace with fans or open windows; arranging trash cans with lids at convenient locations; installing a transparent partition system for the reception and transaction areas are also on the list of right things to do for enterprises.
What to do when detecting an infection?
Enterprises need to immediately blockade the work area with cases of infection, isolate them on the spot and immediately notify the health State authorities. At the same time, the transparency of information with all other employees is extremely important to avoid confusion and panic, creating a premise for checking and tracing F1, F2.
Finally, close coordination with the State authorities to transfer isolation to hospital for treatment, zoning and disinfection, tracing and testing for employees is a prerequisite for the prevention of epidemics in enterprises.