Understanding Workplace PPE Regulations
As the economy slowly boots up again after the initial shock of the level 5 COVID-19 lockdown, employers and employees are having to adjust the way they dress and behave in their workplaces.
The Importance of Personal Protection
The government has put directives in place regarding the use of personal protection equipment (PPE), which need to be strictly observed in the work environment. Tower Group Recruitment provides a short and simple guide to these regulations.
For most work environments, heavy-duty PPE is not a requirement. Unless you work on the medical frontlines, the regulations are fairly simple and easy to follow. Aside from the requirement to maintain social distancing, the biggest prerequisite is the wearing of face masks. Cloth or plastic face masks have been made mandatory for everybody, whether you are going out in public, commuting on trains, planes, buses or taxis, or sitting at the office. According to the Department of Employment and Labour’s new directive, employers are required to issue face masks to all their employees – at least two each – free of charge. These masks are to be work in the office environment as well as in customer-facing situations.
The other most important PPE requirement in the average office, factory or retail workplaces is that of hand sanitizer. All businesses must provide hand sanitizer for use by employees and the public at the entrance to their premises. In addition, there must be sufficient hand sanitizer available throughout the place of business, accessible to staff and visitors at all times. Staff members who are required to work away from the office must have hand sanitizer to take with them – and the employer is required to provide this to them. There must also be adequate facilities for handwashing, as well as clean paper and/or fabric towels.
The Department has also mandated the disabling of biometric security systems, such as fingerprint scanners unless these have been COVID-19 proofed.
Aside from these basic PPE provisions, employers are also required to screen their staff on arrival at work every day and to keep a lookout for any COVID-19 associated symptoms, such as coughing, sore throat, red eyes, fever and shortness of breath. These must be reported to the Department of Health, and the staff member must leave the workplace immediately and must get tested.
Tower Group is Your Partner in Workplace Compliance
While these new directives will take some adjustment, they are certainly in place for everybody’s good and are fairly easy to follow once we are accustomed to them. To see how Tower Group can aid you in all matters relating to recruitment and HR, contact us today.
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