The outbreak and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has by now become a regular feature of the daily news and our daily lives. As a result, it is the responsibility of every company to apply the preventive measures necessary to protect the health of its employees. In this news item, we are happy to share with you information about which prevention measures can be taken and to explain how you can continue to safeguard the continuity of your business. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
1.1 Personal measures
- Wash hands regularly, preferably with soap and for at least 40 seconds.
- Keep paper tissues on hand. Always use a new paper tissue and dispose of the soiled tissues in a waste bin that preferably has a lid. Don’t have a tissue at hand? Then cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
- Avoid touching your face without first washing the hands.
- Maintain social distance: Stay at least 1 metre away from others. So, do not shake hands with others or give social kisses.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who exhibits symptoms of respiratory disease, such as coughing or sneezing.
- If you feel sick, stay at home and call your doctor.
1.2 Company-level measures
- Maximize teleworking, if possible.
- Suggest working remotely with customers as an alternative to scheduled appointments. This can be organized in a variety of ways, e.g. via Skype, Microsoft Teams etc.
- The following measures may be introduced for those employees who must be present at the company:
- Spread out morning and afternoon breaks; i.e. make sure that the entire staff is not taking a break all together at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon or 12:30. Spread the individual breaks out around these time periods.
- Additional cleaning: Make sure the work stations are clean and hygienic. For example, desks, tables, keyboards, door handles and other frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfectant.
- Ask your External Service for Prevention and Protection to provide you with the necessary posters for general hygiene regulations, so they can be hung out in the company.
- Postpone non-urgent meetings or hold them via conference calls.
- Are there physical meetings that are urgent and must be held physically? Then, respect the hygiene rules as stated above. Keep the number of meeting participants to a minimum.
- Avoid physical meetings with suppliers, visitors, distributors or other external partners who have recently been in virus-risk areas. You can send a company memorandum via e-mail or through your website which clearly states the guidelines to be followed by third parties.
- Events, group or team activities, training courses and trade fair visits will be postponed or rescheduled until further notice.
- Travelling abroad for work is not recommended.
Tips to ensure business continuity
- For efficient follow-up, create a central task force made up of several key figures. They can hold a half-hour meeting every afternoon via Skype to discuss the current status, for example.
- For telework: Use Skype, Microsoft Teams, or the telephone to stay in touch. With Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, you have the ability to share your screens with one another.
- When working at home, make clear agreements with your supervisor and your colleagues about the tasks at hand and your availability.
- Create sub-teams. Within one department, you can create smaller teams consisting of two employees (duos) each, for example. As long as the corona measures are in force, the duos do not come into physical contact with each other. If someone falls ill within one team, the other team can still guarantee operational continuity.
- Create one central point of contact. For example, this could be a general business e-mail address (QHSE@… , corona@…) where employees can communicate any corona-related issues.
- Keep an attendance register, so that if an infection is detected, it is easy to check who has been in contact with the source patient and who may potentially have to be placed in quarantine.
- Develop a Business Continuity Plan. It is during events such as the corona crisis that this document is relied upon. This plan addresses all key individuals, resources, services, and activities required to ensure business continuity.
- Now is the ideal time to organize training via e-learning!
- Consider which costs can be deferred in the short-term, e.g. temporary suspension of temporary workers, not recruiting new people etc.
Do you have questions about the prevention measures to be taken to address the spread of the virus in your company? Please feel free to contact your Dossier Manager!