Dear MD, Business Owner, HR Director, SHEQ Manager, COVID representative,
My Company, HSP Group, is actively involved in COVID -19 testing of large numbers of employees on many sites, at many companies.
What we are seeing now is a large number of positive COVID-19 cases showing that there are companies already struggling with the effects of the virus.
Please indulge me for a moment as I have taken the brazen step to pen a few of my thoughts of important information that might be of great assistance to the survival of your company in this time.
Please note that the COVID peak has not yet hit, this is still coming.
From what I have researched (and yes, things are constantly changing) they are expecting about 3 waves of infection, the first peak is expected now, the end of July to early August and the main peak is projected for September 2020.
How are we going to survive?
This is going to take sincere consideration, which can set you apart from your competition and allow each business to function more normally in this time.
My considered recommendations to you to tackle the problem of high infection rates needs to include:
- Keep unnecessary employees away from the workplace.
An employee not at work, can’t become infected at work and the company is cannot be held responsible if they do. Keep as many people as possible away from the workplace.
The focus here is to prioritise the key staff, to ensure business continuity, but every staff member that can work remotely should.
This does pose a challenge in the way we think as management and we need to consider shifting our management styles to managing outcomes vs hours worked. This strategy moves from managing routine to our teams’ KPI’s.
- Keep vulnerable staff away, if possible.
But if they are needed at the workplace then their conditions need to be well controlled and we need to ensure they have adequate access to medication. It is expected that, going forward, government facilities are likely to struggle with the “everyday chronic cases” meaning your vulnerable staff member may not have access to the medication they would ordinarily access through government.
Consider an onsite or mobile Primary Care Facility to provide chronic medication, monitoring of staff and even family planning, pregnancy is a very high risk.
- For those staff who have to be on site:
Approach every person that enters the company as if they are COVID positive
(the secret to success!)
Yes, from the MD to the security guard, approach each person onsite as if they are infected. With this approach, what should you do on your site?
Contain the risk at the source (The person, who is now considered the infectious source)
- Do not get any particulates on anything
- All staff or visitors must correctly wear filtered, washable masks ; and
- Sanitise BEFORE entering the workplace door.Now the virus is dead on the hands and contained by a filter in between the double material mask layers.
- Compulsory sanitsation points e.g. before canteen area, after eating, on the way back from bathroom, on the back of the toilet to clean flusher and handle,
- These handsfree stations are strategically placed and have to be used. These should be treated as compulsory and not optional sanitising points.
- Compulsory clean up breaks where disinfectant is sprayed or applied, sanitiser fogging between shifts, etc.
- Do not get any particulates on anything
(I have included links to our online shop at the end of my recommendations, more for you to understand the products referred to, HSP Group is able to supply outside of the shop on account)
- Staff buy-in is the only way to overcome the scourge
Training with a focus on:
- Management level training: Understanding the disease, Q&A with a professional Pathologist. If your leadership understand this disease it is easier to ensure buy-in at all levels of the company.
- General Staff training:
- This IS real and your staff need to understand it.
- PPE, proper use and care
- Actions that will be taken if you don’t comply
- Posters need to be put up, pamphlets made (we have free downloadable content)
- Cleaner training
- Products that work on COVID-19,
- Where and how to clean for COVID-19
- Disinfecting before you leave, Sanitiser fogging to keep offices safe from the cleaner (keeping in mind to treat everyone as if they are infected)
- Security screening (the how and why and what to do). Many security check points don’t know what they are looking for or why they are doing what they are tasked with. By giving your screener this information you are able to secure their buy-in.
5. Disciplinary action for non-compliance, fire someone!
If you see nostrils, final written warning for non-compliance to Health and Safety Regulations with specific reference to the HBA regulations. Second offence, fire! This will be upheld as CCMA.
The company culture WILL change (if this is an issue).
The correct wearing of masks needs to be viewed in the same light as a hardhat, hearing protection, safety goggles, or any other job related PPE.
Finally I would like to recommend starting with an Employee Assistance Programme. A Comprehensive EAP roll out with training, poster programmes, information handouts along with giving staff and their families confidential access to counselling channels for advice and emotional support. Through our 24 hour call centre or dedicated online chats, all monitored by trained counsellors to get support as fear grips individuals and high death rate result in a mourning phase embracing us all.
Please feel free to discuss any of this with my highly capable team, or myself. We remain available to assist you as much as possible, or refer you to the right person, when needed. If we stand together through this, assisting when and where needed we shall see this through.
Stay well, stay safe.
Please feel free to get in contact with me