Covid-19 novel coronavirus policy March 2020

skillsforce 0 Comments March 19, 2020

A novel (new) strain of coronavirus which originated in Hubei Province, China in 2019 can cause a
respiratory disease called COVID-19. It doesn’t matter if you’re a worker or someone who is
responsible for workers, Skills Force Australia will in a limited context identify and manage work
health and safety risks including exposure to COVID-19. We are not health experts however we
need to do our best to protect our clients, staff and trainers noting that this is a new strain of
coronavirus affecting humans around the world.

Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious
diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
(MERS). The virus at this point is still new and as such Australian authorities are still learning more
about it.

Current information

COVID-19 spreads from person to person in a similar way to the flu:

  • From close contact with an infected person
  • From touching objects or surfaces contaminated by the sneeze or cough of an infected
    person and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth

COVID-19 can cause symptoms similar to the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or
shortness of breath. Most people who are infected experience mild to moderate symptoms from
which they fully recover. However, some people develop a more serious illness with pneumonia and
other complications.

People at increased risk of serious illness include the elderly and those with chronic medical
conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart and lung disease) or a weakened immune system. It is important to
remember that most people who become ill with respiratory symptoms at work are likely suffering
from a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness – not COVID-19.

Self-quarantine (Staff and students should refer to their health provider for advice)

Workers and others cannot go to work and must self-quarantine for 14 days if they have:

  • Recently travelled to an overseas destination considered high risk by the government
  • Been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

Workers who need to self-quarantine should notify Skills Force Australia or their employer and stay
away from work. They should seek immediate medical attention if they become ill during the
quarantine period and call ahead of arriving and mention their travel or contact history.

Employers should make appropriate arrangements so that workers who need to self-quarantine stay
away from work. Where possible, the worker should be provided with flexible work arrangements
such as working from home.

Preventing the spread of infection

For most businesses such as Skills Force Australia (Small training groups), the health risk is low.
Simple hygiene practices, similar to those used to protect against the flu, can help prevent the
spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

For our trainers and staff:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing,
    dispose of tissues immediately after use and wash your hands or apply hand sanitiser
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Stay home if you are unwell

Our clients

At this time we all need to work together to assist in stopping the virus from spreading. We ask that our clients ensure that their staff or students do not attend training if they feel unwell or are self-
quarantined. Notification is required so that we may reschedule training.

Cancellation of training: In certain situations, Skills Force Australia may cancel training or work due
to unforeseen circumstances or changes to government policy at any time. Clients may also need to
cancel whereby Skills Force Australia will reschedule training to a suitable date after consultation
with the client.

Students feeling unwell:

Firstly all staff, trainers and students should contact their workplace or Skills Force Australia if they
are booked for training and stay at home if they are feeling unwell. Where trainers cannot attend
training they should provide Skills Force Australia with as much advanced notice if possible so that
we may arrange another trainer or reschedule training.

In class: If students are noticeably unwell or report to Skills Force staff/trainers that they feel unwell
then this must be reported to either Skills Force management or to client management if training is
being delivered away from Skills Force Australia. Students will be advised that they are to

Skills Force Australia resources:

  • Provide hand washing facilities and make sure these are kept clean, properly stocked and in
    good working order
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser, tissues and cleaning supplies
  • Promote good hygiene practices, e.g. display posters on handwashing and respiratory
    hygiene
  • Keep the workplace clean and hygienic. Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door
    handles and workstations help prevent contamination

Training resources

Skills Force staff and trainers are responsible for the cleanliness of our training equipment and must
follow these guidelines;

  • Wipe all equipment likely to be used by students with alcohol wipes before use and after use
  • Spray rooms with Glen 20 prior to training
  • Ensure all first aid manikins are wiped clean using cleaning wipes before and after use by
    each individual (First aid resources)
  • Trainers must ensure that manikin training lung sets are replaced before use by another
    student (First aid resources)

M.Nangle
Managing Director
9th March 2020
Skills Force Australia

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