With much of the country’s states now easing COVID19 restrictions, businesses are re-opening to more customers. This means, in most cases the business must have a COVID19 Safety Plan and intense health and safety policies must be put in place to continue to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus. Business managers and operators must ensure that their staff can comply with infection control policies and procedures
A virus doesn’t disappear, extra precautions for infection prevention will be an important part of our daily life. Keeping everyone safe from infection is now part of WHS and Infection Control for Customer Facing businesses, like those in the food handling and retail sectors. How do you ensure your staff can comply with the new infection control policies and procedures recommended by the Australian Government?
Here are some of the essential COVID19 infection prevention measures:
- Ample Hand washing Stations within the Premises
Restaurant managers/ owners are required to install plenty of hand washing equipment consisting of sinks, hand soaps, sanitizers as well as running water, at different key points of the premises. This includes at the entrance, commonly used areas such as the restrooms, waiting rooms, and even checkout points.
Retailers also must give customers access to hand sanitizer at entrances and exits, service counters and high traffic areas. Use signage or staff to educate customers to rub their hands with sanitizer for 20-30 seconds. Everyone must wash and dry their hands:
- Before and after eating
- After coughing or sneezing
- After going to the toilet, and
- When changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces. (https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/)
- Proper in-house training
Educating yourself and staff on infection transmission and infection prevention is essential. Develop your infection control policies in consultation with your staff. New government recommendations require customer facing businesses to include specific and general infection control information on the prevention of spreading and infection disease in the policies and procedures and staff be trained on how to implement these within the workplace. HLTINFCOV001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures is a specifically developed unit for the skill-sets Retail and Food Handling. This unit gives staff the education and training on infection control to meet the new standards.
- Maintaining Social Distancing
Measure your space. Calculate the area of the room and divide the room by 4. For example if you have a room that is 160 square meters, you would be allowed up to 40 people in the premises at anyone time, to safely observe Social Distancing protocols. How can you ensure the safety of your customers and staff? You can clearly display signs on the amount of people that can be inside the store, supermarket or restaurant. Provide enough space for customers to queue while waiting to enter your business. Split or stagger staff shifts and lunches to reduce the number of workers in one area at any given time. Make sure staff are well educated on Why Social Distancing is important.
- The Use of Reminder Signs and Posters
Floor and wall stickers that emphasize the importance of personal hygiene, social distancing and staying home if you feel unwell should be displayed in staff common areas and throughout stores. Signs with messages on handwashing, social distancing, wearing of face masks are necessary reminders that promote and encourage safe interaction within stores, supermarkets and restaurants.
- Understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
When you clean you are removing germs, dirt and grime from surfaces. Usually this is done with a diluted solution (detergent and water). When you disinfect you use chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Both work together for the best results. Cleaning should always be the first step, as a disinfectant can be more effective on a dirt free surface. Different surfaces need to be cleaned and disinfected at different intervals throughout the day, due to COVI19 these intervals have become more frequent for some surfaces.
Having infection control policies and procedures have always been an important part of a business. With the entry of COVID19 to our daily lives, our knowledge of good infection control and how to comply with it are essential. Demi International provides the new HLTINFCOV001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures. With two skill-sets retail and food handling to address specifically how each industry can comply with infection prevention and stop the spread of COVID19. Enrol and get started now.