1. Objective of the guide
This guide contains recommendations for health and safety practices and approaches to COVID-19 prevention, based on materials developed by many organisations globally, including: “General guide for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace” prepared by Belgian social partners and government experts, as well as guides developed by Manufacturing NZ, IBEC, Union Industrial Argentina, Chilean Chamber of Construction, Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Agriculture in Guatemala together with various materials and guidance from the WHO.
The publication aims to provide general guidance and information to employers on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, to enable workers to return to work safely while keeping the risk of contamination as low as possible. It also provides ideas on how to protect workers’ mental well-being during the pandemic.
Until the development of a vaccine or medicine, COVID-19 virus is likely to continue circulating in our communities. Physical distancing measures, increased hygiene and other precautions will therefore, have to be maintained to contain infections, including those in the workplace. Preventive actions are necessary in order to prepare companies and workers for a safe return to work and a gradual restart of business activities. The guide can also be useful for those companies who continued operations throughout the crisis, but who may now need to consider additional protective and preventive OSH measures. All enterprises, regardless of their size or sector, are encouraged to adopt these recommendations to take care of people’s health and, as far as possible, not affect business activities negatively.
As the epidemiological situation, health and safety regulations and public health guidance differ considerably from country to country, this generic tool should be further adapted to national situations. It should also be further customized by the different sectors to their specific sectoral context.