MOM issues guidelines to protect workers from infection
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and its partners yesterday issued enhanced guidelines to protect workers from the coronavirus outbreak following the first cases of local transmission here.
They touch on three main areas: Stepping up cleaning, dealing with customers and measures that individual employees can take.
Enhanced cleaning of premises is among the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, MOM, NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation.
Cleaning frequency should be stepped up in areas with high human contact as well as general public access areas.
Workers and workplaces are further advised to adopt sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environment Agency.
Companies have also been advised to establish clear guidelines for front-line staff on handling customers who are unwell. This could include advising those who are visibly unwell to see a doctor or asking them to reschedule their appointments.
If it is necessary to provide urgent services to customers who are unwell, companies should establish proper procedures to safeguard their staff and premises.
For example, front-line workers should wear surgical masks and serve unwell customers separately from other customers if possible.
Employees should also observe good personal hygiene, avoid close contact with unwell people, and stay away from the workplace and consult a doctor if they are unwell.
"The intention of this new advisory is to provide guidance on what can be done at workplaces to preserve their cleanliness, and ensure the environment continues to be safe for workers to operate in," said Permanent Secretary for Manpower Aubeck Kam yesterday.
The guidelines come shortly after two workers at a Chinese health products shop in Lavender catering to Chinese tour groups were confirmed to be infected with the virus. Unlike previous cases, they had no recent travel history to China.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the virus may not necessarily be transmitted by direct contact with infected persons.
"For example, a person who is ill might have been in contact with some of the merchandise... and the salesperson could have handled the material after that, and (if) he or she touches her face, her eyes and nose, she would have gotten it," he said. - THE STRAITS TIMES