Health and Safety Information

Advice on how to stop the spread of infection and how to keep your workplace safe.

COVID-19

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that are common across the world.  These viruses can cause mild symptoms ranging from a fever and cough to more serious conditions such as severe pneumonia, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.  COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. This virus has now spread to other countries. 

Symptoms start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. After a week, it leads to shortness of breath and some patients require hospital treatment.  These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the virus; they are similar to those for much more common viruses, such as colds and flu.

People in Northern Ireland now also have access to the NHS 111 helpline for guidance by calling 111 and pressing 1 when you are given the option.  The NHS line cannot refer you for testing – you must call your GP.  Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Infection:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
     
  • Put used tissues into the bin straight away.
     
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See ‘Hand Hygiene’ below.
     
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
     
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
     
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

 

You may need to ensure that staff who work off-site and/or from vehicles are given appropriate advice and guidance.  
 

Hand Hygiene:

The downloadable posters promote good hand hygiene and can be printed for display as appropriate.  The hand washing poster is designed for display at or near sinks e.g in WCs and Kitchens.  The awareness poster could be useful on toilet doors, and the World Health Organisation’s awareness poster might be useful at various locations in a building to raise awareness.

Government Guidance:

The Government has published useful guidance for employers and businesses here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19#preventing-spread-of-infection

Further Information:

 

Note: Web-links correct at time of publication.