Health Minister Issues Guidelines on COVID-19 Prevention at Workplaces
Date 25 Mei 2020
In a bid to break COVID-19 transmission chain due to the large number of workers and mobility, as well as population interactions caused by work activities, the Government has announced guidelines to prevent and control COVID-19 at work places and industries.
The guideline is stipulated in Decree of Minister of Health Number HK.01.07/MENKES/328/2020 on Guidelines for Covid-19 Prevention and Control at Workplaces and Industries in Supporting Business Sustainability Amid the Pandemic.
“Workplace as a locus of people’s interaction and gathering is a risk factor that needs to be anticipated for the virus transmission,” Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto said in Jakarta, Saturday (23/5).
Government Regulation Number 21 of 2020 on Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) in the framework of accelerating the handling of COVID-19 has stated that PSBB is conducted by dismissing work activities at workplace.
“For this reason, following the conclusion of the PSBB and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to carry out optimum mitigation and workplace readiness so people can adapt to new normal,” he said.
Detailed guidelines for preventing COVID-19 transmission include:
- During the PSBB for at Workplaces
- Management Policy in Prevention of COVID-19 Transmission
- The management must always monitor and update the development of information about COVID-19 in its area. (It can periodically be accessed at https://infinemerging.kemkes.go.id. and local government policies).
- COVID-19 Handling Team at workplaces comprises of the Chairperson, the staffing section, occupational health and safety (K3) section and Health workers strengthened by a Decree from the Workplace Leadership.
- Leader or employer provides policies and procedures for workers to report every case of suspected COVID-19 (symptoms of fever or cough/runny nose/throat pain/breath difficulty) to be monitored by health workers.
- A positive case must not be treated as a stigma.
- Implementation of Work From Home must be provided.
Determine essential workers who work from office and those who can perform work from home.
- If there is an essential worker who must continue to work during the PSBB:
- Apply a temperature measurement using thermogun at the entrance of the workplace and COVID-19 Risk Self-Assessment to ensure workers not infected by COVID-19.
- Shorten work time considering overtime will result in workers lack of time to rest which can cause a drop in immune system.
- For shift workers:
- If possible, shift 3 (work time which starts at night until morning) must be avoided;
- For shift 3 workers, it should be arranged for workers aged less than 50 years old.
- Wear face masks since traveling to/from home, and while at work.
- Manage nutritional intake of food provided by the workplace, select fruits that contain lots of vitamin C such as oranges, guava, and so on to help maintain endurance. If possible workers can be given vitamin C.
- Create a safe and healthy workplace;
- Hygiene and sanitation of the work environment.
Ensure that all work areas are clean and hygienic by periodically cleaning them using appropriate cleaners and disinfectants (every 4 hours), particularly door handles and stairs, elevator buttons, shared office equipment, areas and other public facilities.
Maintain workplace air quality by optimizing air circulation and sunlight entering the workspace, cleaning air-conditioning filters.
- Hand washing facilities
Provide more facilities for washing hands (soap and running water).
Provide instructions at hand washing facilities; put up educational posters on how to wash hands properly; provide hand sanitizers with a minimum alcohol concentration of 70% in places where it is needed (such as entrances, meeting rooms, elevator doors, etc.);
- Keep practicing physical distancing in all work activities. Setting the distance between workers at least 1 meter in each work activity (setting the work desk/workstation, setting the chair when in the canteen, etc.).
- Campaign the Healthy Living Community Movement (GERMAS) through Healthy Lifestyle and Clean and Healthy Lifestyle (PHBS) at work as follows:
Washing Hands With Soap (CTPS), to encourage workers to wash their hands once they arrive at work, before eating, after having contact with customers/meeting with other people, after going to the bathroom, after handling objects that are likely to be contaminated.
Cough Ethics, to educate people the ethics of coughing (covering mouth and nose with upper arm inside) and if using tissue to cover coughs and colds, disposing of used tissue in a closed trash can and washing hands with soap and running water afterwards.
Exercising together before work while maintaining a safe distance, and sunbathing during recess.
Eating foods with balanced nutrition;
Avoiding using personal tools together such as prayer equipment, cutlery, and others.
- Dissemination and education for workers regarding COVID-19.
- Education on COVID-19 is provided intensively to all workers and families to provide proper understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic so those workers have the knowledge to independently take preventive and pre-emptive actions to prevent transmission of the disease, and reduce excessive anxiety due to false information.
- Educational material that can be disseminated are as follows:
- Causes of COVID-19 and how to prevent the disease;
- Initial symptoms of the disease and the actions that must be taken when the symptoms arise;
- PHBS practices such as proper hand washing, cough ethics;
- Flow of reporting and inspection if suspicion is found;
- Educational methods that can be carried out: installation of banners, pamphlets, wall magazines, etc. in strategic areas that are easily seen by every worker such as at the entrance, dining/canteen area, rest area, stairs, and audio and video media broadcast repeatedly.
SMS/WhatsApp message to all workers periodically as a reminder.
- Educational material can be accessed at covid19.go.id.
“It is hoped that through adoption of this guideline, we can help minimize the risks and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at workplaces, particularly offices and industries,” the Minister said. (Ministry of Health/EN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas