Workplace hygiene, pandemic precautions, occupational health and safety

 

"Experience is of the greatest value when we have it before we need to make it".

The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving its mark where hygiene, preventive measures and contingency plans come together. gammaRenax supports its clients in taking a pragmatic and detailed look at these aspects; in doing so, operating costs and risks can be sustainably reduced.

The experience of gammaRenax is based on many years of consulting, the involvement of experts, the cooperation of clients' planning staff, and relevant documentation and standards. Accordingly, the operational concepts of gammaRenax reflect best practice and comply with IS0 9001 (quality), 14001 (environment), 50001 (energy), OHSAS 18001 (occupational health & safety) and ISO 26000 (social responsibility).

During a pandemic, what must be particularly observed in terms of hygiene?

As a person: There are some general rules of hygiene that have been somewhat forgotten over the last generation, for instance, washing hands. It’s astonishing how many people had to change their habits in this regard within a few months. Or staying home when sick. Holding video conferences is probably advantageous even without the corona virus: this reduces CO2 and the travel time saved can be invested in preparation and follow-up. In spite of the prevailing zeitgeist, everyone needs to understand that success depends on each individual. Strict spatial separation prevents the spread of infection. Social distancing applies in smokers’ lounges and at the coffee machine as well. What's more, one should resist the grill parties where everyone feels safe with 2-metre distancing but finds themselves handling the same carving fork, touching the same bathroom door handle, and using the same bottle opener. . .

As a company: Development and implementation of a hygiene plan with consistently followed procedures; training, sensitisation, and supervision of those with operational duties. Adapting interior spaces and furnishings to meet hygienic requirements. Selective sanitisation of clean and dry surfaces only. Proactive communication with staff. Regular information and showing appreciation are important: by e-mail, video conference, or even as a YouTube interview. Supervisors should not hide in their home offices but rather be present on the ‘front line’. It must be ensured on site that things are well understood, being done correctly, and enforced when necessary.

What should we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Similar to the hygiene plan (see SVG guideline "Hygiene of Recreational and Sports Facilities"), a pandemic plan should be drawn up that defines the scenario and the corresponding measures to be taken. This is followed by material preparedness, 'grandmother's emergency reserves', and staff training. It is also important to favour dependable and thus advantageously domestic producers, which in turn should be committed to 'raw material reserves' in the system. The clear definition of client relationships, now also for such a higher-level case, can shorten response times and reduce uncertainties. However, since every crisis is unique, the essential thing is to maintain reliable personal relationships and assume an active leadership role.

(Excerpt from an interview with Severin Gallo, CEO of gammaRenax, and Sandro Stolz, Head  Consulting and Sales at KWZ AG, in the SVG Journal: https://gammarenax.ch/download/497/SVG-Journal_Artikel_Hygiene_Pandemie_01_2020.pdf)