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Useful information for employers and employees about the Coronavirus

COVID-19 or Coronavirus is becoming a top priority for employers around the world. This developing pandemic event is putting pressure on already stretched employers to do more to keep up to date and protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. As the UK moves into the delay phase of the coronavirus outbreak, we'll will keep you up to date with consolidated advice from reputable sources.

Just added: A message from Mike Robinson, Chief Executive.

The mental health impact of Covid-19

We proudly work in partnership with Mates in Mind to address mental wellbeing in the workplace.

This free guidance, resources and e-learning provided by the British Safety Council and Mates in Mind has been developed to help employers provide the right support and ensure that your employees can work remotely without feeling isolated.

As we’ve seen in the last few weeks, the COVID-19 virus is having more than a physical impact on individuals and businesses. We are seeing many organisations taking action to move employees from the physical workplace to reduce the hazards from close contact. Many of the UK workforce who can are now working from home, and although this may be a physically safer environment, there are hidden risks that need to be considered.

Employees who are working from home for the first time will no doubt see the positivity. No need for the commute, improved use of time and productivity, and reduced exposure to the virus. So what’s the problem?

When the odd day becomes a week, then the weeks start lining up and as we already know, this virus could affect the way we work for some time. This change to the work environment, our usual day to day interaction with colleagues and management of staff becomes more virtual, making it more important to spot the signs of poor mental health. So, how should we help mitigate some potential mental health problems?

Well, to start with it’s important to recognise that everyone is different and their needs will differ. Connection and communication with our colleagues, especially in times of stress and anxiety is extremely important. By providing the support in small ways employers can help their employees cope with the current situation, reduce anxiety and stress, and keep them focused on their work.

Download your free resources now

 

Free training

The British Safety Council is also offering free resources to anyone who needs them to help manage the implications of moving towards a more remote workforce during the coronavirus outbreak – the free resources include: 

Remote Workers - Health, Safety, and Welfare course 

This course is aimed at both employers and employees. Remote working is working away from the office. This may mean working at home, but it also includes mobile-working anywhere in the world. Employers are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees. This includes those working remotely.  Employers are also responsible for all equipment they supply. Please contact us if you would like us to put the course on your existing learning management system 

Managing Stress Within Your Team course 

This course is aimed at both employers and employees. Essential for every responsible manager, this course highlights some of the pressures their teams might face, helps managers become more aware of their own actions and behaviours, and most importantly it helps manage and reduce stress levels within their team. 

Mental Health Awareness course 

This course is aimed at both employers and employees. ‘Mental Health Awareness’ is a 45-minute session which gets people thinking about mental health and talking about mental health. 

Managing Mental Health

Provides line managers with the skills and confidence to listen to and talk with someone who feels that they need to share a problem regarding their mental health.

Stress Awareness

This practical online course will help employees identify, manage and reduce their own stress. It will also make them aware of the consequences of not doing so.

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NHS Overview- Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Read in full on the NHS website

Symptoms of coronavirus 

  • a cough 
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. 

The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. 

How coronavirus is spread 

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. 

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus 

Do: 

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds 
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work 
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available 
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze 
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards 
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don't: 

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean 

What to do if you think you might have coronavirus

If you think you might have coronavirus or you've been in close contact with someone who has it: stay at home and avoid close contact with other people

Treatment for coronavirus 

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus. Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness. You'll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you've recovered. 

UK 

Recent travel 

There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus. 

If you've recently travelled abroad, see coronavirus advice for travellers to find out what to do. 

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, instead use the NHS 111 (UK only) online coronavirus service to find out what to do nextThe 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help. Use the 111 coronavirus service   

Information:

Scotland: call your GP surgery or call 111 if your surgery is not open 

Wales: call 111 

Northern Ireland: call 111 

General employee and employer advice 

For employers and employees Acas has put together some advice.

HSE

Government

World Health Organisation

NHS

National Travel Health Network and Centre / National Health Pro

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

 

India

Indian Bureau of Immigration

Indian High Commission

World Health Organisation

 

UAE 

UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention

World Health Organisation

 

Qatar 

Ministry of Public Health

World Health Organisation

 

Nigeria 

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control

World Health Organisation

Safety Management Magazine

You can also keep up to date on the latest news around coronavirus via our online Safety Management magazine:

Why is handwashing important to stop the spread of coronavirus? 

Indian businesses urged to join fight against COVID-19

Coronavirus and the workplace: the latest

Coronavirus another reason to promote home working, says lawyer

Panic buying face masks risks global shortage, warn WHO