COVID-19 SHE Plan
This document provides an overview of how the Test It LAB shall address the COVID-19 Pandemic. These are exceptional circumstances and the industry must comply with the latest Government guidelines on Coronavirus at all times.
The health and safety requirements of any activity must also not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available or social distancing being implemented, it should not take place. We are aware that emergency services are also under great pressure and may not be in a position to respond as quickly as usual. The Procedures outlined in this document are aimed at protecting personnel, their families and the general population. This is a fast-moving situation and this document will be revised as the need arises.
2. REFERENCE DOCUMENTS
ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 Clause 6.3 Government Regulations and the prohibitions and notices issued by the relevant authorities regarding Lockdown in terms of the Disaster Management Act 2002 and Amendments. QM No. 6.2/R-07 Minutes of lab meetings QM No. 6.2/R-17 COVID-19 Health questionnaire QM No. 6.3/SOP-01 Sodium hypochlorite solution QM No. 6.3/SOP-02 Environmental monitoring QM No. 6.3/SOP-04 Ethanol solution QM No. 6.3/R-05 COVID-19 Assessment QM No. 6.3/R-06 Cleaning checklist QM No. 8.5/R-01 Risk assessment register
This procedure applies to all personnel of Test It LAB.
4. DEFINITIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS
COVID-19 : Coronavirus disease SHE plan / policy : Safety, health and environmental plan / policy UV : Ultra-violet EtOH : Ethanol / absolute alcohol / methylated spirits PPE : Personal protective equipment
5. MEDIA REAGENTS AND EQUIPMENT
- 5.1 UV-lights of wavelength 100 – 400 nm
- 5.2 70% Ethanol solution
- 5.3 0.05% Sodium hypochlorite solution
- 6.1 Communication
Safety of personnel and clients are of the utmost concern. COVID-19 information shall be communicated to staff during weekly Lab meetings. Safety and information notices shall be posted in appropriate places to raise awareness and inform personnel and visitors.
- 6.2 COVID-19
Related risks have been identified and control measures put in place (see QM No. 8.5/R-01 Risk assessment register).
- 6.3 Social distancing
Personnel are encouraged to work remotely as far as is practicable. Adjusted work hours are being developed and shall be communicated to personnel as adjustments are made. Sample submissions are scheduled with clients to enable adjusted working hours. Communication shall take place on secure platforms such as the Test It LAB WhatsApp group and OneNote. Do not make physical contact with anybody (co-workers or visitors) but if such an event occurs, thoroughly disinfect your hands by washing with water and soap for 20 seconds and disinfect your outer layer of clothing with UV-light for at least 15 minutes. Breaks shall be taken in such a manner so as to avoid personnel congregating and to maintain distance of at least 2 meters.
- 6.4 Hygiene practices
Personnel shall clean their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after meals, when arriving at work, when going home and after using the bathroom. Avoid physical contact such as shaking hands or sharing food and drinks. Do not touch face, eyes, or mouth with unwashed hands. Follow good respiratory etiquette by covering mouth and nose by creasing your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Do not share pens with co-workers or visitors. A pen clearly marked with reflective tape is to be used by visitors and shall be disinfected with 70% ethanol or 0.05% sodium hypochlorite between uses.
- 6.5 Health verifications of personnel and visitors
A health assessment will be conducted on every person entering the premises (QM No. 6.3/R-05 COVID-19 Assessment) to comply with Government guidelines and recommendations. Personnel shall complete a Health questionnaire daily (QM No. 6.2/R-17 COVID-19 Health questionnaire). Staff and visitors who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or are otherwise recommended to be in self isolation or self-quarantine in accordance with recommendations of the Government Guidelines are not permitted on the premises.
- 6.6 Personnel are issued with PPE such as lab coats, gloves and 3-layer fabric face masks to be worn as and when appropriate.
- 6.7 Cleaning and disinfection
Personnel shall clean (physically remove dirt and impurities) and disinfect (kill or deactivate bacteria and viruses) their work stations at least twice daily at the start and end of the workday with a solution of 70% ethanol or 0.05% sodium hypochlorite. General disinfection takes place by means of UV-disinfection lights that are switched on and off according to a timer schedule. The reception area shall be disinfected by means of UV-lights for 15 minutes after any visitors have entered the premises. Sanitary conditions are monitored by means of surface and air quality monitoring. Communal areas shall be cleaned weekly and the Cleaning checklist completed.
- 6.8 Medical response
If a staff member is unable to positively answer any question(s) posed in the Health questionnaire, they shall be instructed to return home and to visit the nearest screening facility of the National Department of Health. Clean and disinfect any areas where the staff member was working or came into contact with. Communicate the outcome of external screening or test results (if any) to other personnel for their safety and peace of mind. If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed the National Department of Health shall be contacted via their official Toll Free Call Center 0800 029 999 or WhatsApp Help Service 0600 123 456.
7. DOCUMENT CONTROL
All records are kept as per QM No. 6.3/SOP-05. Date approved: 27/06/2020.