Employees in the domestic industry are reminded to follow the principles of good hand and respiratory hygiene – washing their hands with soap and water, according to the handwashing protocol, for 20 seconds. (Stock Photo)

Persons working in the domestic industry are required to follow specific safety and health protocols while on the job to prevent risks associated with COVID-19.

Government has drawn up a framework of guidelines to complement existing Safety and Health at Work legislation to ensure that persons operating in the industry remain protected.

The framework states that all workers in the domestic industry must report their health status at the beginning of each work day. Any employee experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of the sense of taste or smell, must be excluded from the work site immediately, and sanitation standard operating procedures need to be strictly followed.

Additionally, if an employee is absent from work due to suspected COVID-19 symptoms, they “shall not return to work unless certified by a medical officer of health”.

Proper hand washing protocols must also be observed when entering the workplace, and all persons must wash or sanitize their hands. 

On arrival at work, all persons must have their temperature taken. Any person with a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius or 99 degrees Fahrenheit should not be permitted in the work place. Furthermore, face masks should be made available to staff and everyone present in the work place should wear them.

Domestic industry workers are also advised that single-use masks must be discarded after each use. Disposable masks are recommended, as they are easier to regulate. However, if using cloth masks, they must be laundered at the end of each use.

The guidelines make it clear that no mask should be worn for more than four hours at a time and must be changed if it becomes damp.

If the nature of the work requires workers to be in confined areas or in conditions that require them to be closer than three feet apart, they should wear N95 masks or other appropriate respirators.

Both employers and employees are reminded to follow the principles of good hand and respiratory hygiene. Workers must wash their hands with soap and water, according to the handwashing protocol for 20 seconds, after using the toilet, and before eating.

Persons are also required to wear clean clothes to the work site every day. Additionally, a register must be kept of all employees at the workplace, this will include their names, addresses and phone numbers, and a log must be kept of all persons entering the work site each day.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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