Pandemic Flu Policy
Aims of the Policy
The aim of this policy is to advise employees and sub-contractors about the precautions needed when dealing with a pandemic outbreak. Also, this policy takes into account the guidance given from the World Health Organisation and the HSE.
This policy contains guidelines, which will be adapted as necessary, for members of staff and sub-contractors.
SPARTAN Elite Security is committed to providing staff and sub-contractors with a safe working environment that is free of health hazards, inclusive of pandemic diseases. We also aim to assess, minimise and manage the risks to the Company being exposed to pandemic diseases.
What is Pandemic Flu?
Pandemic flu can occur when a new influenza virus emerges which is markedly different from recently circulating strains and to which humans have little or no immunity and then spreads easily from person-to-person when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. It can also spread through hand/face contact after touching anything that may become contaminated with the virus. Illness develops a few days (average 2-3 days) after being infected. Everyone is susceptible and because of immunity the virus is able to:
- Infect more people on a large geographical area
- Spread rapidly and efficiently from person to person
- Cause clinical illness in a proportion of those infected
The World Health Organisation’s scientific model shows that it usually starts outside the UK and that within 2-3 weeks of a pandemic flu virus entering the UK it would become widespread. Depending on the severity of the pandemic, up to 25-50% of the population may become ill at some stage during one or two waves, each lasting 3-4 months, and this may result in a large number of deaths.
HEALTH & SAFETY to reduce the spread of the virus
Any member of employees and sub-contractors, who exhibits flu symptoms should remain at home until health is restored. HSE’s general advice is to encourage each individual employee and sub-contractor to adopt a common sense approach. If a member of employees or sub-contractors are feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms and particularly if they are coughing and sneezing then they will be asked to go home or stay at home. This will help to prevent the disease being passed on to colleagues (and also fellow passengers on the way to and from work, if travelling by public transport). Where direct contact is foreseeable, the company shall carry out a risk assessment and put preventative measure and/or controls in place as appropriate.
We advice employees and sub-contractors:
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing (preferably with a tissue)
- Dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
- Maintain good basic hygiene (frequent hand washing with soap and water)
- Practising good personal hygiene
- Avoid non-essential travel and large crowds
- Clean all hard surfaces frequently (e.g. work surfaces, door handles etc.)
- The use of proper hand hygiene before entering premises
Flu symptoms and what to do:
- Day 1 – Fever/Chills/Muscle ache
- Day 2 – Dry cough/Sore throat/Blocked nose or nausea/vomiting/diarrhoea
- Stay home and rest
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take paracetamol/ibuprofen as directed
- Avoid non-essential contact with people if you start to have symptoms.
Advice for Employees and Sub-contractors
- Staff have to stay at home if they are sick and to remain at home until 48 hours after the virus has cleared.
- Any member of the staff who are displaying flu-like symptoms will be sent home.
- Staff who can safely work from home will be encouraged.
- Opting for video-conferencing where possible instead of holding meetings is a practical precaution.
- Throughout the duration of a pandemic, it is likely that our workforce will be depleted.
- Employee sickness absence may create a need for other employees, if willing, to work longer hours in order to keep our business going but we will still comply with the requirements Working Time Regulations 1998 as amended to ensure appropriate length of daytime working hours, night shifts and rest breaks.
- There may be some situations where it will be advisable for employees and sub-contractors to wear mask but the Department of Health’s advice is that if a person is ill, or thinks they are ill then they should stay at home.
This policy will be emailed to all employees and sub-contractors. It will also be included in each new employee’s or sub-contractor’s induction pack.
Document Created: 06/02/2020 by SPARTAN’s Human Resources Department