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Master Electricians Australia · PDF file 2020-05-18 · Master Electricians Australia. pg. 2. 1.0 Introduction . This Code of Practice has been designed to assist electrical contractors

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  • Master Electricians Australia

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  • Master Electricians Australia

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    Contents 1.0 Introduction

    1.1 COVID-19 Background 1.2 How is COVID-19 spread 1.3 COVID-19 symptoms 1.4 Hygiene practices 1.5 COVIDSafe App 1.6 Influenza vaccinations 1.7 COVID-19 training 1.8 Safety meetings, toolbox talks and pre-start meetings 1.9 Personal protective equipment (PPE) 1.10 Management of PPE

    2.0 Workforce

    2.1 Employer obligations 2.2 Employee obligations 2.3 Working from home 2.4 Health screening and monitoring 2.5 Vulnerable workers 2.6 COVIDSafe and Influenza message to workers 2.7 Standard hygiene practices 2.8 Education

    3.0 Vehicles and transporting workers

    3.1 Cleaning 3.2 Drivers/operators 3.3 Passengers and seating 3.4 Air conditioning and ventilation systems

    4.0 Facilities

    4.1 Offices 4.2 Reception areas 4.3 Amenities 4.4 Lunchrooms and common areas 4.5 Toilets, bathrooms and changerooms 4.6 Lifts 4.7 Shared equipment 4.8 Cleaning and Sanitising

    5.0 Site work environments

    5.1 General principles 5.2 Customer advice 5.3 Work teams 5.4 COVID-19 site risk assessment 5.5 Documentation and paperwork 5.6 Domestic/residential environments 5.7 Commercial/industrial environments 5.8 Construction work environments 5.9 Workshop and warehouse environments 5.10 Aged care facilities 5.11 Working interstate or overseas

    6.0 Appendices

    6.1 References 6.2 MEA COVID-19 resources

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    1.0 Introduction This Code of Practice has been designed to assist electrical contractors manage the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus to their workers, customers and others in or near their work environments.

    The suggestions within this code should be considered in conjunction with your businesses risk assessments.

    1.1 COVID-19 Background COVID-19 is part of the Coronavirus family. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause respiratory infections that range from the common cold to more serious diseases and can cause death. COVID-19 was first identified and reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China. 1.2 How is COVID-19 spread? COVID-19 appears to spread from close contact with an infected person or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Contact with a person is largely by face-to-face contact or between members of the same household. Close contact is having face to face contact for more than 15 mins. COVID-19 is also spread by people when they cough or sneeze. Close contact occurs in many ways. Common examples are:

    • living in the same household or similar environment (i.e. boarding school, hostel) • direct contact with body fluids • being in the same room or office for two hours or more • face-to-face contact

    Regarding contact with contaminated surfaces, studies suggest that depending on the surface, COVID-19 may persist from a few hours up to several days. This may vary under different conditions such as the type of surface, temperature, and humidity of the environment. Research is continuing on this aspect of virus behaviour. 1.3 COVID-19 Symptoms COVID-19 causes mild to severe respiratory illness. The list of identified symptoms is growing as more is understood about the disease, however the most common accepted symptoms are:

    • fever • breathing difficulties and breathlessness • cough • sore throat • fatigue or tiredness

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    1.4 Hygiene and COVID-19 prevention practices It is vital all persons in the workplace practice good hygiene at all times, both at and outside of work. Good hygiene practices include:

    • encourage workers to download and use the COVIDSafe app • frequent hand washing or hand sanitising • limiting contact with others, (avoiding physical contact such as shaking hands or

    hugs) • maintaining social distancing (minimum 1.5mtrs between and 4m2 space around

    persons) • where-ever possible workers will work alone (i.e. not within 1.5mtrs of another

    person) • covering mouths while coughing or sneezing • using disposable tissues when blowing noses • providing suitable rubbish bins for waste (i.e. foot operated rubbish bins in

    workshops) • staggering rest breaks or provide sufficient rest areas so social distancing can be

    practised • requiring workers to stay away from the workplace if they are unwell and not fit for

    work, or have been in contact with someone else suspected of being unwell, • encouraging workers to seek medical advice from health authorities immediately if

    there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace or at home • limiting access to the workplace by other people • reconsidering work-related travel, and • implementing other methods of communication rather than face to face meetings,

    such as phone or teleconferences.

    1.5 COVIDSafe App The Australian Government Department of Health has introduced the COVIDSafe app as a tool to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by speeding up the work of contact tracing potentially exposed individuals after a positive COVID-19 infection. The COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is something everyone can do to protect themselves, their family and friends and save the lives of Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker health authorities can find the virus.

    Employers should encourage all staff to download the app and keep active on their phones at all times.

    The COVIDSafe app is available from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 1.6 Influenza vaccinations Whilst there is no vaccine for COVID-19, there is one for influenza. International experience indicates persons who have impaired immune systems and/or are suffering from other health conditions are at increased risk of experiencing more severe COVID-19 symptoms. As such it is recommended all workers have a current flu vaccination to reduce the risk of becoming compromised from influenza. Vaccination certificates to evidence a person has had this year’s flu vaccination are available at the time of vaccination. It is recommended workers obtain these and they are kept on the personnel file.

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    Note: As part of their COVID-19 management strategy, many aged care facilities have imposed a requirement for all workers and visitors to their facilities to have a current flu vaccination prior to entry. If your business provides services to this sector, you will need to carry a vaccination certificate from your vaccination provider, as evidence of vaccination.

    1.7 COVID-19 training Training about the COVID-19 virus is important so workers understand the hazards, risk, and your controls. Information and training resources are available from both Federal and State/Territory health authorities. Do not use materials from social media sources unless specifically supplied by reputable sources.

    The Australian Government Department of Health website has a free on-line COVID-19 Infection Control Training course available. This has excellent information about the virus and practical information about how to control its spread. The course takes between 15 and 30mins and can be accessed at Upon successful completion of the course a Certificate of Acknowledgement is available. Having all workers complete this course or similar is recommended as part of your COVID-19 control plan.

    1.8 Safety Meetings, Toolbox talks and Prestart meetings Safety meetings, toolbox talks and daily prestart meetings are vital components of an effective safety management program and should not cease during the COVID-19 pandemic, however the way you conduct these may need to be altered.

    Consider if it is feasible to hold meetings using apps such as Zoom and Messenger, or via phone conferences. Most apps have the advantage of being able to record the meeting so other workers can view later where unable to attend.

    Where face-to-face meetings are unavoidable, you must ensure social distancing requirements are satisfied (minimum 1.5mtrs between and 4m2 space around persons) and sanitise the meeting venue both before and after a meeting.

    1.9 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Whilst PPE is lowest on the heirarchy of hazard control methods, it is still extremely useful for COVID-19 to support other control methods. PPE is a vital tool for assisting you manage the increased risks posed by the COVID-19 virus in the workplace.

    Employers must provide appropriate PPE for workers where their controls indicate this is required. Typical PPE to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading, includes;

    • Minimum P2 Respirators (reusable or disposable) • Safety Glasses • Disposable Gloves • Alcohol based hand sanitiser • Alcohol based disposable wipes.

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    For respirators to be effective, users need to be clean shaven around the areas where the respirator seals. Depending on the type of respirator, moustaches that do not extend beyond the corners of the mouth may be acceptable, but full beards are not acceptable.

    Workers with beards need to be consulted about the potential impacts of beards on respirators. Whilst positive pressure re

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