SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Standard: Guidelines for practical application
This is intended to provide employers with certainty when selecting and implementing suitable measures to protect against infection at the workplace. The risk of infection at the company is part of the employer’s risk assessment for the prevention of pandemics at the company. Every company must implement a hygiene concept within this framework. This requirement is met by adherence to the operational infection protection measures described in the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Standard and the sector-specific specifications based on it. A hygiene concept that goes beyond this is not required for companies.
The sector-specific concretisations of the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Standard, which have been drawn up by the statutory accident insurance institutions (employers’ liability insurance associations), are particularly helpful for companies. They provide, in particular, sample documents, guidelines for employers and postings at premises on site.
An overview of the information offered and details provided by all employers’ liability insurance associations on protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection at work can be found here: https://www.dguv.de/medien/_hilfe/2020_04_30_sars_cov_2_arbeitsschutzstandard___branchenspezifische_konkretisierungen.pdf
The more specific details provided by Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (VBG), as a statutory accident insurance responsible for companies in the office and administration sector, for the implementation of the special occupational health and safety standards during the corona pandemic include, in particular:
- a model hazard assessment,
- guidance for action for a hygiene plan,
- training guidance and
- guidance for handling mouth and nose masks.
The relevant documents can be found here: http://www.vbg.de/DE/3_Praevention_und_Arbeitshilfen/3_Aktuelles_und_Seminare/6_Aktuelles/Coronavirus/Hygiene+danger assessment/hygiene+danger assessment_node.html
The guidance document for classic computer workstations in offices explains measures to reduce the infection risk. They can be found here: http://www.vbg.de/DE/3_Praevention_und_Arbeitshilfen/3_Aktuelles_und_Seminare/6_Aktuelles/Coronavirus/Brancheninfos_Arbeitsschutzstandard/B%C3%BCrobetriebe_CallCenter.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=6
The ‘Practice Check: Healthy and safe through the pandemic’ is especially available for small businesses. You can find the practice check here: http://www.vbg.de/DE/3_Praevention_und_Arbeitshilfen/2_Themen/2_Arbeitsschutz_in_Kleinbetrieben/Corona-Praxis-Check.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=3
Summary: The requirements of the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Standard must be implemented at company level in the form of a hygiene concept suitable for the respective industry and local conditions. In addition to the employers’ liability insurance associations, which offer industry-specific assistance in implementing occupational health and safety standards, company doctors and occupational health and safety specialists should be involved.
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