Firms told to build trust by taking infection control seriously

SAFETY MEASURES. Putting in place safety workplace protocol gives employees the confidence to go back to work. Bryan Albert Lim, an infectious disease specialist, says safety measures against Covid-19 may initially hurt the pockets of companies during this economic crisis but its returns in the long run are worth it. / SUNSTAR FILE

ENFORCING workplace standards against Covid-19 cultivates trust among employees in a company that will prove to be effective in preventing transmission.

According to Bryan Albert Lim, an infectious disease specialist, Covid-19 prevention is a company’s commitment to both its workers and consumers.

“We have to build trust by taking infection control seriously. It’s very important that our employees trust that the workplace is safe,” Lim said during a webinar hosted by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the revival of the Project Balik Buhay on Thursday, Aug. 13.

Lim said the process of building employees’ trust includes assurance of data privacy, clear, culturally sensitive and efficient contact tracing and testing protocol, health declaration of employees and their immediate household, as well as their living conditions, cooperation to contact tracing, non-discrimination of employees in the workplace and discouraging presentism.

Lim said companies should establish a clear agreement with their employees in terms of being truthful with their medical condition.

He said enforcing safety protocol consistently boosts the confidence of employees making them develop and follow a habit which will eventually lead to a more safe workplace.

“We should discourage people who are sick to be present because it will jeopardize the operations of the company,” he said.

He cited situations that employees may lie due to the fear of losing their jobs if they are found to be positive for the coronavirus.

Lim also emphasized the general guidelines for workers such as the creation of a health database and home quarantine capacities of workers and family, daily health monitoring, promotion of “no smoking, no alcohol intake,” flexible leave arrangements for those who are sick or caring for the sick at home, adequate training and education and creation of health insurance packages.

He added that preventive measures really work only if compliance is consistent.

“The virus is here to stay. We have no choice but to learn to live with it. Living with the virus is possible. There are proofs,” he said.

Lim said investing in prevention may not come cheap initially, but the returns are worth it.


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