Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a type of a virus that is transferable by respiratory secretions from coughs and sneezes from an infected person. It can be spread in two ways:
DIRECTLY – from close contact with an infected person (the longer contact, the higher risk of infection).
INDIRECTLY – by touching a surface, object or part of a body (such as a hand shake) that has been contaminated by infected persons respiratory secretions (coughs and sneezes) and then touching your mouth or nose.
Most common symptoms of an infection are a fever and dry cough. For most people it will be a mild infection, however, it may have severe effects on people with weak immune systems, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Smokers may be more affected as well.
Precautionary measures for individuals
The precautionary measures below are based on NHS and WHO advice:
- Wash your hands frequently – using soap and warm water. Follow recommended hand washing techniques. You can use alcohol based hand gel as well;
- Maintain social distance – keep approximately 2 metre (3 steps) distance between yourself and others. Especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and avoid shaking hands;
- Avoid touching your face: hands can pick up viruses from surfaces around you. If you then touch your eyes, nose and mouth you can transfer it to your body and become sick; and
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. The best way is with disposable tissues which you must bin immediately afterwards. If you don’t have a tissue handy, bury your mouth and nose in your bent elbow.
If you show symptoms – have a fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing. Contact the medical service over the phone – dial 111 for NHS24 or call your GP.
If your symptoms are severe – dial 999.
Precautionary measures for Employers
Employers should follow general principles to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) such as:
- Ensure that all members of the organisation are aware of the requirement to self-isolate if they develop symptoms and support them in doing this;
- Consider how you can change working practices and patterns to reduce risk of spread of infection (especially for those at higher risk of illness);
- Introduce thorough routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g telephones, keyboards, door handles, desks and tables);
- Promote good hand hygiene by making sure that staff, contractors, service users and visitors have access to hand washing facilities and, where available, alcohol based hand gel;
- Ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas are cleaned with hot water and general purpose detergent and are dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use; and
- Shared facilities like toilets, canteens, meeting rooms and social spaces must be thoroughly and frequently cleaned and disinfected as well.
For further general information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit NHS inform website:
For information for employers please visit:
If you require further information or support, please do not hesitate to contact Amalgamate
t. +44 (0)141 244 0181 or e. info@amalgamate-safety