Despite the progressive increase in COVID-19 cases, the government has decided to slowly “unfreeze the economy” by partially lifting the bans and restrictions implemented with the introduction of the outbreak in Poland.

From mid-week, nurseries and kindergartens, among others, may operate, allowing parents to return to work on an earlier basis.

The response to the government’s action is undoubtedly the published recommendations of the National Labour Inspectorate, guaranteeing the safe return of workers to their workplaces.

Among the NLI recommendations were:
  • updating the risk assessment by identifying physical, biological, chemical, as well as psychosocial hazards and properly conducting a risk assessment of the working environment;
  • creating an action plan with appropriate safety and control measures to work and prevent the possibility of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The NLI also indicated the types of measures employers need to take. These include measures eliminating the risk of infection with the disease, such as changing the organisation of work and maintaining remote work wherever possible. When it is necessary to work on the premises, the NLI indicates the need for measures to minimise the risk and separate the risks from the workers, i.e:

  • technical measures, including among others: plexiglass enclosures, separating workplaces with partitions or ensuring a distance of 1.5 m between employees, as well as ventilation of work rooms;
  • organisational measures, including, inter alia: shifts at workstations, increasing the duration and number of breaks, assigning only qualified workers to a specific job
  • personal protective equipment;
  • behavioural measures, including, inter alia: observation of compliance with rules and guidelines by management, supervision of workers;
  • anti-epidemic measures, including inter alia: provision of means for disinfecting hands and elements of the working environment – worktops, handles, handrails, technical equipment, e.g. shared printers and copiers, increasing the frequency of cleaning of work rooms, reminding about hygiene principles.

Employers should remember to draw up appropriate procedures for this purpose and to inform employees of the changes and procedures introduced, and where necessary provide employees with appropriate training.

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