"Your safety is our priority. As a preventive measure against the ongoing Corona Virus Pandemic, Lootah BC Gas has enforced a strict policy on social distancing to keep the community safe. Please be informed we will no longer accept walk-in transactions through Discovery Gardens as well as Head Office until further notice & would like to encourage to submit any request through online or email. A sincere apologies for the inconvenience. You may reach our hotline 8005224 for further information.”

COVID-19 CONTROL PROTOCOL

29 May, 2020

Introduction and Principles

The worldwide pandemic related to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has forced all of us to rethink how we behave, both in our personal life and how we conduct our commercial or business processes.

This document has to be read alongside the directives being implemented by the various Governments and statutory structures.

To manage the impact of this pandemic, this protocol is based on two guiding principles, namely:

  • 1. Treat all the staff as potentially infected at all times.
  • 2. Built in so-called “Firebreaks” between employees, teams and critical personnel to ensure that spread to all the employees is less likely in our office, should any bring the infection from outside, into the office.

Since we are only starting to understand how this virus is transmitted these protocols are developed on what is currently known:

  • 1. The virus can be transmitted through airborne particles, such as when people cough or sneeze.
  • 2. It can survive for extended periods on surfaces and can spread through touch contact for example: From a doorknob to your hand to your face.
  • 3. Through your shoes/feet walking on infected surfaces.

It should be noted that the symptoms that infected people exhibit range from no symptoms, having a mild headache, to respiratory difficulty and worst case, death. It is therefore of critical importance that we take care not to be the place of spread of this virus as it could leave Lootah BCGasseverely crippled in terms of human resourcesshould this infection affect a large number of employees – especially as this virus can take out critical teams.

 

Personal Infection Protocol

1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


a. The primary equipment to be used to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus are:

  • Face Masks. You can either use the single use 3 ply surgical masks (ensure that the masks are at a minimum CE or FDA approved and Covid-19 Control Protocol please note that these
    masks are single use only) or N95 with a valve or without a valve (these are multi-use masks).
  • Latex surgical gloves (single use only - Disposable).
  • Sanitizer (alcohol based).

b. Lootah BCGas is providing the suggested PPE, please follow up with your Department Manager if you require additional stock.

2. Break the infection chain


Be aware to break the infection chain. Ensure all employees are trained and instructed to use these PPE’s properly and to adapt behavioral methods that will ensure that they limit the risk to
spread any infection. The best way to create a visual picture is to tell the employees to imagine that when you touch any surface to picture that “dirt” stick to your hand/finger and where does
that “dirt” gets spread to.

3. Contact with face


All employees to avoid touching their face.

4. Toolbox talk/Morning Briefing


Toolbox talk/Morning Briefing. Reinforce the measures it must be discussed at the beginning of each shift/included in your toolbox talk or quickly discussed in the morning briefing.

5. Contact with objects


  • Put on gloves and mask when you leave your residence (if you live in a building of apartments where you will be in contact with commonly used areas such a doors/doorknobs/lift
    button. If you live in a house/townhouse where you go directly to your vehicle, then you can assume that your house is uninfected, and so would your vehicle. If you use public transport,
    then obviously assume that the public transport is infected and take all precautions.
  • At your vehicle discard gloves, get in your car and disinfect your hands before touching the steering wheel, gear levers or inside latches in your car.
  • When you stop at a shopping center, put on your fresh gloves and go and do your shopping, using the same steps, (Procedure b, above), when you get back in your vehicle.
  • When you stop at the office, use the same protocol as for a shopping center (Procedure C, above) and assume that the common areas in the office are infected.

 

Organizational Protocols

1. Employees Limit


Reduce the number of employees which are in the office at the same time. The target would be to have no more than 30% of your employees at any given time in the office.

2. Shift allotment


If possible, break up office staff that are critical such as call center personnel into different shifts or allocate them different locations/rooms (the principle of “Firebreaks”) or in order to limit the
cross contamination of employees.

3. Maintaining Distance


Ensure all employees maintain a distance of 2 meters at all times, while in common areas.

4. Disinfecting Regularly


Ensure that the office space is constantly disinfected, especially the common areas such as doorknobs, handrails etc., by cleaning staff that circulate constantly through the office.

5. Temperature testing


Temperature testing. Take the temperature of all the personnel and visitors using a non-touch temperature “gun” prior to allow them into the building and screen out all the people that has temperatures that exceeds 37.5 degrees.

6. Internal Meetings


Meetings with internal employees that require physical presence: Covid-19 Control Protocol

  • No internal employee meetings should take place during the lockdown.
  • If an unavoidable emergency meeting needs to take place, create a clean meeting room that is properly disinfected (a sticker can be used to indicate that the room has been disinfected
    and should be removed at the beginning of each meeting) where masks and gloves are being worn and social distancing are being maintained of at least 2 meters between each participant. Once the participants leave the room gloves should be discarded outside the meeting room and the room disinfected again before the next meeting.

7. Meeting with visitors


  • No visitor meetings should be taking place during the lockdown.
  • If an unavoidable emergency meeting needs to take place, a dedicated meeting place for visitors should be allocated and treated the same as the meeting room.

8. Internal employees receiving parcels, post, ordered food or any deliveries etc.


  • Employees should handle these items with gloves and have these properly disinfected by placing into a prescribed disinfection box, wiping it down with disinfectant or in the case of documents sensitive for solutions, sterilize them in a UV light sterilization cabinet as per the cabinet’s operating instructions. The best is to have a sticker on these items after cleaning or sterilization that indicate “safe to handle”.

9. Identify employees that use Public Transport.


  • Where possible allow these employees to work from home.
  • Discuss with Department Head about provided with internal driving options. (pick-up & drop-off).
  • If this is not possible, then ensure that they are equipped with adequate PPE’s and understand the use of these PPE’s.
  • Ensure that they discard the PPE’s used on the public transport prior to entering the office.

10. Company Vehicles being shared.


  • Treat company vehicles the same as the meeting rooms and have them thoroughly disinfected between being allocated to different members of the organisation.
  • Again, a sticker should be used to indicate that the vehicle has been disinfected and should be removed by the new user upon acceptance of the vehicle.

11. Office routine


  • a. Employees should wipe down keyboard, telephones and any surface in their office such as desks with a sanitizer or disinfectant before starting to work.
  • b. If sanitizing employees cleans the office, then use a sticker system.

12. Contact Log


  • Each member of the Lootah BCGas must keep a log daily with anyone they have had direct physical contact.
  • All employees should also request that that their roommates/family members that they live with should also keep a log of the people they have physical contact.
  • This log will be invaluable should any employees be confirmed to be infected in order to quarantine employees and have them tested to ensure early, quick and effective treatment on
    the one hand and to implement measures to keep other personnel safe.
  • Technology Where possible implement collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Skype etc. to enable employees to work together without physical contact, be it from home, or even
    when in the office.

Manage Suspected Infection Cases

1. Contact HR Department and/or HSE Department to quarantine these employees immediately once they are suspected, by asking them to stay at home and work, where possible from home. (HR department and Line-managers to follow up and support to ensure the employee is able to self-isolate with no social contact.)

2. Only employees that have increased symptoms, (fever, cough, shortness of breath, head ache and sore throat.) recent travel history or primary contact with a positive case.

3. In coordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) directives, the employees will be tested and when they test negative, keep them in quarantine for at least 14 days, after which they should be retested and once confirmed clear, be allowed to join the team in the office. (Daily monitoring of employees to understand if there is development of any symptoms, otherwise to call the DHA for further assistance.)

Manage Confirmed Cases

1. Contact HR Department and/or HSE Department to quarantine these employees immediately by asking them to stay at home and work, where possible from home. (HR department and Line-managers to follow up and support to ensure the employee is strictly following the law to self-isolate with no social contact.)

2. Monitor their condition daily and inform the HR Department and/or HSE Department immediately for treatment should their symptoms worsen.

3. Should they not exhibit any symptoms or only mild symptoms then:

a. Keep them in current quarantine for at least 21 days.

b. Have these employees tested and when they test negative, keep them in quarantine for at least another 14 days, after which they should be retested and once confirmed clear, be allowed to join the team in the office.

References:

All employees to be updated of the following regulations and statutory laws and regulations through the following websites:

• Dubai Health Authority https://www.dha.gov.ae/en/pages/dhahome.aspx

• Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae/en/pages/default.aspx

• World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situationreports/

• Gulf News https://gulfnews.com/

• Ministry of Health and Prevention https://www.mohap.gov.ae/en/AwarenessCenter/Pages/COVID19-Information-Center.aspx

• National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority https://www.ncema.gov.ae/en/media-center/awareness-messages/mers-cov.aspx

• Department of Health https://doh.gov.ae/en/covid-19

 

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