Severn Waste Services and Mercia Waste Management

Severn Waste Services – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Procedure

Purpose

Severn Waste is committed to the health and safety of its employees. Over the past two years COVID-19 has affected all areas of society. This document will be updated as advice is amended by Government.

Scope

This guidance applies to all permanent and temporary employees of the Company, contractors, officers, consultants, casual workers, agency workers, and any other individuals working at the Company premises. References to Statutory Sick Pay and other company procedures, such as absence reporting would apply to permanent staff. 

Current Government Guidance

From 1st April 2022 the government published the latest information on learning to live safely with COVID-19. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, it is advisable to:

Tests for COVID-19

Most people can no longer access free PCR or LFD testing for COVID-19.

Testing will be available via the NHS if:

 Workplace Risk

While there is no longer a requirement for all employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their statutory health and safety risk assessments, it is important that we continue to comply with legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment and equality duties.

Guidance - If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and have not taken a COVID-19 test

Respiratory infections can spread easily between people. It is important for staff and employers to be aware of symptoms so they can take actions to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people.

The symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections are very similar. It is not possible to tell if you have COVID-19, flu or another respiratory infection based on symptoms alone. Most people with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will have a relatively mild illness, especially if they have been vaccinated.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.
It is particularly important to avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, especially those who fall in to the ‘higher risk group’ whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination. www.gov.uk/guidance/people-with-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-infection-including-covid-19#symptoms-of-respiratory-infections-including-covid-19

Symptoms of COVID-19, flu and common respiratory infections include:

If you are feeling unwell with these symptoms you should get plenty of rest and drink water to keep hydrated. You can use medications such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms. Antibiotics are not recommended for viral respiratory infections because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
In some cases, you might continue to have a cough or feel tired after your other symptoms have improved, but this does not mean that you are still infectious.

Guidance - If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection and have tested positive for COVID-19

If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19 even if you do not have any symptoms. You can pass on the infection to others, even if you have no symptoms.

Many people with COVID-19 will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days. If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days from the day you took your test.

Although many people will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days, some people may be infectious to other people for up to 10 days from the start of their infection. You should avoid meeting people at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19, especially those whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, despite vaccination, for 10 days after the day you took your test.

During this period there are actions you can take to reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 on to others, such as:

Close contacts of positive COVID-19 test result

People who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 are at the highest risk of becoming infected because they are more likely to have prolonged close contact. People who stayed overnight in the household of someone with COVID-19 while they were infectious are also at a higher risk.

If you are a household or overnight contact of someone who has had a positive COVID -19 test result it can take up to 10 days for your infection to develop. It is possible to pass on COVID-19 to others, even if you have no symptoms.

You can reduce the risk to other people by taking the following steps:

If you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people and follow the guidance for people with symptoms.
If you are a contact of someone with COVID-19 but do not live with them or did not stay in their household overnight, you are at a lower risk of becoming infected. There is guidance on protecting yourself and others in living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

High Risk Groups

There are a smaller number of people whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, despite vaccination.

For this group it is recommend that you avoid meeting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (and anyone in their household) until 10 days after they received a positive test. Try to avoid people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory infections and have a temperature or feel unwell. Where possible consider the continued use of masks and social distancing. Further guidance is available here; www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk

Temperature Checks

Temperature checks will be carried out based on a site-specific risk assessment, as fever is one of the known symptoms of an active COVID-19/respiratory infection and is easy to administer. The full procedure can be found within the Safe Systems of Work –163 Temperature Screening and the accompanying policy Employee Temperature Screening Policy.

Lateral Flow Device Testing

Lateral Flow Device Testing (LFD testing) will be carried out based on a site-specific risk assessment, to identify positive asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and therefore take measures to reduce transmission through self-isolation. The full procedure can be found within the Safe Systems of Work –175 Lateral Flow Testing and the accompanying lateral flow testing policy.

Cleaning/Disinfection of Shared Equipment

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and illness in general, equipment that is used by other people for example vehicles, Proximity Warning Sensor (PWS) tags, radios, telephones, or shared computer equipment should be cleaned each time after individual use.

Ventilation

The amount of respiratory virus in the air can build up in poorly ventilated areas. This increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, especially if there are lots of infected people present. The virus can also remain in the air after an infected person has left.

Bringing fresh air into a room by opening a door or a window, even for a few minutes at a time, helps remove older stale air that could contain virus particles and reduces the chance of spreading infections.

Good Hygiene

Following these basic rules of good hygiene will help to protect you and others from COVID-19 as well as many other common infections:

Face Coverings

The Government have advised that individuals should remain cautious and continue the use of face coverings in crowded areas, particularly inside, where distancing is not always possible or ventilation is not available. Also, in situations where individuals might come into contact with people they are not usually in contact with.

We believe face coverings offer a degree of protection from transmission and with rates still high, we are asking that staff continue to wear face coverings where they feel necessary or when working in enclosed areas. Please continue to maintaining safe distances and ensuring good ventilation.

Face coverings will be available for all colleagues and it will be personal choice to wear them while working outdoors. To our colleagues who are in contact with the public, we would ask you are considerate to the concerns of others and wear a mask if necessary.

When wearing a face covering, please follow these simple rules:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
2. Avoid touching your face or face covering, you could contaminate them with germs from hands
3. Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
4. Continue to wash your hands regularly
5. Change and wash your face covering at least daily
6. If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
7. Practice social distancing wherever possible

COVID-19 Payments

Usual absence procedure and contractual rules for SSP and Company Sick Pay will apply. However, employees who are contractually entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, who test positive for COVID-19 either through an LFD or PCR test, will be entitled to their usual contractual pay for up to 5 days while they are self-isolating and recovering from COVID-19. This will be subject to the necessary documentation being provided.

Employees not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average amount per week, are able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance. For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income.


Severn Waste Services
The Marina, Kings Road, Evesham
Worcestershire WR11 3XZ

Tel: 01386 443376
Fax: 01386 446757
Email: enquiries@severnwaste.co.uk

Mercia Waste Management
The Marina, Kings Road, Evesham
Worcestershire WR11 3XZ

Tel: 01386 443376
Fax: 01386 446757
Email: enquiries@severnwaste.co.uk

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