FISA update on Coronavirus - 25th March 2020

THE FOREST INDUSTRY STANDARD

FISA update on Coronavirus - 25th March 2020

25 Mar 2020

Please follow the latest Government advice on Coronavirus at all times for up to date advice https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. For Ireland please use https://www.gov.ie 

On these Government websites you will find business advice, employment and financial support advice (including how to apply for universal credits and Covid-19 employment financial details) – some of the advice is available as downloads in several languages, please share this information with those who may need to know where to find the information on this financial support.

Among those other industries which are looking for temporary workers are fruit and veg growers.  Some Scottish Growers have listed contacts for Scotland on the Scottish NFU website www.nfus.org.uk.     

Sites operating during Covid-19 need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection. These are exceptional circumstances and the industry must comply with the latest Government advice on Coronavirus at all times for up to date advice please check https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus  For Ireland please use https://www.gov.ie

General health and safety requirements of any forestry activity must also not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably competent personnel being on site/plant or equipment problems, it should not take place. Emergency services are also under great pressure and may not be in a position to respond as quickly as usual, Mountain Rescue may become short of volunteer staff. Please consider this in the risk assessment process and please consider this in your decision as to which sites should no longer be at work (those sites with difficult access/motor manual tasks during the period affected by Covid-19 may not be safe to work).  Current stipulation from the Scottish Government ‘if you run a business, and if the nature of your business makes it difficult for you or your workers to work from home or to practice safe social distancing, then you should close for the period of the efforts to combat this virus’. 

Please ensure that those forestry workers on site are given information to help remind them of the procedures they are operating under – these are challenging and different to the day-to-day procedures and need to be in place to protect themselves,  their colleagues, their families and the wider population. 

If the site cannot consistently implement the measures put in place, it should be shut down. 

The following workers must NOT be on site:

Those in self-isolation/vulnerable person/ are living with someone in self-isolation or a vulnerable person (up to date details of the categories /recommendations are listed on the Gov website). 

Procedure if someone falls Ill; If a worker develops a high temperature or a persistent cough while at work, they should:

  • Return home immediately (how will this be achieved?)
  • Avoid touching anything
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
  • They must then follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work until their period of self-isolation has been completed. 

Travel to Site/on Site:

  • Social distancing needs to be met both for the journey to site as well as when on site
  • What are the parking arrangements if extra vehicles need to be used to get to site?  Are site access points away from public areas?
  • How will someone taken ill get home.
  • Stop all non-essential visitors
  • Remind workers about social distancing
  • Require all workers to wash or clean their hands before entering or leaving the site
  • Regularly clean common contact surfaces
  • Aim to limit one driver to each machine
  • Ensure soap and fresh water is readily available and kept topped up at all times
  • Provide hand sanitiser where hand washing facilities are unavailable
  • Regularly clean the hand washing facilities and check soap and sanitiser levels
  • Increase the cleaning regimes for welfare facilities particularly door handles, locks and the toilet flush
  • Portable toilets should be avoided wherever possible, but where in use these should be cleaned and emptied more frequently
  • Workers should sit 2 metres apart from each other whilst eating and avoid all contact
  • PPE /helmet radios should not be shared between workers 

Site Closure:

  • Ensure the site is left safe and secure, ensure contact numbers are left accessible for those who may need them
  • Check whether the site needs to remain accessible for other users and how this will be met (for example leaving access routes clear)