Physical distancing must be observed in workplaces – PM

June 01, 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says that under the new ‘work safe, work smart’ order, which takes effect Monday, June 1, employers are required to implement the necessary measures to ensure that the physical distancing protocol is observed by employees, customers and visitors.

He was speaking at a virtual press briefing on Sunday, May 31, at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre in St. Andrew.

“Where an employer assesses that the employee-to-square-footage ratio will not allow for employees to have at least 36 square feet of functional space individually, to facilitate the recommended social distancing space of six feet apart, the employer must make arrangements with some employees to have them work from home,” Holness said.

He further recommended staggered work hours “or other arrangements to ensure that social distancing is possible to be practised in the work environment”.

The Prime Minister said that social distancing markers of six feet apart must also be placed in the work spaces.

“This would be necessary, not just for the workers, but for customers who may be using their premises,” he noted.

Other measures include a mandatory hand-sanitation programme, with installation of handwashing and hand-sanitising stations, which should be readily accessible to both employees and customers; and proper ventilation of office spaces.

The Prime Minister emphasised that employers must ensure that work continues in a smart and safe manner.

He said that the country must maximise productivity without compromising health “by reconfiguring how, where, when we work, by integrating technology and innovation in all our business processes generally, increasing efficiency of our firms, and ensuring the well-being of all workers”.

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