COVID 19 - Protection and Prevention measures - Red Cross

24 Apr 2020 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 24 Apr 2020

On 9 April The Red Cross delivered a webinar on Protection and prevention measures which gave an overview of COVID 19 and advice on protecting against and preventing spread of infection.

Risk management for activities in the face of Covid-19 should follow the well established risk management procedures.  Above all, you should consider the benefit of carrying out any activity against the risk (to staff, beneficiaries, reputational risk, legal and ethical risks) of carrying them out

Control measures must be considered in line with the Hierarchy of Controls

  • Elimination – example would be where a vulnerable person completely isolates and has no contact with any one (or any objects) thereby removing any possibility of infection
  • Substitution – it is not possible to substitute the virus with a less hazardous substance so this is not a valid option in the current circumstances
  • Engineering Controls – this would include erecting screens in shops at tills to provide a physical barrier to infection between customer and server.  It could also include installation of air filtration and differential pressure systems in areas used to treat infectious patients
  • Administrative Controls – introducing changes to the way we work  to avoid potential contamination – examples, restrict the number of people in buildings or rooms at any given time; removing the requirement for physical signatures, prevent people from sharing desks or keyboards etc.; use video conferencing rather than face to face meeting; introduce hand hygiene regimes etc.
  • PPE – where despite consideration and implementation of other control measures the residual risk remains high but it is necessary to undertake a task or function PPE should be considered as a final mitigation.  Considerations
    • PPE must be fit for the task – e.g. what level of filtration provides adequate respiratory protection, what level of protection against infectious agents does clothing give (EN 14126:2003 is the relevant standard for this)
    • It must fit correctly and be correctly worn
    • User should be trained in its use
    • How is it safely removed/disposed of?
    • It must be replaced as often as necessary - How often should it be changed – consider the risk of virus being transported from one place to another on the external surfaces of PP

The guidance from Volunteer now is also very important in relation to infection control.

sandra.bailie@nicva.org's picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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