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Covid-19 | ESIC guidelines for workplaces cites mandatory use of Aarogya Setu

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Guidelines to keep workplaces safe from COVID-19 released by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) on Tuesday include advice to companies to make the use of the Aarogya Setu app mandatory, ban cigarette breaks, and mention repeated violations of social distancing and hygiene norms by employees in their annual appraisal.

The guidelines, in the form of booklets in English and Hindi, were released by Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.

The Health Minister “urged industries and establishments to adhere to the safety guidelines issued and to make necessary modifications/changes at workplaces and process accordingly to maintain continuity in business activities with keeping workforce safe”, a Labour Ministry statement said.

The guidelines include risk assessment and infection control measures as well as administrative and human resources policies to control the spread of COVID-19.

The guidelines recommend the expected use of masks by everyone, hand washing for 40 seconds, use of hand sanitisers, and disinfecting frequently used surfaces. The guidelines advise against spraying of disinfectant on people under any circumstances.

“Wherever possible, install CCTV cameras on the shop floors and other areas to observe the behaviour of employees. Check those who are lax or careless. Repeated non-adherence to social distancing and hygiene practices, despite warnings, by any employee should reflect in his/her annual appraisals,” the guidelines said.

The advisory, which the Labour Ministry said was formulated with the guidance of NITI Aayog Member Dr. V.K. Paul, also said visitors and face-to-face meetings should be avoided, and cigarette, gutka, tobacco and paan masala should be banned to stop spitting. “Prohibit any cigarette breaks as they are social-distancing disruptors,” it said.

The guidelines by the ESIC, which has over 13 crore beneficiaries, also said employers should provide accommodation to workers on or near the factory campus wherever possible, and arrange for transport if possible. Employers should develop a special leave policy for COVID-19 and make psychosocial support available to workers, it said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 6:11:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-esic-guidelines-for-workplaces-cites-mandatory-use-of-aarogya-setu/article32727104.ece

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