Prevention and hygiene measures in workplaces at the end of the health crisis
The new Royal Decree-Law 21/2020 of 10 June on urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to deal with the health crisis caused by COVID-19 was recently approved.
The Official State Bulletin has published this Wednesday June 10 a new RDL that aims to establish the urgent measures of prevention, containment and coordination needed to address the health crisis caused by the COVID-19, as well as prevent possible outbreaks.
This article only includes the part referring to the work environment within the RDL and, by way of introduction and in a general way, we will say that the obligatory use of a mask is established for people aged 6 years old and over in the following cases
On public roads, in open spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public, whenever it is not possible to guarantee the maintenance of an interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 metres. Those work centres that cannot guarantee this distance are therefore affected.
For this purpose, article 7 indicates that, without prejudice to compliance with the regulations on the prevention of occupational hazards and other applicable labour regulations, the holder of the economic activity or, where appropriate, the director of the centres and entities, must
- To adopt ventilation, cleaning and disinfection measures appropriate to the characteristics and intensity of use of the work centres, in accordance with the protocols established in each case.
- Make available to workers water and soap, or hydroalcoholic gels or disinfectants with virucidal activity, authorised and registered by the Ministry of Health for hand cleaning.
- Adapt working conditions, including the organisation of workstations and shifts, and the use of common areas to ensure that a minimum interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 metres is maintained between workers. Where this is not possible, workers shall be provided with protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk.
- To adopt measures to avoid the massive coincidence of people, both workers and clients or users, in work centres during the time slots of foreseeable greater affluence.
- Adopt measures for the progressive reincorporation into the workplace and the promotion of the use of teleworking when this is possible due to the nature of the work activity.
The text refers to the fact that people who present symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or are in home isolation due to a diagnosis of coronavirus or who are in home quarantine because they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, should not go to their workplace.
In addition, the RDL indicates that if a worker begins to have symptoms compatible with the disease, he or she should immediately contact the telephone authorized for this purpose by the corresponding Autonomous Community or health center, and, if appropriate, with the corresponding occupational risk prevention services. Immediately, the worker will put on a mask and follow the recommendations that are indicated to him/her, until his/her medical situation is evaluated by a health professional.
In the same chapter, hygiene and prevention specifications are also made for specific sectors of activity such as educational centres, social services, commercial establishments, hotels and tourist accommodation, hotels and restaurants or cultural facilities and recreational activities, among others.
Finally, it should be noted that article 31 includes the infractions and sanctions with respect to the above and states that failure to comply with the prevention measures and obligations established in this Royal Decree-Law, when they constitute administrative infractions in public health, will be sanctioned under the terms of Title VI of Law 33/2011, of 4 October, General of Public Health.
The Labour Management Department of AddVANTE is at your disposal for further information or to resolve any doubts that may arise in relation to this article.