If the employees are at the workplace

It continues to be important to take different precautions in order to prevent the spread of viruses: preferring distance work if possible, reducing physical contacts between employees, regularly airing out the rooms, using virtual channels to hold meetings etc. People who are sick have to stay home.
Restrictions in force

In order to avoid the spread of the virus and getting infected, to protect the life and health of the people and to ensure the functioning of the society, it is necessary to follow the enacted restrictions and guidelines.

Restrictions in force
The meters of risk level

The main meters are the number on people infected with COVID-19 and the number of people hospitalised. The Government reviews the risk level once a week.

Instructions for how to behave at different risk levels

The health of the employees

  • Carry out a working environment risk analysis: find out how the employees might come in contact with the virus in the working environment and take actions to lower the risks. Discuss the changes planned for the working environment with your employees and instruct them, if necessary.
  • Reorganise the work in a way that would separate the work stations from each other, if possible, and put as few employees as feasible in the same room at the same time.
  • A symptomatic employee must stay home. Employees who have come in contact with a sick person must monitor their health and remain home as well if they become symptomatic.
  • Think through the protection of employees who are in a risk group.
  • Spread out the break times so that too many employees would not gather at the break room at the same time.
  • If necessary, consult the working environment consultant of the Labour Inspectorate or the occupational health doctor on how to make the working environment safer.

Virus prevention

  • Pay attention to hygiene rules, hand washing and availability of disinfectants near entrances and exits, movement routes, and meeting and break rooms.
  • Hands must be washed at least every two hours or, if that is not possible, a disinfectant has to be used.
  • Clean and air the work and break rooms, ensure proper ventilation and sufficient air movement.
  • Organise the work so that only one employee uses the same equipment and work surface, and ensure their regular cleaning and disinfecting.

The use of personal protective equipment

  • A protective mask should not be worn longer than the manufacturer has instructed.
  • Single-use masks are meant for single use. Washing may damage the materials that the masks are made of and decrease the effectiveness of the masks.
  • Single-use gloves are not washed or disinfected. The gloves must be pulled off so that the glove turns inside out (the contaminated side would remain inside). After that, the gloves must be placed in a sealable garbage bag.
  • The surfaces and equipment must be disinfected after every shift.

Changes in work order

  • The employees must keep as much distance as possible with the customers.
  • Minimise the contact that employees in risk groups (primarily employees who are older, and have chronic diseases or immune deficiency) have with customers.
  • If possible, organise the work in one shift. If there are several shifts, avoid employees from different shifts coming in contact with each other.

What can be done to prevent the virus from spreading in closed spaces?

  • The coronavirus mainly spreads through a close contact with a person suspected of being infectious who has symptoms characteristic to the infection (mainly a cough).
  • When a person who has the coronavirus coughs, sneezes or speaks, droplets containing the virus are released into air.
  • If it is not possible to air out the rooms, the surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfectants.
  • The coronavirus that is on surfaces can be effectively destroyed with anti-microbial solutions (biocides). One of the most common of those is ethanol. A solution containing 70% ethanol is sufficient to clean surfaces of coronavirus contamination.

How to act if an employee becomes ill at work?

  • It is recommended that all companies have timely discussions with employees about how becoming ill is notified, what measures are implemented and how the information moves if an employee gets infected with the coronavirus. Quick and knowledgeable action helps to avoid stoppages of work and unnecessary and dangerous contacts between people who might be close contacts without knowing it themselves.
  • If an employee becomes sick, he has to leave work immediately. If an employee becomes sick outside working time, he is not allowed to come to work.
  • If a COVID-19 case is confirmed in the company, the employees and customers must be notified of this. It is only allowed to disclose the name of the person who became ill if it is important in order to prevent further infections (e.g. to notify the colleagues who work with the infected person). The infected person himself must also be notified that information about his health is being shared with other employees.
  • After finding out about the COVID-19 diagnosis of an employee, the employer must cooperate with the regional department of the Health Board to determine the professional close contacts of the employee and give instructions about future organisation of work.
  • Getting infected with the coronavirus is not considered to be an occupational accident if it has no causal link with the employee’s work or working environment. Rooms potentially contaminated with the virus must be closed, and opened after they have been thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and aired. After that, the rest of the employees may continue their daily tasks, while closely monitoring their health.
  • Close contacts who have not been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or equated to a vaccinated person must monitor their health carefully and stay in self-isolation for the next ten days.

Last updated: 15.11.2021