COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

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Work Health and Safety policies procedures and guidelines  related to COVID-19 are available below.

The JCU Event Organiser is responsible for completing this checklist as part of the completion of the COVID Safe Event Checklist.  This attachment and the COVID Safe Event Checklist must be submitted for approval.

Indoor Event

Indoor events require a COVID safe event checklist and approval

Outdoor Event

Outdoor events do not require a COVID safe event checklist or approval unless the event is:

  • A music festival;
  • A dance festival;
  • An event with a dance area; or
  • In a location that has been declared an impacted area.

JCU COVID Safe Event Checklist

WHS-PRO-GUI-006h COVID-19 Guideline for Managing Vulnerable Staff Member

Introduction

Queensland Work Health and Safety legislation requires the University (an Employer) to take care of the health, safety and welfare of workers at the workplace (including to and from the workplace). Some people are at greater risk of more serious illness with COVID-19.  The University acknowledges there will be Staff Members who may be classified as a ‘vulnerable person’, and, as such will be following the Australian Government’s advice for managing the risk for staff members who are classified as vulnerable to COVID-19.  The University is also committed to managing the risk for staff members, where possible, who are involved in the care of a person who is classified as vulnerable to COVID-19.

JCU will monitor relevant Health Authority advice and update internal procedures as the requirements change. Currently, the Australian Government advises that Employers should follow the advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee for vulnerable staff members in the workplace.

1 Who is a Vulnerable Staff Member

6th August 2021

https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-recommendations-for-managing-of-health-risk-as-covid-19-measures-lift

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/advice-for-people-at-risk-of-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/advice-for-people-at-risk-of-coronavirus-covid-19#advice-for-specific-communities-and-groups

For the purpose of this guideline, a vulnerable person includes any Staff Member who fits into one or more of the categories identified by the Department of Health.  These categories change depending on the latest evidence.  Currently, vulnerable people include the following:

Age is by far the strongest risk factor associated with disease and death. Risk increases as people age. There is a very substantial increase in risk of severe COVID-19 illness in people over 70.

People aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over with chronic medical conditions are also at greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

A person is at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 if he/she:

  • is 70 years of age or over
  • has had an organ transplant and are on immune suppressive therapy
  • has had a bone marrow transplant in the last 24 months
  • is on immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
  • has blood cancer eg leukaemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndrome (diagnosed within the last 5 years)
  • is having chemotherapy or radiotherapy

A person at moderate risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 if he/she has:

  • chronic renal (kidney) failure
  • heart disease (coronary heart disease or failure)
  • chronic lung disease (excludes mild or moderate asthma)
  • a non-haematological cancer (diagnosed in the last 12 months)
  • diabetes
  • severe obesity with a BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2
  • chronic liver disease
  • some neurological conditions (stroke, dementia, other) (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • some chronic inflammatory conditions and treatments (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • other primary or acquired immunodeficiency (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • poorly controlled blood pressure (may increase risk –speak to your doctor)

According to the AHPPC, evidence suggests having two or more conditions may increase risk, regardless of age. More severe disease and/or poor control of the condition may also increase the risk of severe disease. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee advice is that there is limited evidence at this time regarding the risk in pregnant women.

Where a Staff Member has self-identified as a vulnerable person due to another medical condition in writing, from their Treating Medical Practitioner (TMP), the University will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments, based on the specific risk in the scenario.

2 Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)

AHPPC’s latest advice specific to vulnerable people is from 6 July 2020 and states:

As the current level of COVID-19 cases is low, people, even those at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, can return to work and other settings with appropriate precautions in place.

Australians should monitor current public health advice and continue physical distancing, using hand and respiratory hygiene, and stay home if acutely unwell.

The risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) depends on the chance of being close to someone with COVID-19 or coming into contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus.

Because of this, the local pattern of disease is the most important determinant of risk of contracting COVID-19 illness in any community. If there are no cases or a low number of cases and no evidence of community transmission, then the risk of exposure is low regardless of age or health conditions.

https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-statement-on-recommendations-for-managing-of-health-risk-as-covid-19-measures-lift

3 Risk Assessment

3.1 Consequence

The University does not have control over the potential consequence of the virus.  The consequences of COVID-19 varies depending on individual factors. The Guideline is has been developed to manage individuals who are expected to have a more severe consequence if they contract the virus, ‘vulnerable’ people. Therefore the focus of this guideline is related to reducing the likelihood of exposure.

3.2 Likelihood

According to the AHPPC 6 July 2020 ‘A statement from the AHPPC about how to manage health risks as COVID-19 measures lift’:

The risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) depends on the chance of being close to someone with COVID-19 or coming into contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus.

Because of this the local pattern of disease is the most important determinant of risk of contracting COVID-19 illness in any community. If there are no cases or a low number of cases and no evidence of community transmission, then the risk of exposure is low regardless of age or health conditions.

Currently, in Australia there are low numbers of cases. This means the risk of being exposed to someone with COVID-19 is currently low in most communities.

The Australian Government Department of Health have developed an action plan that is based on the COVID-19 case numbers in the local community.

The action plan breaks down the exposure risk into three categories:

  • no COVID-19 cases in your community
  • low numbers of COVID-19 cases in your community
  • increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in your community

No COVID-19 cases in your community

Things to do at all stages                                                                                                                                                      

1. Maintain physical distancing and hand and respiratory   hygiene

2. Sign in using QR codes

3. Talk to your Supervisor and develop a COVIDsafe work plan

4. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns

5. Keep fit and stay on top of your health condition

6. Keep your vaccinations up to date, especially for   influenza

7. If you become unwell with possible symptoms, stay   home and get a test

8. Stay up to date with local cases

Low numbers of COVID-19 cases in your community

Things to think about adding to your plan

1. All above plus the next steps in your plan

2. Develop a social bubble and limit interactions   outside your bubble.

3. Change or avoid non-essential activities where you   are exposed to people outside your bubble.

4. Change or avoid activities shown to have increased risk (e.g. indoor   activities with large numbers of people, travel).

5. Change some of your activities to reduce your interactions (such as   zoom meetings).

6. Discuss your workplace plan with your Supervisor and review any   controls in place to reduce your risk of exposure.

7. Review your health with your doctor.

8. Prepare yourself for a possible increase in cases in   your community.

Increasing COVID-19 cases in your community

Things to think about adding to your plan

1. All above plus  the next steps in your plan

2. Activate your  workplace plan

3. Work from home   if there is ongoing exposure at work

4. Stay healthy and stay in touch with friends  and family

AHPPC has identified that some types of activities, events and settings may increase risk of contracting COVID-19.  These include activities that:

  • Are in closed or indoor environments;
  • Have large numbers of people in close contact over an extended period) e.g. public transport at peak hour, sporting events, protests or other large gatherings);
  • Require physical activity and close contact (e.g. dancing or contact sport);
  • Require vocalising in an indoor environment (e.g. choirs, singing, close communication such as shouting in a noisy environment);
  • Require sharing objects with others (e.g. utensils in a tea room);
  • Require sharing accommodation or amenities with others ( e.g. on a field trip, research stations and student accommodation); or
  • Are longer (the risk for exposure and transmission increases with time).

3.3 Risk Assessment Process

A risk assessment is required to identify suitable controls for a Vulnerable Staff Member’s individual work area and work tasks.  A risk assessment is only required for Vulnerable Staff Member’s who are attending a JCU owned/managed worksite, i.e. if a Vulnerable Staff Member works from a home environment, a COVID-19 risk exposure risk assessment is not required. To conduct a risk assessment the Supervisor, in consultation with the Vulnerable Staff Member, should:

Step 1: Identify the work areas the Staff Member will attend and which tasks the Staff Member is required to complete within each work area;

Step 2: Identify COVID-19 exposure points with each task;

Step 3: Identify control measures (current and additional); and

Step 4: Assess the risk with control measures in place.

A template for conducting this risk assessment can be found in WHS-PRO-TEM-006i COVID-19 Vulnerable Staff Member Risk Assessment Template.  WHS Unit can be provide assistance on request.

4 How can we reduce exposure to COIVD-19 within the workplace?

The virus can spread from person to person through:

  • Close contact with an infectious person (including in the 48 hours before they had symptoms);
  • Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze; and
  • Touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

If the vulnerable Staff Member is  attending the workplace, the following controls should be considered.  

a.    1.5 metres (physical distancing)

  • Maintain 1.5m between people at all time is essential for minimising exposure.  If a vulnerable staff member is required to conduct essential work within 1.5m (e.g. patient treatment), PPE should be considered in consultation with the vulnerable staff members doctor.  Note: ensure that the vulnerable staff member understands that this is not intended to discriminate, but is a measure of protection;
  • Reduce working within an enclosed space with other people as much as is reasonably practicable:
  • If work is required within an enclosed space, reduce the time spent in the space as much as is reasonably practicable.
  • If work is required within an enclosed space, increase the distance between people as much as is reasonably practicable.  Acceptable parameters include 4 meters squared per person and 1.5m between people at all times.

b.     Shared equipment

  • Eliminate or reduce as much as possible sharing of equipment.  If shared equipment is required,  establish cleaning and disinfecting regime for the item.

c.     Cleaning

  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting regime to meet as a minimum SafeWork Australia guidelines.
  • Provide cleaning and disinfecting equipment to the vulnerable staff member.

d.     Personal hygiene and responsibility

  • Ensure the vulnerable staff member has access to hand washing / hand sanitiser at all times where there is potential exposure;
  • The vulnerable staff member should travel at quiet times and avoid crowds;
  • If the vulnerable staff member sees a crowded space it is their responsibility to not enter.

e.     Training

  • Provide awareness training to the vulnerable staff member on control measures;
  • Provide awareness training to the vulnerable staff member if they are required to wear PPE as part of the identified control measures.

f.     PPE

  • Review guidelines for safe and appropriate use of PPE, including how to safety done and doff gloves;
  • Conduct fit checking of PPE where required e.g. P2 masks.

g.   Ill Workers / Students

  • Develop strategies to prevent ill workers / students / member of the public from entering the vulnerable workers physical work area.  This may include signage at the front of the facility, condition added to student inductions / agreements, actively requesting people with cold / flu symptoms to leave the work space.

5 Risk Assessment Considerations

The following questions should be considered during the risk assessment:

  1. Can the task be conducted from home? (to be considered if there are any community transmission cases in the local area)
  2. Can the task be modified to lower the risk of exposure?
  3. Can the task be swapped for a lower exposure task with another staff member?
  4. Does the staff member need to share any equipment to complete their tasks?
  5. Can shared equipment be cleaned and disinfected prior to use?
  6. Can paper forms be replaced with electronic processes (i.e. no contact processes)?
  7. Are staff in the area advised not to attend work if displaying symptoms of cold / flu?
  8. Are the workstations at least 1.5m apart and each person has 4 square metres within the shared office?
  9. Can the face to face or on campus component of the task be conducted over a shorter duration of time?
  10. Can the face to face contact be conducted outdoors?
  11. Is the staff member required to travel to and from work on public transport or car pool with a non-household person?
  12. Does the staff member have access to handwashing facilities and hand sanitizer at all times?
  13. Are other people accessing the shared spaces using hand sanitizer on entry?
  14. Have staff in the area been provided with awareness training on Covid-19 controls in the area?
  15. Has the vulnerable staff member been provided with awareness training on the Covid-19 controls including (if required) the types of PPE to use and how to safely don and doff PPE?
  16. Do the cleaning protocols meet Safework Australia standards?
  17. Does the vulnerable staff member have access to cleaning products to allow additional cleaning of work area?

6 Mental Health Considerations

Vulnerable staff members are expected to have an increased level of stress and anxiety regarding their safe return to the workplace and the risk of contracting COVID-19. Vulnerable staff members must be included in the planning and risk assessment process, and should raise any concerns about returning to the workplace with their supervisor.

Supervisors need to acknowledge and understand the potential magnitude of fear and caution experienced by vulnerable staff members in relation to the virus, and understand that whilst transmission rates are low and risks are being managed in accordance with the government advice, the consequences of contracting the virus for a vulnerable staff member may be catastrophic.

Supervisors are to ensure that the vulnerable staff member, themselves, and any other relevant person has a good understanding of the risk mitigation measures in place to help alleviate anxiety.

The mental health impact of the pandemic is predicted to be widespread, causing increased stress and anxiety in many people for a wide range of reasons. However, mental health conditions or mental health impacts caused by COVID-19 do not fall under the classification of “vulnerable” for the purposes of this guideline.  Therefore, those with mental health conditions who are require a supported return to work should be managed independently by the Supervisor, or, if assistance is required under the WHS PRO 006 Health Management Procedure.

7 Responsibility of Vulnerable Staff Members

As a worker, vulnerable staff members must take responsible care of themselves. It is the responsibility of the Vulnerable Staff Member to advise his / her supervisor that he/she is classified as vulnerable and to be actively involved in the risk assessment process.  The Vulnerable Staff Member is also responsible for following any reasonable health and safety instruction from the employer (e.g. risk assessment control measures including hand hygiene, physical distancing etc).

8 Supporting Medical Documentation

If required, JCU may request supporting medical documentation. WHS-PRO-FORM-006k Medical Confirmation of COVID-19 Definition for Vulnerable Person is available for those requiring confirmation that their staff member meets the criteria of a vulnerable person.

9 What if risk controls are not reasonable (justifiable)

If the risks to vulnerable staff member’s health and safety at the workplace cannot be effectively managed, then alternative arrangements need to be investigated.  This process must be conducted in consultation with Human Resources and the Vulnerable Staff Member.

10 Record keeping

Records are to be managed in a confidential file by the Supervisor.  Records are to be kept for 80 years in accordance with the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (Public Records Act 2002 s26).  Records should be confidentially stored in the University record management system.

Schedule / Appendices

WHS-PRO-TEM-006i COVID-19 Vulnerable Staff Member Risk Assessment Template

WHS-PRO-FORM-006j COVID-19 Vulnerable Staff Member Form

WHS-PRO-FORM-006k Medical Confirmation of COVID-19 Definition for Vulnerable Person

Document Control

VersionDate Approved/ImplementedAuthorDetails
20-106/02/2020JCU WHS UnitGuideline established
20-216/6/2020JCU WHS UnitAddition of WHS-PRO-FORM-006k to Section 9 and Schedule/Appendices
20-316/7/2020JCU WHS Unit

Guideline updated in accordance with AHPPC statement ‘On recommendations for managing of health risk as COVID-19 measures lift’ published 6 July 2020.  WHS-PRO-TEM-006i COVID-19 Vulnerable Staff Member Risk Assessment Template deleted from the guideline.

20-409/10/2020JCU WHS UnitMajor changes to 3.2 Likelihood and 6.0 Controls to reflect the Australian Government Department of Health COVID-19 Action Plan for people with an increased risk of severe illness.
20-501/12/2020JCU WHS Unit

Minor changes – updated information – deleted - is aged 65 years or over and have a chronic medical condition and is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander aged 50 years and over with chronic medical conditions from high risk of severe illness category.

21-106/08/2021JCU WHS UnitReview currency of the document.  Minor grammatical editing only.

WHS-PRO-GUI-002I COVID-19 Field Trip Guideline

Introduction

JCU is responsible for managing the safety of our staff, students and the public when conducting University field trips in relation to COVID-19.

JCU will monitor federal and state government advice and update internal procedures as the requirements change.

The following conditions should be considered for planning field trips, if these conditions cannot be met postponing the field trip should be considered.

1 Health Direction Qld Government:

The Chief Health Officer in Queensland issues public health directions that apply to workplaces.  These directions form the bulk of the legal requirements that JCU and members of the public must comply with.  As such, there are sections of the directions that allow the University to operate for instruction and business.

Summarised in Table 1 below are the primary requirements for JCU the Entity, Staff and Students to comply with as of the 1st of December  2020.

Please note that the requirements are changing frequently.  As such constant review will need to occur.

Table 1: Relevant Public Health Direction Summaries

Social Distancing & Gatherings

Movement and Gathering Direction (No. 7) (01/12/2020) (Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) Section 362B

Highlighted Section:

JCU Current Interpretation:

Physical Distancing:

Section 6:

An owner, resident, tenant, occupier, temporary occupier or person in control of a premises, including a residence, must take reasonable steps to encourage visitors to the premises to practice physical distancing to the extent reasonably practicable.

Section 7:

A person who is leaving their principal place of residence must practice physical distancing while outside their principal place of residence, to the extent reasonably practicable.

Definition of Physical Distancing:

Section 31.  Definition of physical distancing - includes remaining at least 1.5 metres away from other persons where possible

Physical distancing shall be practiced during University activities, where reasonably practicable.

Where it is essential, physical distancing may be reduced.  Examples of essential activities that would require people to be within 1.5m of each other include activities that involve a two person lift, activities such as physiotherapy on a client where the distance cannot be maintained.

Anyone who leaves their home must practice physical distancing. This is to stay at least 1.5m from others where possible.

Where it is essential, this distance may be reduced.  This could apply such as a two-person lift, activities such as physiotherapy where the distance cannot be maintained.

Gatherings:

Section 27. Gathering does not include a gathering: (n) at a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility, that is necessary for the normal business of the facility

Section 38. Restricted area means a particular area of Queensland decided by the Chief Health Officer and published on the Queensland Government website.

Section 26.  Gathering, subject to section 26, means:

  • Non-restricted area: under part 2 means a gathering of more than 50 persons in a single undivided outdoor space or single undivided indoor space at the same time; or
  • Restricted area: under part 3 a gathering of more than 10 persons in a single undivided outdoor space or single undivided indoor space at the same time.

Restricted area:

Section 19. A person who owns, controls or operates premises, other than a residence, in a restricted area must not organise or allow a gathering of more than 10 people to occur on the premises.

Non-restricted area:

Section 12. A person who owns, controls or operates premises, other than a residence, in a non-restricted area must not organise or allow a gathering of more than 50 people to occur on the premises.

Section 27, (n) excludes the University from the gathering rules. This allows work or study groups of people to be at the University with no restrictions to the number of people.

If the gathering is for social / recreational reasons, the gathering must not be larger than 50 in a non-restricted area or 10 in a restricted area.

A list of restricted areas can be found at: the Queensland Government website.

JCU has a legal obligation to prohibit social / recreational gatherings greater than 40 (non-restricted areas or greater than 10 (restricted areas) to occur on the campus.

Travelling Interstate

Border Restrictions Direction (No.17) (01/12/2020) (Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) Section 362B)

This notice provides direction to all travelers to Qld including returning residents and workers.

Direction notice ‘Border Restrictions Direction (No. 17) should be read and understood by the Field Trip Leader prior to leaving Qld for a Field Trip.  This direction notice details quarantine and entry requirements for returning to Qld.

The Field Trip Leader is required to follow the State Government requirements of the interstate destination.

2 Close Contact

The close contact information is used for contact tracing. This is not a legal requirement, it is guidance that could assist in limiting the number of staff or students that could be deemed as close contacts.

Anyone deemed to be a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

The criteria from Qld Public health is:

  • Greater than 15 minutes cumulative over a week, face to face within 1.5m, in any setting;
  • Greater than 2 hours within the same enclosed space.

As such, we wish to adhere to keeping contact below these thresholds, to the extent reasonably practicable, to:

  • Infection control - minimise the potential for transmission to staff or students of COVID-19 if an attendee has the virus;
  • Business continuity - reduce any potential for large numbers of staff or students to be deemed as close contacts resulting in quarantine for the applicable 14 days.

3 Should the field trip progress?

The following questions should be considered to determine if the field trip is able to be conducted safely and in accordance with Queensland Health and the Australian Government advice:

A

Does the trip involve interstate travel? Refer to table 1

B

Does the trip involve travel to a ‘hot spot’? Refer to https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/hotspots-covid-19

C

Can the projects be suspended or disrupted if the advice from the Government changes?

D

Have all participants been advised that they must stay at home if they are sick, or are directed self-quarantine by QLD Public Health.

E

Has COVID-19 advice and infection control principles be included in your plans and met throughout the trip, to the extent possible?

  • Physical distancing (refer to section 3.1.1)
  • Infection control (refer to section 3.1.3)
  • Health screening (refer to section 3.1.4)

F

Is there a plan in place to manage a person who becomes ill during the trip (refer to section 3.4)?

G

Have all participants been encouraged to advise the Field trip leader if they are ‘vulnerable’ (refer to section 3.5).  The ‘vulnerable’ person should provide the Field Trip Leader with the advice from their treating medical practitioner.  Specific controls will be determined on a case by case basis. Refer to WHS-PRO-GUI-006h COVID-19 Guideline for Managing Vulnerable Staff Member.

H

Ensure all participants receive additional COVID-19 information as part of the pre-trip safety briefing (refer to section 3.6)

I Are you travelling to a JCU Research Station? If yes, ensure you have made contact with the Research Station Manager and have considered the stations COVID safe plan in your plans.

3.1 Physical distancing and Public Health Control Advice

All participants on field trips are required to meet the physical distancing and public health controls issued by the Australian Government and Qld Health, to the extent possible.

3.1.1 Physical Distancing:

If JCU have a reasonable option to separate field trip participants and meet the 1.5m requirement, then this should be applied.

If it is unreasonable to maintain the 1.5m distancing between field trip participants:

  • All participants must be advised, prior to the trip, that physical distancing will not be able to be accommodated during specific components of the trip (e.g. bus trip).  If participants choose to attend and consent to participating without physical distancing, the participants will then be classed as a single group.  Participants who choose not be a part of the single group, will be able to opt out of the field trip; and
  • The participants should maintain a distance of 1.5m from all other people/groups that they come across on the trip (e.g. bus driver, farmer, etc.) as much as is practicable, as these people are not captured in the field trip single group.
3.1.2 Number of participants on a JCU Field Trip
  • There is no JCU or government prescribed maximum number of participants for trips in regards to COVID.
3.1.3 Public Health Controls

The current public health controls include:

  • Environmental cleaning
  • Hygiene measures
  • Regular washing of hands
  • Availability of hand sanitiser
  • Avoid handshaking
3.1.4 Health Screening

The Field Trip Leader is responsible for ensuring that participants answer the following health screening questions immediately prior to leaving for the trip.  The Field Trip Leader is to determine the most appropriate way to ask and record the screening questions, e.g. form completed by each participant, questions included on the roll, verbally discussed and note maintained in Field Trip Leaders diary.

Health Screening questions include:

  • In the last 14 days have you travelled from overseas or a COVID-19 hotspot?
  • Have you been in close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19?
  • Are you an active COVID-19 case?
  • Are you awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
  • Are you currently, or have you recently experienced cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath?)

If the participant answers ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions, they shall not attend the field trip.

3.2 COVID requirements for the use of Non-JCU Companies (e.g. chartered vehicle, restaurant, hotels, accommodation facilities)

Where the field trip participants are required to use the services of a non-JCU Company (e.g. staying a hotel, travelling in a chartered vehicle, eating at a restaurant or using a caterer) the Company offering the service is responsible for ensuring that they are running a COVID Safe Business.  The JCU Field Trip Leader is required to confirm that the company is operating in accordance with a COVID Safe Framework (i.e. COVID Safe Industry Plan, Site Specific COVID Safe Plan, COVID Safe Checklist).

The Field Trip Leader is responsible for:

  • Requesting a copy of the companies COVID Safe Framework (may be a plan, checklist).  If the Company is unable to provide a plan / checklist, the Company should not be used; and
  • Read and understand the controls detailed in the COVID Safe Framework document, the WHS Unit can provide assistance on request.

3.3 Infection Control

3.3.1 Shared equipment
  • Do not share belongings such as keyboards, pens and phones where possible;
  • Ensure shared or communal equipment is cleaned and disinfected thoroughly between users (use 60% ethanol spray or bactericidal wipes impregnated with at least 60% ethanol to clean equipment).
3.3.2 Handwashing requirements
  • Access to handwashing facilities with soap and paper towel or hand sanitiser;
  • Techniques – handwashing poster on the JCU webpage
3.3.3 Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknob, table surfaces;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys and wallets;
  • Increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.

Detergents and other cleaning products are intended for physical removal of dirt, oil and other substances.

Products that are identified (e.g. on the label) as a disinfectant are used to disinfect surfaces.  Either clean with a detergent first then disinfect, or use a product that both cleans and disinfects at once.

Acceptable disinfectants include:

  • Alcohol solutions at >60% (such as ethanol) e.g., methylated spirits;
  • Products marked as disinfectant.

3.4 What to do if a participant becomes unwell (COVID-19 symptoms) during the trip?

If a person who is sick needs to be transported from their accommodation or a medical facility, the following options should be considered:
  • Isolate the person from others and request the person wear a surgical mask when leaving the room (isolated area);
  • Contact emergency services or local medical centre for advice (including transport advice);
  • Self-transport with no other person in the vehicle is the preferred option (but only if the person is well enough).  Note – a person presenting with flu-like symptoms that may include fever should not drive themselves;
  • Last resort: Another person may transport the patient.  In this instance, the person who is transporting the patient should wear full PPE (surgical mask, protective eyewear and gloves) and decontaminate the vehicle post-transport in accordance with the guidelines for ‘terminal clean’. The patient must also wear a surgical-mask during transportation.  In this instance, the person who is transporting the patient should prepare to self-quarantine for the recommended period (currently 14 days) while they confirm whether or not they will develop symptoms.

Before any patient with flu-like symptoms is transported, contact should first be made with the destination (prior to departure) to advise them of the intended transportation, and to confirm any instructions for how the patient should be managed upon arrival.

Report to WHS unit if the person is advised to self-quarantine or tests positive.

3.5 Definition of Vulnerable

For the purpose of this document, the term vulnerable will be used for people who are more at risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19.  These people include:

A person is more likely to suffer severe illness due to COVID-19 if he/she:

  • is 70 years of age or over
  • is aged 65 years or over and have a chronic medical condition
  • is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander aged 50 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • has had an organ transplant and are on immune suppressive therapy
  • has had a bone marrow transplant in the last 24 months
  • is on immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
  • has blood cancer eg leukaemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndrome (diagnosed within the last 5 years)
  • is having chemotherapy or radiotherapy

A person is more likely to suffer moderate illness due to COVID-19 if he/she has:

  • chronic renal (kidney) failure
  • heart disease (coronary heart disease or failure)
  • chronic lung disease (excludes mild or moderate asthma)
  • a non-haematological cancer (diagnosed in the last 12 months)
  • diabetes
  • severe obesity with a BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2
  • chronic liver disease
  • some neurological conditions (stroke, dementia, other) (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • some chronic inflammatory conditions and treatments (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • other primary or acquired immunodeficiency (speak to your doctor about your risk)
  • poorly controlled blood pressure (may increase risk –speak to your doctor)

3.6 Participant briefing

Additional COVID-19 advice for field trips participants to discuss prior to the trip:

  • Symptoms and signs of COVID-19;
  • Personal hygiene, particularly hand hygiene, sneeze and cough etiquette;
  • Physical distancing rules;
  • Appropriate use of PPE such as gloves, gowns, eye protection and masks, including how to don and doff PPE correctly;
  • Actions on experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • Student and staff wellbeing support.

4 Approval

The Field Trip Approver in the Riskware Field Trip Module remains as the direct supervisor of the Field Trip Leader, as they are in the best position to ensure the health and safety risk controls are appropriate.  The current COVID-19 response processes also require each field trip to be approved by the Dean/Director.  This additional approval, ensures that the Dean/Director is aware of their staff member’s activities and destinations.  The Dean/Director may provide approval directly to the Field Trip Leader via email or other processes as determined by the Dean/Director.

During this interim period, any access to JCU Research Stations should be considered a field trip and are required to be entered into the Riskware Field Trip Module.

Field Trip Leaders are responsible for identifying and bringing to the attention of their Dean/Director any trips that may involve travel to or through a COVID-19 hotspot.  Quarantine requirements should be included in the field trip plan.

5 Schedules/Appendices

Appendix 1 - How to Handwash

Appendix 2 - How to Handrub

5 Document Control

Version

Approval/Implementation Date

Author 

Details

8.0 01/12/2020 JCU WHS Unit

Updates due to release of the Movement and Gathering Direction (1 December 2020) and Border restrictions Direction (No. 18)  (1 December 2020).

Updates due to release of Approved COVID Industry Safe Plans, Qld Government.

7.0

19/10/2020

JCU WHS Unit

Updates due to release of Restrictions on Business, Activities and Undertakings Direction (no 8) (16 October 2020) and Movement and Gathering Direction (no. 5)  (16 October 2020).

Updates due to release of Approved COVID Industry Safe Plans, Qld Government.

6.0

30/7/2020

JCU WHS Unit

Updates due to release of Restrictions on Business, Activities and Undertakings Direction (no 4) (10 July 2020) and Movement and Gathering Direction (no. 2) (3 July 2020)

Includes easing restrictions to level

Updates to the section 4 – Approvals.3.

5.0 02/06/2020 JCU WHS Unit

Updated due to the release of the Movement and Gathering Direction (no.1) 01/06/2020.

Added approval section 4.

4.0 28/05/2020 JCU WHS Unit

Updated due to release of Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction (no.6) 19/05/2020

Addition of Gathering Definition (section 23) to clarify social gathering requirements.

Update to ka.

Document Control table added to guideline

WHS-PRO-Gui_002m COVID-19

Safe Use of Personal Protective Equipment Guideline

Introduction

JCU is responsible for managing the safety of our staff, students and the public when using personal protective equipment (PPE) as a control measure for Covid-19.

JCU recognises that PPE is in short supply and PPE must be used in the correct way and for the correct tasks.  JCU needs to ensure PPE will be available to be used by those who require it.  Unnecessary use of PPE should be avoided.

1 Types of PPE and when to use them

Surgical masks and respirators are not required as a general precaution for daily activities.  This PPE is to be worn when there is a specific potential for exposure, see Table 1: Types of PPE.

The risk of spreading COVID-19 virus occurs when:

  • Contact is made with respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; or
  • The infected person touches a surface or object and leaving droplet material behind.

The controls to avoid the spread of COVID 19 include:

  • Practicing good hand hygiene;
  • Environmental cleaning (door handles, hand rails and other commonly touched surfaces) at least daily;
  • Isolation of infected or suspected case; and
  • Use of PPE when there is a risk of exposure.

At no time should cleaning staff enter a room occupied by a person with suspected / potential COVID-19. These spaces will be cleaned by the person occupying the space.

Aerosol generating procedures of a medical nature are not covered in this guideline.

Table 1 below provides a guide for the types of PPE that may be used and when this should be considered.

Table 1: Types of PPE

Type of Personal Protective EquipmentWhen to Use
Disposable gloves
  • When in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case– this includes during transport;
  • Cleaning of common areas used by suspected / confirmed COVID19 cases;
  • Entering a room occupied by a confirmed case (this should be avoided);
  • Entering a room occupied by a symptomatic potential case;

Terminal clean (cleaning a room once a confirmed case has left the room).

Disposable plastic apron/gown (fluid resistant)
  • When in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case  – this includes during transport;
  • Cleaning of common areas used by suspected / confirmed COVID19 cases;

Laundering of clothing or linen.

Coverall (full body and fluid resistant)
  • Potentially worn during terminal clean;
  • Entering a room occupied by a confirmed case.
Eye protection (this may include reusable safety goggles, single use face shields or reusable frames fitted with single use lenses. Reusable eye protection should be cleaned and disinfected after use)
  • When   in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or   confirmed case  – this includes during   transport;
  • Cleaning   of common areas used by suspected / confirmed COVID19 cases;
  • Entering   a room occupied by a confirmed case;
  • Entering   a room occupied by a symptomatic potential case;
  • Terminal   clean.
Surgical masks
  • When in direct contact or closer than 1.5m to a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case – this includes during transport;
  • People entering the room and the person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should wear a surgical mask if the person with COVID-19 remains in the room;
  • Suspected / confirmed COVID-19 cases should wear a surgical mask when leaving their isolation area;

During transport of a person with suspected / confirmed COVID-19 a surgical mask should be used by all persons in the vehicle (including the driver).

P2/N95 Mask (fit tested)
  • When suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases with severe symptoms suggestive of pneumonia (e.g. fever, difficulty breathing, or frequent, severe or productive coughing);
  • Required for aerosol generating procedures conducted by health care professionals.  These masks are in short supply and should not be used for other activities;
  • Potentially used during terminal clean;

Vehicle drivers must wear a P2/N95 mask during transport of a person with suspected / confirmed COVID-19 where the person is displaying sustained sneezing / coughing (droplet producing symptoms).  The ill person should wear a surgical mask (P2/N95 mask is not required for the ill person).

2 Correct Process for Fitting PPE

People should use the following process to safely put on the recommended personal protective equipment before entering the potentially contaminated area:

  1. Clean your hands. This can be done with both liquid soap and running water or >60% alcohol- based hand sanitiser;
  2. Put on a disposable apron. Fasten the back of the apron at the neck and waist;
  3. Surgical mask (if required):
    • Follow the manufactures instructions for fitting the mask, a general guide is provided in Figure 1 below;
    • Do not touch the inside of the mask;
    • Do not refit during the period of use;
    • Fit your own mask.
  4. P2/N95 disposable respirator (if required due to risk of aerosol, highly symptomatic person):
    • Follow the manufactures instructions for fitting the mask:
      • There will most likely be a nose piece (wire or plastic) that must be moulded to your nose to provide adequate fit;
    • Do not touch the inside of the mask;
    • Do not refit during the period of use;
    • Fit your own mask;
    • The individual should have had a fit test with the particular brand and size of the respirator;
  5. If the person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is in the area.  They should also wear a surgical mask. Secure the ties of the mask at the middle of the head and neck. Fit the flexible band to nose bridge and ensure mask is fitted snug to face and below the chin. Do not touch or adjust the mask until you are ready to remove the mask;
  6. Put on protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the cleaning fluids;
  7. Put on disposable latex or vinyl gloves, see Figure 2.

The purpose of personal protective equipment is to reduce the risk of direct contact with contaminated surfaces.

3 Correct process for Removing PPE

People should use the following process to safely remove personal protective equipment:

  1. Remove and dispose of gloves. The outside of gloves is potentially contaminated. Remove gloves being careful not to contaminate bare hands during glove removal (see Figure 2);
  2. Clean your hands. This can be done with both liquid soap and running water or >60% alcohol-based hand rub;
  3. Remove and dispose of apron. The apron front maybe contaminated. Untie or break fasteners and pull apron away from body, touching the inside of the apron only;
  4. Remove protective eyewear/face shield. The outside of protective eyewear/face shields maybe contaminated. Remove eyewear/face shield by tilting the head forward and lifting the headband or earpieces. Avoid touching the front surface of the eyewear/face shield.  Reusable protective eyewear should be placed into a container and washed in disinfectant and water and allowed to completely air dry;
  5. Remove and dispose of surgical mask or P2/N95 respirator if worn. Do not touch the front of the surgical mask or respirator. Remove by holding the elastic straps or ties and remove without touching the front;
  6. Clean your hands. This can be done with either liquid soap and running water, or >60% alcohol-based hand rub.

Personal protective equipment can be disposed into general waste.  Do not reuse disposable PPE.

If wearing a mask, it should be either on or off – ensure it always covers both the nose and mouth and do not let it dangle from the neck.

Schedule/Appendices

Figure 1: How to fit and remove a surgical mask

Figure 2 How to fit and remove protective gloves

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/939656/qh-covid-19-Infection-control-guidelines.pdf

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/industry/resources-and-fact-sheets-for-industry/covid-19-cleaning-and-disinfection-recommendations

Document Control

VersionDate Implemented/ApprovedAuthorDetails
2.018/05/2020JCU WHS Unit

Updated

   

The WHS Unit is available to answer any further questions staff may have and can be contact via email: safety@jcu.edu.au