On Saturday, 16 April 2022, the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization issued a guideline (‘Guideline’) for industrial enterprises. The Guideline is for certain companies to start resuming work and production with controlled risks.
Overall, enterprises that are required to return to work shall implement robust controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And designate a pandemic control management team to implement policies. Both the enterprise, and the established management shall be responsible for pandemic prevention and control. The physical and mental care of employees shall be strengthened.
We highlight below the practical elements for enterprises to note when implementing the resumption of work.
1. Closed-loop Management
Enterprise should implement a closed-loop pandemic control mechanism that is acknowledged by the authorities. Namely, a closed-loop refers to area zoning and category-based management for different areas to prevent physical contact between different groups of employees such as:
- production, common areas, or meeting rooms;
- establishing no-contact with external individuals such as logistic suppliers (external individuals must hold a negative nucleic acid test certificate within 48 hours and on-site negative antigen test results).
As result, employers should ensure the employees are segregated into groups, establish the work environment to permit one meter social distancing within the workplace, and restrict or limit physical contact between such groups to isolate positive cases to one group and prevent cluster outbreaks.
2. Emergency Response Plan
Enterprises shall formulate emergency response plans for COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. Any employees with abnormal antigen detection and nucleic acid detection should be reported to the official in charge and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Transportation and treatment of those diagnosed with COVID-19 should be established with the local government. And temporary isolation measures should be implemented for close-contact staff. Large enterprise shall set up a shelter in the factory area.
3. Stock of Anti-Pandemic Materials
Enterprises should maintain a stock of anti-pandemic materials and purchase antigen self-test kits, face masks, alcohol-based disinfectants, hand sanitizers, infrared thermo-detectors, thermal imaging detectors, protective suits, goggles, disposable gloves, etc. whenever necessary. A minimum supply of anti-pandemic materials for 14 days is recommended. All used protective items shall be disposed properly and safely.
The Guideline also adds that enterprises should resume work and production under the guidance of district governments on a “one-on-one” basis. We suggest that enterprises consult with professionals on resuming work to enure all is compliant with the local guidelines and district government.