ABU DHABI, 14th May, 2020 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a circular to owners and managers of licensed commercial, industrial and tourism facilities on the preventive health and safety guidelines in the workplace as part of the precautionary measures issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, confirmed that the circular seeks to promote business continuity for private companies while ensuring the health and safety of their employees through the set of guidelines provided in the circular. The move further aims to enhance companies’ productivity and continue their business and commercial activities in an appropriate and safe environment.
Al Balooshi explained that the circular has enumerated all the required procedures and conditions that must be implemented according to NCEMA directives to ensure that the health and safety of workers and employees in private sector companies are protected and enable them to revitalize the business in a gradual and safe way as they come back to production and other economic activities, which could only benefit the companies and their employees.
He further noted that the directive is focused on certain guidelines and behaviours that will protect employees from getting infected with COVID-19 such as identifying the age category of employees and excluding those infected with chronic diseases and encouraging them to work remotely along with setting several precautionary and preventive measures for administrative, technical, operational, and logistical work.
The circular focused on six main directives related to employees operating at companies, preventive measures for the wholesale and retail sales and marketing departments along with other measures for the transport sector, financial services, construction, manufacturing and utilities, as well as additional measures for the catering and hospitality sector.
The circular emphasises the extreme necessity to allow only employees with good health conditions and are free from any chronic diseases and disabilities with an age range between 18 and 55 years to ensure health and safety in the workplace. Employees who suffer from chronic diseases who are over 55 years of age must not be allowed to go to the workplace, considering that these people are more subjected to the risk of being infected with the virus.
The circular has further included sector-specific regulations and measures to cover both wholesale and retail. These measures comprised the installation of thermal cameras that have advanced thermal detectors at entrances of any establishment that have 30 employees and above. Employees should always put on face masks and gloves during their shifts and ensure that presenting products to clients should be done from behind the installed glass barriers.
Furthermore, social distancing practices should always be implemented, and purchasing transactions are to be done by electronic payment methods. The circular pointed out the importance of sanitization of exits and entrances regularly and employees or workers with high fever should be immediately reported to the concerned department.
ADDED has also included additional measures in the circular pertaining to the transportation sector, financial services, construction, manufacturing, restaurants, and hospitality as well as service facilities in the private sector.
These measures have also included installing thermal cameras at the main parking entrances, wearing gloves and face masks at all times, not allowing passengers to stand up in transportation vehicles while reducing vehicle capacity down to 50 per cent. It also highlighted that passengers should leave a space between one another and should not be crowded in adjacent seats, sanitisers should be at hand at the entrances and inside all transportation vehicles, while drivers should be protected by installing a transparent barrier to separate them from the rest of the passengers.