Release of extraordinary policy and instructions for all employees of Benemen Group and suppliers under
Distribution: all Benemen group employees and suppliers
The recent COVID‐19 outbreak caused by the new coronavirus in China in recent days has shown alarming signs and has an increased probability to evolve to pandemia. The virus causes flu‐like respiratory symptoms. Some people who are infected can also get pneumonia. However, in the light of current knowledge as of today, most infected receive only mild symptoms. There is no reason for panic or overreaction, but to prevent the virus from spreading further, some precautions and changes in policies and procedures are well justified.
As a precautionary measure, Benemen issues the following policy and change in practices to take effect immediately and to remain in force until further notice, applicable to all Benemen group employees and supplier personnel working under Benemen’s leadership or accessing Benemen premises.
Should you suspect to have a flu infection, you may remain on remote work and/or sign in for sick leave through self‐report procedure by informing your team lead through e‐mail. The self‐report sick leave can be applied for up to three days with such procedure, during which you should consult the company’s dedicated occupational physician or nurse, should your symptoms so require and/or should you claim for further sick leave. You should follow the health care’s guidance for further inspection and reporting if necessary. Recommendation is to contact the occupational health through chat or phone, and through physical appointment if so requested/agreed. Should you experience severe flu symptoms or should you have had access to people with severe flu symptoms, It is also recommended that you keep track of people you have been in intimate/close contact with over the term and record your symptoms for your initial briefing with the health care. For over three days sick leave, inquire health care for certificate of sick leave and have it delivered electronically to your team leader according to normal current procedure.
All employees should refrain from traveling to locations where the risk of contamination is medium or high as assessed by the local or Nordic authorities. (see below for links for further information) For travel to areas or locations which are assessed as “to be monitored” or which have a practical risk of contamination, employees should apply extra precautions and prepare for a potential increased risk.
The most important thing in preventing the spread of the virus is good hand hygiene. It is also recommended that all employees take the seasonal flu vaccine, if not done already. Benemen’s health care provider can arrange such vaccination on 1‐on‐1 basis and the company covers such costs. All entrances and exits of Benemen offices are equipped with hand disinfection lotions. All employees are encouraged to apply disinfection every time entering or exiting the premises. Also, all employees should encourage all visitors and externals to adhere to the same procedure. It is also recommended to avoid close or physical contact with any business acquaintances, who might have early signs of flu.
Should an employee diagnose symptoms him/herself during physical presence in the office, such employee is allowed and encouraged to call in for remote work/sick leave immediately, and leave to home for healing.
Benemen monitors developments closely, on daily basis, and updates the level of preparedness in line with developments and changes in regulatory guidance. In Finland, the National Institute for Health and Welfare is responsible for health authority guidance. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for travel instructions and country‐specific travel information. Similarly, in other regions, as outlined below. Benemen will inform all employees of any further changes in policies and practices, and encourages employees to gain self‐awareness of the situation, but focus on the sources of the information an respective facts over generic media coverage. For any questions, Benemen encourages to get in touch with healthcare provide and/or Benemen management or HR.
In the event of a potential widespread situation, Benemen has prepared various scenarios depending on the severity of the outbreak. Benemen has also sourced P3 level face masks for all employees, which can be claimed from HR. Usage of face mask is encouraged if an employee has symptoms of flu him/herself and/or there is a more widespread scenario that evolves in the region/area employee physically resides. It is also good to note that only P3 grade face masks are capable of effectively filter bacteria or viruses. In case of further widespread or further instructions, Benemen will directly inform all employees through e‐mail and/or online messaging.
How does the new coronavirus infect?
The new coronavirus is primarily transmitted by droplet infection when coughing or sneezing. Viruses do not survive in the air. The virus may also be transmitted through physical contact. However, coronaviruses do not survive on surfaces for days at varying temperatures. A new coronavirus can be transmitted directly from person to person. The incubation period for the disease is estimated to be between 2 and 12 days, with an average of about 5 days.
What are the symptoms of a new coronavirus?
According to current information, many sufferers have had mild symptoms, but some have been seriously ill. In addition, many people with more serious symptoms have had some underlying illness, which has exposed them through lower immune defense. Symptoms include fever, cough, dyspnoea, myalgia, fatigue
How to prevent the new coronavirus?
Infections caused by the new coronavirus are prevented in the same way as other respiratory tract infections. Respiratory and cough hygiene is the best way to avoid respiratory infections. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you have just washed your hands. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use alcohol‐based hand rinse. Use disposable towels to dry your hands. If you use a mouth‐nose protector, do not touch it with your hands.
Avoid close contact with a person who has a respiratory infection. Protect your mouth and nose with a disposable handkerchief when coughing or sneezing. If you do not have a handkerchief, cough or sneeze at the top of your blouse, do not hold your hands. Immediately litter the used handkerchief.
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