This document sets expectations for how Hireup Support Workers should be working to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).
We all have a duty of care to ourselves and the Clients we support to take reasonable care of our own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.
This document applies to Support Workers and Clients who are considered to be at low or no risk of COVID-19 such as:
- Support Workers and Clients who are not a confirmed case,
- Support Workers and Clients who have not been identified as a close contact,
- Support Workers and Clients who have not been directed by a state or territory health department to isolate; and
- Support Workers and Clients who do not have any symptoms of being unwell e.g. coughing, fevers, difficulty breathing, etc.
The safety of our community is very important to us. We want to ensure that our Clients receive the support they need from Support Workers who are operating safely. If you have any concerns, please contact Hireup on 02 9113 5933 (9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday) or email us at: email@example.com.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, have been identified as a close contact or have been directed by a state or territory health department to isolate, please contact Hireup immediately for further instruction and support.
Hireup continually monitors relevant information sources and updates our policies and procedures as required. By following the steps set out below, you will be complying with guidelines from the Australian Government and the World Health Organization.
Protection Measures for Everyone
You can reduce your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by following some simple precautions:
- In line with Public Health Orders, Hireup mandates vaccination against COVID-19 for all face to face support bookings.
- When providing face to face support, we recommend wearing a face mask which covers your mouth, nose and chin, even when it is not mandated by government restrictions. Hireup pays an allowance to Support Workers for masks where there are government mandates in place for wearing masks.
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water including before and after food preparation, before eating and after going to the toilet. See safe hand washing below.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) when you are out of the home and use it to clean your hands regularly.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly including frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys and wallets.
- Maintain at least 1.5 meters distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
- Increase the amount of fresh air inside by opening windows.
- Wash your clothes at the end of every shift/day.
- Moisturise hands to prevent dry skin.
- Cover any breaks in your skin e.g. using a bandaid.
- Keep your fingernails short and avoid using artificial nails.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing, stay more than 1.5 meters away from others and seek medical attention, calling in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Practice social distancing by avoiding handshaking and other physical greetings.
- Consider what travel and outings are necessary and go to open places such as parks.
Utilising PPE in a safe and responsible way
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is one way to create a barrier between yourself and the virus. You can reduce your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by utilising relevant PPE according to the situation you’re managing:
- For face to face support, we strongly recommend wearing a correctly fitting face mask which covers your mouth, nose and chin, even when it is not mandated by government restrictions. The Department of Health & Human Services Victoria recommends that unless damp or soiled, workers may wear a surgical mask for up to 4 hours. Hireup has modelled Support Worker PPE allowances based on replacing a surgical mask every 3 hours.
- You can still pick up COVID-19 contamination when wearing rubber gloves and infect yourself by touching your face. Good hand hygiene provides greater general protection against COVID-19 than rubber gloves.
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on, before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
- If you are working with someone who is a confirmed case or is at risk of having exposure to COVID-19, please refer to Providing support where there is a confirmed or at-risk case of COVID-19.
Additional information regarding preventing and managing exposure to infectious diseases can be found in Hireup’s Infection Management Guide.
Safe hand washing
The World Health Organisation guidelines for hand washing recommend singing ‘happy birthday’ twice. While singing, the following steps should be followed:
- Wet hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.
- Rub hands palm to palm, then interlace fingers and rub.
- Rub palm to back of hand with interlacing fingers - both hands.
- Rotate hand around thumb - both hands.
- Cup hand and rotate fingers of opposite palm of hand - both hands.
- Rinse hands back and front with water.
- Dry thoroughly with a single use towel.
- Turn the tap off with the towel and dispose.
When providing support, adopt the 5 moments hand washing principle.
- Before touching the person you are supporting - this is done upon entering the work zone.
- Before providing direct contact support.
- After providing direct contact support.
- After touching the person you are supporting.
- After touching the person’s surrounds.
If you are unable to wash your hands before entering the home. Ensure you have hand sanitizer made up of at least 60% alcohol.
Further information can be accessed at https://www.health.gov.au/.