COVID-19 symptoms in the workplace

The Test and Protect system has been introduced in Scotland as a way to interrupt the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.  It is important that Scottish workplaces and sites of work should know how to respond to a worker with possible COVID-19 symptoms if they develop at work.

In the context of the working practices of electrical contractors in Scotland, anyone who meets one of the following criteria should not come to site at all:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19, or are household members of people with symptoms – these individuals must stay at home and follow the latest guidance on self-isolation
  • People who have been instructed by NHS Test and Protect staff to self-isolate

If a worker develops a high temperature, persistent cough, or sudden and unexplained loss or reduction in senses of taste or smell while at work, they should:

  • Return to their home immediately
  • Avoid using public transport
  • Avoid touching anything as far as possible
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in the bin, or if they have no tissues, then cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • Follow the guidance on NHS Inform, and not return to work until their period of self-isolation has been completed
  • Contact their next of kin, or their employer should do so on their behalf if requested
  • Keep their employer up to date about their condition

If the worker is so unwell at work that they require an ambulance, a colleague or manager should:

  • phone 999 and let the call handler know that they are concerned about COVID-19
  • find a safe place for the unwell person to sit which is at least 2 metres away from other people (if possible, behind a closed door)

Once the worker has left the premises, the immediate area which had been occupied by the individual should be cleaned with detergent and disinfectant.

Workers self-isolating due to developing COVID-19 symptoms should arrange to be tested, and if they receive a positive result, should expect to be contacted by Test and Protect to identify any close contacts who be at risk of having contracted the virus.

If the worker themselves is informed that they have had significant contact with a confirmed case but they themselves are asymptomatic, they will be expected to self-isolate, and will be eligible for SSP from day one of their self-isolation.