As always, the employer is responsible for ensuring that the work is properly planned and performed in terms of safety and health. Risk of infection from "biological agents" such as Corona is a risk that must be assessed and preventative measures taken so that no one gets sick. Ask your company to make a risk assessments and guidelines in the company and on site. If the company does not live up to this, contact your union.
How to prevent infection on a building site
You can do the following to prevent the spread of infection:
- Prioritize outdoor work over indoors, if possible
- Limiting the number of people in the same room so that there is about 2 meters between each.
- Shifted the use of sheds, so that there are no more than five people in the shed at one time. For example with staggered meeting and evening hours and staggered eating breaks.
- Often ventilation of sheds and indoor work places.
- Frequent cleaning and stripping of washable surfaces in sheds, maybe after this break, or every day.
- Employees may be able to clean themselves, but this must be agreed with the employer. If you cannot agree, contact your trade union.
- Frequent use of hand gel and hand wash to minimize risk.
- Not too many people in crew cars. Hold approx. 1 meter between people
- Hold safety, construction meetings and the like outdoors or in large spaces.
If you show signs of being sick
If you are showing signs of being sick, you must take sick leave and stay home until you are well. That is, until you are, for example, fever-free and not coughing. Payment will be on the sick pay as stated in the collective agreement.
If you have been in contact with an Corona infected person
If you have been within 2 meters distance of an Corona infected person for more than 15 minutes, you must be sent home.
If a construction site is only closed to some
If a building site has been in a risk situation that leads to people being sent home, then it should apply to everyone and not just to some. For example, it must not occur that Danish companies send their Danish employees home, while keeping their immigrant employees at work. If you are familiar with a situation like this, please contact the local trade union.
If you are afraid of being infected
The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that the employer must ensure that you are able to perform your work in a fully responsible manner with regards to safety and health. The employer must make you aware of any possible risks of infection. If you have any reason to suspect that your employer does meet these obligations, then you need to address your health and safety representative. If there is no health and safety representative at your workplace, get in touch with your union.
If you are in the risk group
Employers are responsible for protecting particularly sensitive risk groups among their employees against coronavirus infection. The particularly sensitive groups may be:
- Employees close to retirement age.
- People who are pregnant and people with cardiovascular disease (does not apply well-treated high blood pressure).
- People with chronic lung disease (does not apply to well-treated asthma),
- People with reduced immune system perhaps because they are on medicine or have a disease that inhibits the immune system (eg AIDS).
- People with diabetes types 1 and 2.
- People with cancer.
Employers should consider sending home all employees who are particularly sensitive to the coronavirus.
What are the rules for companies sending their employees home?
Agreements (protocols) have been made with employers' organizations that employees on a wide range of agreements can send workers home on unemployment benefits without notice of termination. Contact the union for further information on this.
In addition, the state, trade unions and employer organizations have made an agreement to establish companies that face having to notify layoffs of at least 30 percent of their employees or more than 50 employees, can receive salary compensation from the State, if they send their employees home with pay.
The state compensation to the company, for workers paid by the hour, can amount to a maximum of 90 percent of the salary paid, but a maximum of DKK 26,000 per month for a full-time employee covered by the scheme.
The colleagues covered by the agreement must not work, must not be fired and must pay full salary.
The workers covered by the scheme must spend five of their holidays or saved hours of pay. In those days, the company does not receive compensation. If you haven't saved your vacation or saved hours of pay, you are without pay or you can use days from the new holiday year.
The Joint Authority hotline recommends cleaning as often as possible in camps. Often several times a day in common use areas, such as door handles, toilet and kitchen.
The owner of the camp has a special responsibility and should order extra cleaning in the camp, and make cleaning supplies available to the residents of the camp.
There does not appear to be any authority control in the area, so the residents of the camp must take action themselves if they feel that the owner of the camp will not take the danger of infection seriously.
From the Foreign Ministry: To clear all doubt, we will cut through and make it clear that in the coming month - until April 13 - all who are returning from abroad are strongly encouraged to stay home for 14 days.
This is a logical follow-up to all other measures the government has taken to reduce the risk of the spread of the infection. Of course, we must make sure that all the people who come home from travel all over the world do not contribute to further spread of infection in Denmark.
Take care of one another
There are probably no perfect answers to the situation we are in. Caution and a good deal of common sense will take us far. We need to take care of each other and try not to bring any infections home or further on with colleagues, customers, co-drivers, etc.
Follow the advice given by the National Board of Health and other authorities. The Labor Inspection Authority has also created a theme page where risks, employers' responsibility, rules for prevention, etc. are reviewed. Click here.
Read the instructions in several languages here