Macaulay says clean hands counter Coronavirus

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PVCA CEO Andrew Macaulay says simple attention to hygene will help stop any spread of the deadly coronavirus in the workplace, based on his experience of Sars and the Bird Flu while working in Asia at the time.

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is spreading and impacting many businesses, including in the print industry. And, the outbreak is not abating. According to Reuters, Chinese officials reported 1886 new cases yesterday (18 February), bringing the total cases in mainland China to 72,436.

Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA
Virus advice: Andrew Macaulay 

With the spread of the virus, printers will have questions about risk management. Macaulay, CEO of the Print & Visual Communication Association lived and worked through both the Sars and the avian influenza (bird flu) epidemics.

“There appears to be many parallels with the current coronavirus outbreak spreading from Wuhan,” he said. “In both Sars and bird flu, even businesses that had substantial public facing activities were able to manage the risks by some simple measures.”

“During these two outbreaks, all business premises issued all staff with face masks and gel hand sanitiser. Staff who exhibited any sign of cough or sinus activity were required to use masks and see their GP.

“All staff were encouraged to regularly use the hand gel, and always after any interaction with customers or the public. The advice we received from authorities was to avoid touching one’s own face (eg rubbing your eyes), as this was viewed as a rapid transmission path.”

Macaulay said people also avoided touching handrails and other high-touch points in public areas, and if they did, they used disinfectant hand gel immediately afterwards.

“If printers do experience the requirement for extended sick leave for any staff, the PVCA industrial hotline service is available to assist with advice on management and responsibilities,” Macaulay said.

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