3. Health and Safety Measures
Requirements mandated by law or any official guidance.
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection issued Resolution 666 of 2020 to adopt the General Biosecurity Protocol as a means to mitigate, control, and adequately manage the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been received as a novel approach in the region in order to effectively cope with the risks of the virus. Broadly, Resolution 666 requires from companies:
- the design and implementation of a suitable Biosecurity Protocol;
- the adoption of administrative measures to reduce the employees’ exposure to COVID-19;
- the update on the matrix for the assessment, valuation and control of occupational risks;
- the request to the Occupational Risks Insurance Companies (ARL by its acronym in Spanish) for support and assessment;
- the creation of interaction protocols for the company’s suppliers, clients and external providers; and
- the consolidation and update of a complete database.
Furthermore, local governments may have additional requests or limitations applicable to both companies and inhabitants of the region, respectively, according to the current infection rates and the DORSCON levels (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition), which has already transpired in some sectors in Bogota and other cities (Cali and Cartagena) nationwide.
Measures typically implemented by employers and the associated legal risks, limitations, obligations and issues to consider.
Aiming at the fulfillment of their obligations, companies have designed innovative protocols to prevent the expansion of the COVID-19 virus. Among the measures taken, they have established:
- frequent temperature checks;
- daily health reports logged in a database by employees, contractors, suppliers and, in general, any individual in the company’s facilities;
- rational use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
- physical distancing (two square meters of space per person);
- gatherings limited to up to five people;
- shift work rearrangements to avoid unhealthy working times and crowds;
- continuous sanitation and disinfection of workplaces; and
- provisions on alcohol and sanitising elements.