Monday 30 March, 2020

BPO sector implements measures for safer workspace amid COVID-19

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In light of the spread of the coronavirus locally, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies have implemented measures aimed at protecting their employees. 

The Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, led by President Gloria Henry, said the measures were agreed on following a meeting with BPO heads and a representative from the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Thursday.

Effective immediately, BPO companies will allow no more than 20 persons in a break room at any given time.

To ensure there is social distancing, each employee within a BPO centre is to be six feet (6ft) away from each other. Periodically, fresh air will be allowed into the spaces. 

Buses transporting employees will be encouraged to have their air conditioning turned off and the windows opened, and operators are being asked to sanitise after each trip.

Regular hand washing will be mandated and facilitated. Where possible, hand washing stations are being placed outdoors to allow employees to wash their hands before they enter the facility. 

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Going forward, employees will be allowed to sanitize their devices and personal workspace to supplement general cleaning.

The sector players have agreed to identify and equip an isolation room and immediately place persons in the isolation area if someone begins to display symptoms of COVID-19. 

The sector players were urged to have a plan in place should a large number of their staff become sick. On the other hand, employees are being encouraged to stay home if they are sick. 

Since the declaration of the global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, companies have been working steadfastly to implement business continuity strategies for the sector and at the same time ensuring that they protect the health and well-being of their greatest assets - their employees. 

BPO players will continue to implement large scale, companywide education on healthy and hygienic practices such as sanitizing and self-protection. 

They will continue to place posters at visible points within the centres.

The sector will also continue to monitor the developments closely and keep further strategic options open so that operational impact is as minimal as possible. 

The Global Service/ BPO sector is an essential sector, not just for the economic contribution to the countries in which they operate, but for the support services that they provide for critical areas such as healthcare, telecommunications and national security, among others, the statement said. 

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