Safety Concept for the University of Zurich during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Return to On-Site Operations: Safety Concept for UZH

To ensure a careful return to on-site operations, the Executive Board of the University has approved a new safety concept. This safety concept aims to protect all people entering UZH premises (staff, external service providers, visitors, patients, etc.) against coronavirus infection as best as possible. UZH’s safety concept is made up of two parts: 

  • Basic Safety Concept of UZH. The basic safety concept of UZH is largely based on the model safety concept issued by the Swiss federal government and prioritizes the protection of people who are at especially high risk (see section 4 of the concept). In principle, people in high-risk groups must continue to work from home wherever and whenever possible.
  • Specific Safety Concept. Using this basic safety concept as a starting point, the various organizational units of UZH have been instructed to develop their own specific safety concepts, which may vary depending on the composition of their staff, their operations and their available space. Line managers must make staff in their unit familiar with the concept and ensure that the relevant measures are implemented.
    • Template and training: To help you prepare the specific protection concept, the Safety, Security and Environment Office has provided a template and a training presentation for download (see box top right).

Basic Safety Concept as PDF

The key rules and measures of the basic safety concept are briefly explained below. For more details, please check the following document:
Basic Safety Concept for the University of Zurich (PDF, 392 KB)

Please also take into account the specific safety concept of your organizational unit, which will be developed by your line managers and sent to you as soon as possible.

Key Rules and Measures at a Glance

Disinfection of Surfaces and Hand Hygiene

Everyone must wash their hands with soap and water regularly. In particular, they should do so immediately after arriving at their workplace, after any unavoidable contact with other people and before and after breaks. Hand sanitizer must be used wherever this is not possible. 
FOPH: What’s the right way to wash your hands?

Maintaining Distance

All staff and visitors must maintain a distance of at least two meters from one another and adhere to the University of Zurich’s other distancing rules. To maintain the safety distance, it is advisable to use room designations and to define movement and recreation zones. When maintaining a distance of less than two meters is unavoidable (e.g. while caring for patients or doing essential research involving test subjects), further safety measures such as wearing hygiene masks or keeping contact as brief as possible is required.
FOPH: Informationen for Healthcare Professionals (in German)

Appropriate Cleaning, Ventilation and Waste Disposal

Objects and surfaces need to be cleaned regularly, especially if they have been touched by several people (e.g. door handles, elevator buttons, coffee machines). Regular and sufficient exchange of the air in rooms must be ensured through ventilation. In principal, the cleaning service disposes of household waste from the rooms.

Protection of People at Especially High Risk

The protection of people at especially high risk continues to be main priority. Further Information:Protective Measures for People at Especially High Risk

Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine

People who are ill (with typical COVID-19 symptoms) or those who have come into contact with infected people are required to immediately self-isolate or self-quarantine and to inform their line-managers. 
FOPH: Recommendations regarding self-isolation and self-quarantine

Obligation to Inform and Implement

Line managers must ensure that the general and, if necessary, specific measures are implemented and adhered to. In addition, they must inform employees and other people at UZH about the contents of the University of Zurich safety concept. Safety measures specific to the organizational unit as well as the safety measures of the FOPH have to be visibly displayed.

Additional Measures for Special Work Situations

If the basic rules and safety measures cannot be adhered to, alternative measures for achieving the safety objective must be taken. The Safety, Security and Environment Office can assist line managers and relevant employees with special situations and assess the planned measures:

Personal Safety Measures

Personal safety measures should only be used when other measures such as working from home, room partitioning or shift plans are not possible and adequate protective equipment (such as face masks). 
FOPH: Proper Use of Face Masks (in German)

Traveling to the University of Zurich / Public Transportation

Travel to the University of Zurich should be planned in a way that makes it possible to avoid the use of public transport, at least during peak hours, to the extent possible. Line managers may, where operationally feasible, permit employees to arrive outside of peak hours. In public transport, the recommendations of the federal government should be adhered to.
FOPH: Novel Corona Virus - Protect Yourself and Others