Covid-19 continues to be an extremely potent threat to employee safety in 2021. The situation is expected to improve soon, but taking preventive measures is still just as important now as it was last year. Of course, these processes are pivotal to address and support your employees. To keep your business and employees safe from the viral pandemic, health safety experts recommend taking the following steps.
Training And Education: Teach Your Employees To Stay Safe
Awareness programs are more important in the workplace than we realize. A surprisingly large number of people have been found to be unaware or semi-aware about:
- The severity of covid as a disease and a pandemic
- Which of the safety precautions work, and which ones do not
- How and why some protective measures work
- How a strong host without active symptoms can transfer the virus onto a more susceptible host
- The importance of social distancing
- The importance of wearing masks/respirators, gloves and other PPE (depending on the exposure risks)
- The importance of frequent sanitization
Unless employees are made more aware of the dangers and their severity, it would be difficult to make anyone follow the safety procedures. Contact your local healthcare center for arranging covid-19 awareness programs for employees at the office. Of course, this is essential to make work safety a priority in your office.
Sneeze Guards: Keep Employees Safe From Public Exposure
Since quarantine rules and regulations were loosened to save the economy, public lines are a common sight once again in front of business counters. This puts employees at the public interaction counters at severe risk of exposure because they have to deal with hundreds of different customers every day. The threat is even more potent if it’s a healthcare or diagnostic clinic.
As recommended by the CDC, the WHO and the OSHA, you should place sneeze guards, aka plexiglass shields in between your employees and the customers. This will ensure that a wayward sneeze or a cough from either side never gets through to the other. To find more information about sneeze guards and what type of solution your office needs, visit sneezeguardez.com.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) And Sanitization: Add A Layer Of Personal Safety
Through frequent sanitization and adequate usage of PPE, workplaces can be kept relatively safe for everyone. For example, hand sanitizers with 60-70% isopropanol alcohol can effectively disintegrate SARS-COV-2 and almost every other germ. Unfortunately, cloth masks cannot provide sufficient protection against the mutated coronavirus variants, but they still decrease our chances of contamination to some degree. Respirators are expensive and their supply is limited, but in a clinical or hospital setting, they are essential for the staff to stay safe.
Implement Sick Employee Protocols
Even if they are sick, some employees may still have a tendency to show up at work. Therefore, it essential to have specialized protocols already in place. If a team member at your company comes to work with symptoms of COVID-19, you need to act promptly and impactfully. First, you will need to separate that employee from customers, clients, and fellow staff members. Then, advise them to go home and immediately contact their doctor. After they are out of the building, you will want to thoroughly clean and sanitize their area. Additionally, you may want to ask any employees they were in contact with to go home until they are able to get tested. Following these precautions, employees will know how to deal with sickness, which is key to keep your office safe.
Plan For Employees Using Public Transportation
Since public transportation is especially dangerous during COVID-19, you should prepare for employees using mass transit. Start by offering staff incentives for traveling by alternate, low-contact forms of transportation. This can include biking, walking, or driving alone. If this is unfeasible, provide educational materials, and ask that staff members follow CDC guidance to stay safe while using transit. In addition, you may want to ask employees to commute during off-peak hours, and wash their hands as soon as they get into the office.
Spending on protective equipment and awareness programs should be considered investments. Masks, gloves, germ shields, sanitization machines and other forms of protective equipment are just as effective against the SARS-COV-2 variants as they are against most other germs. Therefore, when a company invests in employee protection planning during the pandemic, they are investing in the well-being of employees well beyond it as well. Besides, it automatically boosts employee productivity when a workplace is healthy, and staff do not have to take too many sick days.