Is your workspace safe? The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost every area of peoples’ lives the world over. It’s been more of a marathon than a sprint, and life has continued to go on alongside it. Whilst some people have been able to work remotely from home, there are many others who have been unable to do so. As time has progressed, more and more people have been returning to the workplace to continue their occupations.
But how do you keep people safe in the workplace, and how can you reduce the risk of infection? This article discusses 4 ways you can take active steps to protect the health of your staff and make your workspace safe.
Sickness spreads very quickly when there are close-quarter living conditions. As a result, social distancing is a very common tactic used during pandemics to try and reduce the risk of infection. It basically means that the government or your boss may tell you to work in isolation (with limited contact with others) rather than socializing throughout the day, such as taking lunch breaks in close quarters. Just as office workers regularly have a risk assessment to check their workstation, checks should be made of each employees’ working environment in terms of social distancing.
Staff should follow the current guidelines in terms of wearing masks, not only protecting themselves but also the health of those around them. Many visitors to Portable partitions are using room dividers, privacy screens, and health protection screens as part of their workplace health measures. They are safe and flexible and can accommodate future space without any extra investment being required.
Pandemics take many forms but having your workplace properly ventilated and cooled down ensures that people remain safe at their place of employment. It moves the virus around, providing protection from exposure. A ventilation system will keep you safe when being around contaminated items as well as keep the room cool.
A faulty ventilation system can be worse than no ventilation at all, so make sure it is functioning properly. The AC unit should always have access to fresh air so that it doesn’t get contaminated. Make sure the AC unit isn’t getting clogged up with dust particles since this makes them less effective at cooling down an area that needs temperature regulation. Even if you’re healthy and Covid is no longer an issue, it’s still not a good idea for the appliance to be overheated for too long.
3. Workspace Safe- Maintain Hygiene
This is a particularly difficult thing to maintain during a pandemic. The CDC has provided some guidelines, including:
– clean your hands frequently
– clean objects you touch daily using soap & disinfecting wipes
– clean the rooms – use household cleaners like bleach diluted in water OR wipe everything down using disinfectant wipes
Employees should be mindful of how often they’re coughing or sneezing – always putting their hand to their mouth. They should also avoid spreading germs through handshakes and touching shared items like pens, mugs, and keyboards. Also wash your hands frequently (before eating, after using the restroom, and after touching anything on your desk) using hand sanitizer. Avoid things like work buffets where food is shared by different people.
The most vulnerable people will be those with low immune systems (e.g. Type 1 Diabetics) and people with chronic medical conditions (e.g. asthma). If possible find ways for these individuals to work remotely or put them in an office on their own. If people are allowed and able to work remotely:
- provide the equipment they need (such as a computer, phone, and videoconferencing facilities)
- keep in regular contact with them, and make sure they’re doing okay
Create a culture where people are not afraid to admit that they feel unwell or need to take time off work. Document and circulate your health policy, including symptoms to look out for (high temperature or persistent cough) and what to do if you have them (the number of days off). The same thing applies if someone has returned from an at-risk nation or been in contact with someone infected with the virus.
By covering these 4 major areas you’ll be ensuring that your work environment is as safe as it can be. In turn, the health and well-being of your staff will be safeguarded. Rather than viewing these things as an unnecessary inconvenience and expense, see it as a way of valuing your staff and ensuring they will be able to work for your company for many years to come.