The impact of the novel coronavirus has changed almost everything in the world today including how people work. Five months down the line, the impact has been severe everywhere. The government cannot continue to keep the economy closed. So, after one month and a few days of staying at home, it’s time to go back to work but you will never do it the way you used to because the virus is lurking somewhere in another human.
However, there’s no cause for alarm. All you need arm yourself with as you head back to work is the knowledge of simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.
This is not only for business owners. If you’re an employee introduce these strategies to your bosses at the office. It will be safer for all of you if you do.
Here are some things to put in place;
Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic:
Surfaces like desks, tables, even door knobs and objects such as telephones, keyboards need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly. This is because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads.
Promote regular and thorough hand-washing policy:
This should be for employees, contractors and customers. If washing hands around the office has proven to be cumbersome, place alcohol based sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled. Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they canwash their hands with soap and water if that’s workable in your workplace. This is because washing kills the virus on your hands and prevents the spread of COVID-19.
Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace:
Ensure that face masks and (or) paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them. Anyone who has developed a cold would have to stay back at home until they are better- everyone is safer that way. Also, ensuring everyone who will be at a gathering/meeting in the office wears the facemask. This is because good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of COVID-19.
Consult national travel advice before going on business trips:
Brief your colleagues, employees, contractors and customers to consult travel guide from both the host country and where they’ll be visiting for when we can fly around again. This is to avoid avoidable exposure as well as delay or embarrassment at the airport or borders. If possible, hold your meetings virtually.
Should there be a must-attend meeting in the office these are considerations to prevent or reduce COVID-19 risks.
Develop and agree a preparedness plan to prevent infection at your meeting or event. Better still, consider whether a face-to-face meeting or event is needed. Could it be replaced by a teleconference or online event? Could the meeting or event be scaled down so that fewer people attend?
Also, it is important to pre-order sufficient supplies and materials, including tissues and hand sanitizer for every participant. Have surgical masks available to offer everyone.
Please do well to advise participants in advance that if they have any symptoms or feel unwell, they should not attend.
More considerations include:
Develop and agree a response plan in case someone at the meeting becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19 such as dry cough, fever.
This plan should include at least:
1. Identifying a room or area where someone who is feeling unwell or has symptoms can be safely isolated.
2. Having a plan for how they can be safely transferred from there to a health facility.
3. Knowing what to do if a meeting participant, staff member or service provider tests positive
for COVID-19 during or just after the meeting.
4. Having your partner healthcare provider or health department in agreement with the plan.
Remember, now is the time to prevent the spread of covid-19. Simple precautions and planning can make a big difference. Acting now will help protect your employees, your business, your community and the world.
How are you cooing at work amid covid-19? Please share your experience with us in the comments section.