We all have heard the news. COVID-19 is the newest pandemic that affects over 100 countries around the globe. The World Health Organization reported that to date, it has more than 6,362,263 confirmed cases. The number is alarming, even more so as the cure has only been developed recently and is not widely available yet. The virus has indeed spun panic in our midst, driving people to rush to stores and hoard hygiene supplies resembling an opening scene in an apocalyptic movie.
Healthcare professionals have advised everyone to avoid crowded places until the virus is fully under control. Naturally, concerns were aired from the labor sector as many people spend one-third of their day at work along with a hundred others. How can the workplace be protected from COVID-19; you ask?
Here are a few points you can consider:
Postpone travel where possible. We know trips are expensive, but healthcare costs from mass contagion can cost twice-fold if you refuse to take safety measures. It could also be a way to stop the spread of the virus.
Provide hand sanitisers and soap. Remind workers to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub to kill the virus lurking in the doorknobs, glass doors, and handrails they had come in contact with. Having hygiene kits available around the workplace would enforce sanitary behaviors.
Advise sick employees to stay home. Stay a step ahead and suspend work for those suffering an acute respiratory illness such as cough and colds.
Perform routine cleaning in the workplace regularly, targeting surfaces such as keyboards, knobs, desks, and handles. Don’t miss the air conditioning system, fans, and hand dryers also.
Coordinate with the Work Health and Safety Committee. Work hand in hand with the WHSC to track of suspected cases, monitor employee health, and create an emergency response system. Ready your emergency contacts for when someone reports feeling unwell.
COVID-19 requires the same precautionary measures as other viral infections; there’s nothing novel about the above mentioned workplace procedures, just the urgency it requires.
Every worker has a role to play in containing the virus; personal hygiene being on top of that list. Although, it is also necessary for workplaces to be proactive in protecting its workers and participating in the global crusade to stop COVID-19 dead its tracks.
Learn more about COVID-19 and its symptoms from this comprehensive press release from Safe Work Australia. See Covid 19 Information for Workplaces