8 Practical strategies to make your workplace COVID safe
The current pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people live and work. Facing the lockdown has meant a rethink of what was previously considered normal. Capturing the lessons learnt through the phases of the pandemic is crucial. While economic considerations are important, the fundamental principle of protecting human life underpins all economic recovery.
As India is gradually looking to unlock all sectors, it is vital to take all precautions to ensure there are no outbreaks that can hamper reopening and put unsustainable pressure on medical infrastructure. Here we are discussing 8 best practices that have proven useful to reopen businesses and other institutions.
1. Sanitization Measures for Employees
Ensure that all employees entering the workplace do not exhibit any symptoms of the infection. Thermal screening and hand sanitization at the entry points is first step at any workplace. Provide foot-operated or battery-operated sanitization devices at several places.
2. Sanitizing the Workplace
To keep the infection away, it is vital to regularly sanitize all workstations and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, hand-railings, cafeteria tables, etc. Usage of appropriate chemicals for respective surfaces should be considered while ensuring the safety of the surroundings.
3. Sanitizing Vehicles
All personal as well as commercial vehicles entering the workplace should be frequently sanitized so that they do not become the source of infection to any workers or the driver.
4. Selecting suitable Disinfectants
Some common disinfectants suggested by the official agencies:
•For Building, Floors and common usage areas: Sodium hypochlorite 1% is recommended for sanitizing buildings, vehicles and common usage areas. Dilution of the same differs from place to place depending on the severity of the usage and infection.
•For Hand and Skin sanitization: It is recommended to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
5. Social Distancing
Implementing social distancing measures is key to maintaining a safe workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplace specific practices will vary depending on the type of workplace or as required by an applicable public health agency or other government order.
6. Wearing Face Mask and Face Shield
Wearing face masks and face shields can reduce the infection rate by over 60%. That is the major reason why Government has made face masks mandatory in crowded places. Managers must lead the way in establishing this as a healthy practice at the workplace.
7. Importance of Arogya Setu App
The new rules and regulations make it mandatory for all employees of an organisation to install the Aarogya Setu app. This app is being used by the Government to trace the spread of the pandemic and educate people on the coronavirus.
8. Identification of COVID-19 infected employee:
There is no need to panic on the identification of a suspected COVID-19 employee. It is essential to isolate the person from the rest of the workforce in a room and to call the Official Medical Helpline of your area. After a proper medical check-up, the person should be taken for further medical assistance. The workplace must be shut for 48 hours and duly sanitized by the authorities. Closely associated colleagues of the infected worker may be advised for a 7 day quarantine or may be tested for PCR to ensure that they are not infected. It is advisable to give moral support to such employees by regularly calling them up to check on their health.
Basic idea behind all the above precaution is to break the chain of infection and to keep the virus away from your workplace thus providing a better control on this fast spreading disease.
The only CURE for COVID-19 is “PREVENTION”