Dealing with COVID-19 can be a daunting task for any company, especially when it comes to identifying and managing infected employees. But there are many things that you as the employer can do to avoid this problem in your workplace and keep everyone safe from harm’s way.
Control the Risks
Workplace risks are especially dangerous because they can be quickly spread through close-contact interactions and surfaces.
For COVID-19, the risk stems from two main ways of transmission: person to person by people in contact with one another, or surface/object transmissions that occur when someone’s contaminated hands touch their face.
These methods are crucial for employers to identify so proper safety measures can be taken.
Identifying High-Risk Employees
For some groups of people, being infected with the Coronavirus could be more disastrous than for others. Your duty as an employer is to identify those employees and take appropriate measures to protect them.
High-risk employees are those who:
- have some kind of chronic health condition ( like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer)
- have a high body mass index (BMI)
- older males
Employers have an obligation to ensure that their employees are able to complete the tasks needed for a job from home. One way employers can do this is by making sure they provide all of the necessary equipment and stay in contact with them when working remotely at home. This includes checking up on how well workers doing jobs from home feel mentally and physically throughout each day.
Screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms
It’s important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and how you can screen people for it before they enter your workplace.
Screening includes assessing any information about a person that may increase their risk of having this illness, including whether or not they have been exposed in other ways previously.
Once an assessment is made based on these factors, you make decisions about what should be taken next such as excluding them from work until further assessed if necessary or making sure the symptoms clear up first. If you suspect there is has a case of Covid-19, the appropriate steps need to be taken.
Employers should be aware that they are legally responsible for the safety of their employees. This is why it’s important to make sure every person entering work premises has been properly screened and cleared by a competent authority before being allowed entry into the workplace during his or her shift.
The first and most obvious way of minimizing the chance of COVID-19 infection is by limiting contact with others. One thing we can do as individuals for this purpose, which also helps reduce our risk of being classified as close contacts should an infectious individual be discovered at work, is social distancing – or in other words keeping physical distances between ourselves and those around us.
This means that people should stop or reduce contact with one another in order to lessen the chances of spreading COVID-19, and it will also help minimize how many workers are close contacts for a person who tests positive for this disease at work.
The following are some ways to implement social distancing:
- keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters between people,
- limiting the number of people in an enclosed area to one person per two square meters of space
- separating workers from customers or other workers by using barriers, screens, etc.
Routine workplace cleaning
In order to make sure that you are always upholding the highest standards of cleanliness, it is essential for you to designate a time each day in which all work areas will be cleaned.
This includes both fixed and mobile spaces such as office buildings, lunchrooms at our plant sites, or buses used by drivers on duty.
Door handles, benchtops, kitchens, and desktop equipment are constantly touched. Make sure these surfaces are clean at all times to avoid spreading the virus from a previous user onto the next person who touches it.
You can keep your workstation clean and sanitized by following a few easy steps. First, make sure you have wipes nearby to do a quick cleaning of the desk or laptop screen when needed. Second, don’t forget about disinfectant for all surfaces. Finally, if you need your hands cleaned after touching something that could be dirty, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers available in abundance throughout the office space so they are close at hand whenever necessary.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Before your employees use a piece of PPE, it is important to ensure that the item is appropriate for their needs. Make sure they are well-trained on how to care for and correctly wear any type of PPE.
To protect your employees and other persons from the virus, provision them with masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and any other medical implements necessary to ensure that all are protected.
It’s your company’s responsibility to make employees feel safe and taken care of at all times in this time of heightened concern.
An enterprising company can provide a safety PPE care package to its employees. This would include cloth masks, gloves, a shield for their desk and hand sanitizer as well as badges that have sensor integration if they are using COVID-19 workplace technology in their office space. This type of protection offered by the employer makes things like turning on lights or opening doors easy and safe.
Make sure your plan is effective
It is vital to have a plan in place and understand who will be leading the charge. It’s important for supervisors to know what they’re expected from them, so make sure that there are regular training sessions on COVID-related issues as well as communication with those supervising personnel regularly.
This way you can ensure compliance with all protocols by having another set of eyes scanning your work environment at any given moment, which would reduce risk factors associated with neglecting protocol or not following through adequately when faced with an incident report being filed.
Schedule time regularly in the order to review your plan’s effectiveness on an ongoing basis and make changes accordingly so you’re always up-to-date.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and it may change the way you handle things. Make sure to keep tabs on your plan and make necessary changes when they are needed.