From overnight lockdowns to wearing masks and gloves every time we go out, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the way we live our lives. With social distancing measures still in place, we’re accustoming to a new normal not only in our daily life but also in the workplace. Considering there has yet to be a vaccine, there is still a risk of infection, making it essential that businesses returning to the office have a plan in place to protect their employees from being infected. Here’s how you can set infection control guidelines at your workplace!
Use a multi-faceted approach to set your infection control guidelines. You can do this by updating hygiene and cleaning practices, rearranging furniture to meet social distancing requirements, and creating a COVID-19 response plan that will be communicated to all employees, should any employee encounter the virus. It would also be greatly beneficial to include visual cues and signage to help communicate clearly with employees.
Break Up The Office
Limit the number of people there are in any zone at the office or job site, which includes washrooms, lobbies, kitchens or other eating areas. Stagger breaks and lunch schedules to minimize a large number of employees in one area at any time. Alternatively, place alternating shifts so that there are fewer people at work at any given time, overall! If the job can be done from the employee’s home, it might be good to let half of your employees work the first half of the day at home and the second half at the office, while the other half of employees do the opposite. This may cause project timelines to be adjusted, however, given the circumstances, work can be more efficient. For any work that has to be done in close distance, ensure your employees are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and following formal procedures to minimize risk.
Cleaning And Disinfecting
Alternating shifts or time gaps between shifts can allow enough time for proper cleaning and disinfecting of common areas such as washrooms, kitchens, and any other shared tools or equipment. Though most people are not experts on which products to use when cleaning, they most certainly can follow guidelines. The Public Health Agency of Canada has created a guide to cleaning public spaces that your employees can use at your workplace.
To minimize cleaning and over-exposure to chemicals, another way to deal with frequently touched surfaces is by removing them! Replace your manual tap, paper towel dispenser, garbage cans, and toilets with hands-free and motion sensing options. Even doors can be touch-less if you have the budget.
Although cleaning protocols may significantly help limit the spread of infection, your employees’ hygiene is equally, if not more, important. Ensure that basic practices such as hand-washing and sanitizing are being followed. Since we are unsure if the virus can be transmitted by air, face masks could also significantly help.
Have your employees check their body temperature on a daily basis to ensure they are not experiencing flu-like symptoms that could be due to COVID-19. Every once in a while, it might also be wise to familiarize your employees with the COVID-19 self-assessment tool to check in with themselves. If they feel their health or safety is at risk, remind them that they have a responsibility to keep themselves and their colleagues safe. It goes without saying that employees who may have contracted the virus should contact their supervisor, stay home, and self-isolate.
Cambridge Insurance Is Always Here For You
In these difficult times, employees may be nervous about going back to work, but with infection control guidelines in place, it will help ease the transition and also help flatten the curve. At Cambridge Insurance, we want to protect what you’ve worked hard for. Should you have any questions or concerns about commercial or health insurance, contact us today and our representatives will be happy to answer any questions you may have.