Health and Safety Precautions for Every Workplace, for COVID and Beyond
With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, employers and employees alike are getting creative to balance the need for safety with the requirements of maintaining workplace productivity and efficiency. What this balance looks like may differ from one workplace to the next. Teams in offices with confined indoor spaces will have different safety concerns compared with those in spacious warehouses. Workers handling food will have their own set of health and safety rules; those entering people’s homes will have another. Whatever your situation, however, there are certain health and safety practices you should always try to abide by in the workplace. Many of these precautions may be useful to keep implemented even after the pandemic has passed. Iron Mountain Janitorial Services invites you to read on.
Maintain social distancing.
Keeping safe distances between one person and the next, as much as possible, is an important part of workplace safety protocols.
- Consider arranging different shifts or separating your workforce into different teams to keep them in smaller groups for projects, breaks, or lunch hour.
- If your work area is indoors in a smaller space, make sure employees always can spread out rather than clumping together in break rooms or eating areas. In offices and other indoor work areas, rearrange furniture, desks, tables, and work areas so employees can safely work at least six feet apart from one another.
- Encourage employees to work from home, when they can, to reduce the numbers of people in the work area. This may entail helping them access technologies and software to perform their tasks efficiently. Remote work may be a good option for some of your employees post-pandemic, too.
- If you need additional or even temporary staff but want to keep in-office capacity down, look to a staffing agency to recruit specialists who have the skills you’re seeking.
Maintain a clean and hygienic workspace.
Ordinary cleaning processes and schedules probably won’t be sufficient. You will need to take additional steps to keep your work area safe and reduce the likelihood of viral spread.
- Have disinfectants available at easily accessible locations so that employees can clean their work areas, surfaces, and tools as needed. If you’re concerned about safety risks associated with chemical disinfectants, try a safe, natural, and effective option like Disinfexol.
- The entire workplace should be meticulously cleaned and disinfected, especially in high traffic areas, and on surfaces known to be germ-friendly, such as doorknobs and bathroom appliances. Work with Iron Mountain Janitorial to ensure your office space is clean and sanitized.
- Have a good ventilation system installed to keep the air flowing freshly, and when possible, keep windows open. This can help with other health risks such as allergens, and mitigate the risks during flu season.
Maintain standards for personal health and hygiene.
Keeping your workplace safe depends on each team member taking some share in the responsibility.
- Encourage employees to get vaccinated if it is safe for them to do so.
- Make sure your employees always mask when working indoors. Any customers or clients entering the workspace should also be required to mask.
- Remind employees to wash their hands regularly. Plastic gloves may sometimes help, but only if they are frequently changed. This hygiene habit is one that should be mandated beyond the era of COVID.
- Ask your employees to screen for symptoms every day and make it clear that any team member who is sick or who has tested positively for COVID should stay home and quarantine.
Other health and safety concerns for business owners.
You may need to put a little extra effort into making sure your workplace is safe, and your business protected in the event of an outbreak, or any accident or legal issue later on.
- Make sure your business is thoroughly covered with good insurance.
- Make sure all rules and regulations are clearly communicated to both team members and clients. You can post signs throughout the workplace, but also send out memos and keep important safety information on your company website.
This is a difficult time for both business owners and employees. Having a shared plan for workplace safety that everyone commits to will relieve some of your collective stress, however. The safer you keep your workplace, the better your chances of staying open for business so you and your team members won’t have to worry about income loss on top of your concerns about staying safe throughout the pandemic.