New coronavirus status reveals 257, 000 people affected with a death toll over 7000 in India when the country was under lockdown. Imagine the number now that lockdown is over. Astronomical, isn’t it? The numbers can double or even triple in just a day now that people will start travelling again, go back to their offices, and more.
People feeling cooped up are eager to get back outside, travel, and interact with people face-to-face. Yet, things will not be as they were before lockdown. One of the main changes will be in the way workplaces function and safety measures will top the list of modifications. Control measures, which were never a part of work practices will be in place. Ending the COVID19 risks is not possible, so the next best thing is to know the top 10 safety tips WHO recommends you know before going back to work this year.
Know your health and safety risks
Training your employees on how to find and control possible risks is vital when it comes to creating a culture of safety within your business organization. If your employees practice safety-conscious behaviour, they can keep a check on their protection and that of their colleagues more efficiently and reliably.
Maintain Cleanliness and Hygiene
Making sure your workplace is clean and hygienic is vital. Remember, wiping every surface such as desks, tables, telephones, computers, and keyboards with sanitizers is necessary, as contamination of surfaces employees and customers touch is one of the chief ways that the virus spreads. You can ensure office sanitization at the end of each day.
Regular handwashing is must
Another precaution you must continue is washing your hands regularly even at work. Make sure your colleagues, contractors, and visitors to your workplace do the same. Handwashing kills the virus on your hands and stops the propagation of coronavirus.
To ensure they wash their hands do the following
- Keep sanitizing hand rub dispensers in various places around the office such as the pantry, near the bathroom, the entrance, etc. Refill the dispensers often.
- Put up notices encouraging handwashing. To get such posters, look up www.WHO.int.
- Brief your employees at meetings, put up safety information on the intranet to encourage handwashing
- Ensure the employees, suppliers, and clients have can wash their hands with soap and water easily.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment if required
If you work in a place such as hospitals, COVID19 centre where personal protection is crucial then make sure you wear it. PPE, whether it is hand gloves, protective glasses, or a complete bodysuit, they are meant to offer protection for differing risks, in various situations. Make sure you are wearing them the right way and you follow the instructions to the T while putting the PPE on.
Ensure your office is litter-free
It is housekeeping’s job to keep my office clean – was the way most office employees felt before the spread of coronavirus. Now, that you will be going back, remember the risk of contamination is high if the office areas are cluttered. So, keeping your desks, cubicles, and your computer keyboards, etc. litter-free is essential. Neatly organised office spaces make avoiding contamination and preventing common workplace accidents easier.
Encourage respiratory hygiene
Breathing is life and not being able to breathe well makes for an uncomfortable situation at work. Make sure your office is well ventilated. There is enough room to move about between cubicles and no chance of congestion. Face masks will be the norm for a few months at least, make sure you wear one. Ensure paper tissues are available for those who develop allergies, have a runny nose, or cough at work, and closed bins for disposal. Maintaining good breathing hygiene prevents the spread of coronavirus.
Put up posters that encourage breathing hygiene. Include these messages with other messages at office briefings and on the intranet.
Virus awareness is necessary. Keep your workers, staff, and clients informed about the COVID-19 spread in your community. Make sure they know that anyone with even slight fever or a mild cough must stay at home or work from home. Work from home if you are taking OTC medicines such as ibuprofen or aspirin, which may hide the signs of infection.
Do not be careless, keep communicating and encouraging people at work to stay at home even if they have only mild signs of the virus. Put up posters in strategic places in the workplace to ensure people read it. Assure your employees or colleagues that time off will be sick leave.
Report breaches and risky conditions
Working in a safe zone is the right every employee has. However, complete safety is possible when employees keep a lookout and report any dangers and risks at once, advice on risky conduct and offer ideas for improvement of safety practices at work.
Take regular breaks
Regular breaks do not mean a break every minute. Avoid working long hours without breaks, ensure you are rested before night shifts, leave early if you travel long distances to get to work and sleep well to ensure you are at the peak of your health when you go back to work. Doing everything that you must not, will create stress and hamper your health making you vulnerable to infections and at risk of contamination when your immunity is weak. Office fatigue means billions in loss of efficiency and increasing health care costs every. Focus on regular rest.
Remember, inspect regularly
Informing people of the safety precautions when they come back to the office is not enough. Regular inspections are necessary and will help you make your office space a safe zone. Inspections let you find new risks, stop accidents or illnesses at work, and keep your housekeeping staff alert. It also helps you check if everyone is following the safety practices put in place at work.
Do not let your mobile phone become a distraction. Be aware of your surroundings and workspaces always to avoid injury or contamination.