Office Cleaning 101: How to get Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19
It has been half a year since the World Health Organisation declared a public health emergency due to the spread of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Yet, returning to the physical workplace is still debatable to many companies as the world continuously battles against the virus. The question is whether or not it is safe for employees to go back to their respective offices with coronavirus posing a threat to their lives.
Worksites are among the most prone areas to virus spread. Studies show that coronavirus can be transmitted from one person to another through physical contact. When a carrier coughs and breathes out, the infected droplets of liquid can survive on top of desks, tables, and other shared surfaces in the office for a couple of days or weeks.
To that case, the World Health Organisation has then issued COVID-19 guidelines and protocols to workplaces in both affected and non-affected areas in order to lessen (and hopefully stop) the coronavirus spread. After all, authorities and company owners are not the only ones responsible here but everyone in the workplace must play their part to prevent the virus from spreading.
Here are great steps to get your workplace ready in case coronavirus spreads in your area.
Implement basic infection prevention measures.
One of the best preventions is by keeping the workplace clean and sanitised. Many company owners and office lessors consider hiring regular cleaning services to ensure cleanliness and sanitary in the workplace as the main way the virus transmits is when employees share touchable surfaces that could be contaminated.
For starters, encourage your workers to disinfect their desks and other office devices like keyboards, mouses, printers etc. Also, invigorate each and everyone to observe physical distancing and respiratory etiquette by simply covering coughs and sneezes. On top of these preventive measures, make sure the company is providing contact-less hand sanitisers and footbath mats around the office and that it has dedicated areas where workers can regularly wash their hands with soap and water.
Provide personal protective equipment.
In line with infection prevention measures, employers should ensure the overall safety of their workers by providing the following protective equipment and making sure the office does not run out of them. Protective equipment can help prevent exposure to the virus whilst performing their jobs.
- Face Mask/Face Shield
- Goggles, if appropriate
- Respiratory Protection, if appropriate
The use of personal protective equipment must be selected based on the hazard of work to the employee. Not only do employers provide these PPEs but they also need to regularly inspect (to see if PPEs are consistently and properly worn), maintain and replace these gears as necessary. Provide proper disposal like contact-less trash bins to get rid of contaminated equipment.
Develop a disease preparedness and response plan.
Immediate identification and isolation of suspected individuals is a crucial step to ensure the safety of their teammates, customers, visitors and other personnel in the workplace. Encourage your workers to conduct self-monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Employers must develop a preparedness and response plan should their workers experience symptoms such as fever, dry cough and tiredness.
At the outset, implement alternative work arrangements considering employee’s individual risk factors that include age, pregnancy and existing medical conditions. Also, develop policies for employees to verbally report when they experience any symptom (whether it is mild or severe) and then advise them to stay at home in order to prevent further spread of viral infections.
By adhering to the above-mentioned guidelines, employers are not only protecting their workers but also the business itself from the negative effects of coronavirus outbreak within the workplace.