There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live. After the WHO declared a global pandemic in March 2020, many people lost their jobs. Data shows there are 6.8 million fewer jobs due to the pandemic.
Some office employees were lucky enough to remain employed as remote workers. Now, these workers and new employees are returning to the office.
The pandemic is still in full effect, yet people have to work. Employers must take steps to keep their employees healthy. Office safety is a must.
Want to learn how to help prevent your employees from getting sick? Read this article to learn how to promote office safety. You’ll be able to protect your employees through future pandemics.
Importance of Office Safety During a Pandemic
There’s much to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this disease, over 35,280,000 Americans have become sick. The numbers don’t lie.
The diseases that are part of a pandemic can change as their viruses become a new variant. This makes the disease more resistant to vaccines. It also makes it easier for the virus to spread.
In a pandemic, no one knows who is sick. Viruses can spread with ease between people. In an enclosed office space, transmission can be rapid.
As employees and guests walk in and out each day, the risk of getting sick increases. There are a lot of common areas in offices where employees gather. This includes the break room, the copy room, and the conference rooms.
Surfaces and objects can have a virus that can get employees sick. Did you know that a virus can live on hard surfaces for hours, and in some cases even days? Imagine all the viruses that might be present in the office during a pandemic.
When people greet each other, there’s always a risk for the transmission of viruses. With the shake of a hand, germs can spread. A hug or kiss can lead to more spreading of germs.
Office workers can’t take their health for granted. If one employee gets sick, there’s always a chance more can get sick. The last thing an employer wants is to have several employees on sick leave.
Preparation is Key
A future pandemic can strike at any time. The best way to keep your employees healthy is by preparing for one. The COVID pandemic had a big effect on the country because people weren’t prepared for it.
There are several steps you can take to prepare for the onset of a pandemic. The first thing you can do is create a plan of action that outlines how to prepare for one. The plan should focus on pandemic safety.
It should have a general guideline to inform employees about disease prevention. Employers must give all employees a copy of the plan. Consider making a handbook.
Employees must read it. This way they know how to practice pandemic safety.
They must also know about their responsibilities as employees. This includes practicing personal hygiene and keeping their personal office area clean.
The plan should also include a list of resources. The employees can seek information from the resources during a pandemic. This includes the CDC and the WHO.
General Guidance for All Employers
Employers must provide their employees with guidance about health and safety practices. This is part of their duties related to pandemic safety.
If there’s a pandemic, all employees should wear PPE. Employees must wear face coverings and masks at all times.
Employees must practice proper hand hygiene. They must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If there’s no immediate soap or water available, they should use a hand sanitizer.
Washing hands after using the restroom is a must. Employees must also wash their hands if the hands are visibly soiled. An employee should refrain from touching their face with unwashed hands.
All employees know how to practice good respiratory etiquette. Sneezing into one’s hands should be a thing of the past. It’s better to cough and sneeze into the inside of the arm’s sleeve.
During a pandemic, it’s a good idea to practice social distance. This calls for maintaining at least six feet of distance between people.
Employers must inform sick employees to stay at home to avoid getting others sick. Remember, employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees.
General guidance provided to the employees must include information about the latest guidelines. Employees must follow the guidelines set by public officials.
You might want to consider having meetings with the employees. This way you can provide them with office safety tips. This is a good strategy to use as it allows employees to ask questions.
After the authorities declare a pandemic, employers must establish employee screening protocols. This is a strategy that can prevent the mass spread of infections in the workplace.
You can develop and put in place a screening and monitoring strategy at your work site. Make sure to adhere to the guidelines set by authorities.
Set a protocol for employees entering the office. Have each employee complete a questionnaire. It should ask for signs and symptoms.
It might be appropriate to take the employees’ temperature. If an employee meets the criteria for a sick worker, the employee should go home.
Have a list of criteria an employee must meet to return to the office. This might include bringing in negative test results or proof of vaccination.
Buy PPE to Control Spread of Germs
One of your duties as an employer is to take steps to control the spread of germs throughout the office. The best way to do this is by buying equipment that can limit the spread of germs.
You should buy PPE for your employees. It never hurts to have a large supply of masks as employees will change them frequently. Keep in mind that during a pandemic, PPE supplies can run low, so make sure to plan ahead of time.
Buy more trash cans and place them throughout the office. This way employees can discard their old masks and not leave them on the ground.
Consider your office environment. You might want to buy gloves, safety glasses, or N95 respirators.
Let your employees know where they can get PPE supplies during work hours. It might be a good idea to place an employee in charge of the PPE supplies.
Buy the Right Equipment and Technology for Office Cleanliness
Did you know shoes can contain germs on them that can make others sick during a pandemic? Shoes can pick up a virus’ respiratory droplets.
You can’t ask your employees to take off their shoes before they enter the office. It’s a major inconvenience. There’s a solution for this.
A shoe sanitizing station can do the job. You can buy an Ozone + UVC shoe sanitizing station for the office.
The disinfection technology helps to disinfect shoes in a matter of seconds. It takes between 6-8 seconds to get rid of germs.
It’s an effective and superior device. It’s about 110 times more effective than just using a UVC light. The science behind this technology shows how it serves as a reliable control of microbes.
You might be asking, “How does this incredible piece of technology work?” This is a good question. It’s easy to work.
Once it comes in, take it out of the box and plug it in. You can place it at the entrance of the office building. There’s no need to have staff on hand to operate this technology.
An employee will place their shoes on the device. It will kill harmful pathogenic microorganisms with its disinfection technology. These microorganisms include the ones that can cause COVID, E. coli, and MRSA.
This technology will protect the perimeter and critical spaces. It will give your employees peace of mind. It’s made in the U. S. so you know that it will work.
Office Safety in Future Pandemics
No one wants to experience another pandemic. The reality is that a pandemic can affect the country in the future. Office safety is a top priority during a pandemic.
There are several steps employers can take to keep their employees healthy during. Practicing these office safety tips is a great way to prevent the spread of germs in the office.
Now you know that shoes can contain germs that help to spread diseases. To kill the germs in the shoes of your employees, buy an Ozone + UVC sanitizing station. Contact us to learn more about it.