How to create a safe workplace during the coronavirus pandemic?

There is no evidence, yet the more virulent strain of the coronavirus is here, "the safest and most responsible thing to do is to proceed on the assumption that it is already here". As states and cities have been already following the lockdown restrictions on stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures, it is equally important for companies to implement safety precautions and new strategies before returning to work. According to the research, coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces. Thus, sanitisation and hands-free technology will play a prominent role in making reopening workplace strategies.

This article is especially for employers to adopt various strategies to ensure employees safety and security at the workplace. Some of the strategies that may help employers achieve safety and security are as follows -

1. Risk assessment – Every employer has a responsibility to ensure that their employees and visitors are safe in their workspace. This responsibility can only be fulfilled when you access risk at the first stage, take adequate measures and provide enhanced protection to your workplace.

As an employer, you must have the following questions in your mind –

  • How could you keep employees and visitors safe whilst they are at your workplace?
  • Plan how to eliminate the problematic situation or control the risk.
  • Plan out how to ensure that you keep up to date with the latest health and safety guidance updates.

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2. Social distancing – Is your workspace ready for the new normal? The current situation seems devastating. Every person in the workspace must know how important it is to know about Social distancing. Office buildings are the prime places for diseases to spread quickly since many employees or visitors keep coming and going throughout the day. Majorly everyone passes through the lobby, common door, security checkpoints, and elevators. As employers will soon be ready to reopen their workspaces, here are some additional protocol measures to safeguard your work environment.

Follow these simple safety tips to maintain social distancing at your workplace –

  • Assign a dedicated resource who could provide guidance whenever it's necessary.
  • Educate your staff on the signs using floor tapes or paint to mark work areas.
  • Set up signages to remind people to keep a 2metre social distancing.
  • Provide access to tools to maintain good hygiene, i.e., sanitiser, hand soap, hand gloves, etc.
  • Do temperature check regularly for each employee.

3. Ventilation during the COVID-19 – The employer must ensure an adequate supply of fresh air in the workspace. Fresh air along with regular office sanitisation can help reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19.

Here are a few guidelines to help you identify the poor ventilated areas and steps to improve ventilation –

  • The risk of airborne transmission may reduce if proper ventilation is allowed in the workspace through the window or vent.
  • It is essential to identify the areas that are not operated frequently and stuffy. The more people occupying such poor areas, they are likely to be affected by transmission risk.
  • Allowing adequate ventilation doesn't mean that your workspace has to be cold but ensures that your workspace is warm and lets the pure airflow through a window.

The most important factor for any company is the health and safety of its employees. Ensure you follow proper guidelines, appropriate sanitisation and extra precautions and update your security system to offer hands-free door entry.

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