Ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at your workplace
Ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at your workplace 27th June 2021
It is known that COVID-19 infections spread faster in places where people come in proximity to one another. Therefore, one would need to be cautious about the threat of infection, especially in offices and other closed workplace settings. There are many commonly used areas in the office like canteens, conference halls, meeting rooms, elevators, parking lots etc., where the chances of infection are much higher. That is why every office-goer needs to consider these risks and exercise utmost precaution while in office.
While health insurance (check for health insurance online today) stands out as a basic personal precaution, there are many precautions one can keep in mind to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in office spaces. It includes general precautions like:
● Maintaining a minimum distance of 2 yards or 6 feet from others.
● Wearing a face mask or cover at all times to cover your nose and mouth. Also, remember to avoid touching these areas of your face with your fingers.
● Washing your hands with soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly, particularly after touching foreign objects and common surfaces.
● Covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Spitting should be avoided altogether.
● Monitoring health and reporting it timely whenever required.
● Using the Aarogya Setu app for timely medical response and COVID-19 awareness.
Here are some precautions that can help prevent infection in office premises:
● Mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening should be installed at entrances. Employees or visitors with suspected medical conditions should be barred from entry.
● Work-from-home should be permitted for people living in containment zones.
● Service providers such as transport and housekeeping should maintain similar rules regarding containment zones.
● Office vehicles should be disinfected at least twice a day with a 1% sodium hypochlorite solution or spray.
● Aged and pregnant employees and employees with medical conditions should not be exposed to front line work.
● Officers, staff, visitors, valet parking personnel and all other support staff should be wearing masks at all times. Valet parking personnel must also wear gloves.
● Keys, steering wheels, door handles etc. of all office vehicles should be disinfected.
● Proper permission and screening of visitors must be made compulsory.
● Meetings must be conducted over video conferencing as far as possible.
● Awareness of COVID-19 should be promoted through standees, posters and audio-visual presentations
● Crowd management within and outside office premises should be ensured, with adequate physical distancing norms.
● In case of queues, physical distancing norms and marking signs should be put in place.
● Washrooms must have an adequate supply of sanitizers, soaps and running water.
● Restrictions on the number of people using elevators at the same time must be adhered to.
● A temperature of 24-30 ℃ and relative humidity of 40-70% should be ensured in office air conditioning.
● There should be adequate cross-ventilation within the office.
● Large physical gatherings should be avoided.
● Sanitation should be maintained in washrooms, drinking water stations, and hand wash points.
● Commonly used places like doorknobs, elevator buttons, benches, handrails, and bathroom fixtures must be regularly disinfected with a 1% sodium hypochlorite solution or spray.
● Cafeterias and canteens should have their staff checked for temperature and respiratory wellness. Crowd and queue management should be ensured with adequate social distancing, including seating arrangement.
In case health issues or signs of infection become apparent, the office should:
● Facilitate isolation for the unwell person till medical attention is available.
● Inform the nearest medical facility, and confirm availability of cashless health insurance online, if possible.
● Disinfect the places used / visited by the infected person in the last 48 hours, in case of one or two cases of infection.
● Disinfect the entire building or block in case of a large number of infections.
While making efforts to control the possibility of infection, offices should also work to dispel social stigma and show consideration towards the mental health impact of isolation and infection on their employees.