Information and statistics on the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, are changing rapidly creating worry, chaos and misinformation to be spread along with the illness.
Health officials urge workplaces and employers to protect their employees against the deadly virus that has rippled across 51 countries and territories, infecting over 150,000 people and causing the death of more than 3,800 people.
To combat both the spread of the virus and the negative emotions in connection with it, employers need to have an open dialogue with their employees about the virus, it’s potential impact on the organization and what employees can do to protect themselves.
Here’s our top tips for protecting the workplace and employees from spreading the virus, and in effect, helping to create a more thoughtful discussion between employers and employees.
Frequent Hand-Washing should be encouraged
Remind employees that the best way to prevent the spread of the illness is to regularly wash their hands and avoid touching their mouth, eyes or nose. The CDC recommends washing your hands with water and soap for a duration of 20 seconds, rubbing and lathering the backs of the hands, between your fingers and under your nails. In order to effectively time out 20 seconds while washing your hands, you can hum or sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice from beginning to end.
To reinforce and remind employees that they should be washing their hands regularly, place signs around the building and especially in public areas such as bathroom and food preparation spaces.
Perform Routine Environmental Cleaning
Employers must routinely clean and disinfectall frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops and doorknobs. The CDC recommends that workers use cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. It is best to provide employees with disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down before each use.
Disseminate information across the company OR FACILITY by displaying posters on handwashing and COVID-19 precautionary measures, such as respiratory hygiene. Employees should be made aware of respiratory hygiene, wherein they should cover their mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing with a tissue. They should discard the tissue properly in a closed bin.
Companies should provide face masks and paper tissues in the workplace, especially for employees who develop a cough and a runny nose at work.
Most importantly employees should stay at HOME if they’re sick.