With the rise in COVID cases and mutations developing at an alarming rate globally, it has become increasingly more important to develop and practice Covid SOPs as well as standard hygiene practices. Even if you are vaccinated, you should still practice SOPs to keep yourself. Getting vaccinated does not mean you will never contract Covid, it simply just means that your body will fight it off better, and you won’t be affected to the extent that you will have to be hospitalized.
Since the government of Pakistan never declared a complete lockdown in the country, it is up to us as individuals to ourselves and those around us, safe. Office buildings are prime places for diseases like this to spread, since there are many different people coming and going throughout the day, and most have to pass through common entry points like lobbies, security checkpoints, and elevators. As we start to go back to work after coronavirus, there are additional safety protocol measures your business can take to provide a safer work environment for your employees from the moment they enter the premises.
Keeping the SOPs and basic hygiene practices in mind, we have compiled a list of practices that will keep you safe at your workplace during Covid. Some of the best practices are:
- Wear cloth face coverings, at a minimum, at all times when around coworkers or the general public. If a respirator, such as an N95 respirator or better, is needed for conducting work activities, then that respirator should be used, and the worker should use their cloth face covering when they are not using the respirator (such as during breaks or while commuting).
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are not immediately available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as active ingredients and rub hands together until they are dry.
- Minimize physical contact for employees who are high-risk for contracting the virus. Encourage remote work if possible, or provide a more isolated working environment within the office. You can also recommend that employees wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth or personal protective equipment (PPE) while in the office.
- Discourage handshaking. It’s almost an involuntary response, especially when doing business, but the NCOC strongly advises against handshakes during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Putting more distance between people has proven to be key to keeping the transmission of COVID-19 under control, and is a continued protocol under the United States government guidelines for opening up the country again. With social distancing becoming the new normal, we can expect the layout of our offices to change as well. Larger spaces, fewer people, and the advent of the “six-feet office” are all starting to make their way into post-COVID-19 office designs around the world. You can implement similar techniques in your office with the following workplace social distancing policies.
- Staying home if you are feeling unwell. Any employee who feels ill should stay home to prevent spreading germs in the office.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes or coughing/sneezing into your elbow/upper sleeve.
Some Additional Safety Protocol Measures:
As we start to go back to work after coronavirus, there are additional safety protocol measures your business can take to continue to provide a safer work environment for your employees. In addition to regular cleaning with soap and water, you should implement these COVID-19 reopening maintenance procedures to ensure the health and safety of your entire team.
- Schedule daily cleaning and disinfection to all high-touch surfaces in your office, such as door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and faucets, should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. For surfaces with the most use in public spaces like PIN pads, shopping carts, and point-of-sale keypads, you’ll need to thoroughly clean and disinfect before each use.
- Make sure you are using an EPA-approved disinfectant for coronavirus , and following all necessary dilution and protection practices according to the label.
- Increase the frequency of routine deep cleanings, with a focus on high-touch surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs.
Key Takeaways For Coronavirus Office Safety Guide
The most important factor of your business is the health and safety of your employees. While it may seem daunting to adjust your workplace policies after COVID-19, it’s vital to approach the return to the office with an abundance of caution. To ensure both your facilities and employees are prepared for a post-coronavirus work environment, you should establish COVID-19 workplace safety guidelines to mitigate risk and reduce the transmission of germs between employees.
Prior to reopening your office after COVID-19, make sure you follow appropriate sanitation and disinfection guidelines. While personal hygiene plays a key role in preventing the virus from spreading, there are many control factors for businesses to consider, including updating to hands-free door access methods, reconfiguring offices to allow for social distancing, and increasing disinfection and sanitization frequency in high-touch areas of the workplace.