Hygiene Tips to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus in the Workplace

By Jacklyn Dixon

Posted Apr 2nd, 2020 in Tips & News

The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, leading many countries around the world to declare a lockdown. However, while many people may be working remotely, employees that are still mandated to show up for work must take the proper precautions in order to prevent and limit the spread of the virus. From hand washing to social distancing, here’s how employees can stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hand Hygiene
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, meaning that it primarily spreads through the droplets of an infected person’s sneeze or cough. Due to this, the novel coronavirus can easily spread if an infected individual coughs or sneezes into their hands and then touches something that you touch. This can be especially dangerous in workplace settings — such as an office — as there are plenty of frequently touched surfaces (such as elevator buttons, public restrooms, communal phones, shared computers, etc.), which can allow the virus to spread. Washing your hands frequently is perhaps one of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as the virus can easily be destroyed with soap and water. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and making it available across the workplace is also a good preventative measure, especially if employees are in a situation where they’re not able to wash their hands right away.

Proper Cleaning
Because of the high potential for the virus to spread in a workplace setting, proper cleaning is a must, especially since the virus is known to survive on surfaces for days at a time. This involves the cleaning and disinfecting those constantly-touched surfaces, like conference room tables, doorknobs, and any other frequently touched surfaces by building maintenance or a cleaning crew. However, for employees that are still mandated to show up to the office for work, encouraging them to take matters into their own hands and clean their own desk space — including their computer’s keyboard, mouse, and other desk objects — is a good preventative measure to take as well.

Social Distancing
Along with hand hygiene and proper cleaning, implementing the practice of social distancing is another way to prevent and limit the spread of the coronavirus. By encouraging employees to stay at least six feet apart from others at all times, you can significantly reduce the chance of infection among staff by ensuring they’re out of range of sneezing, coughing, as well as refraining from gestures like handshakes. In a workplace setting, such as an office, this can be achieved by requiring that employees sit a couple desk spaces down from their coworkers in the office or conference room, as well as by maintaining a safe distance when clocking in/out, and encouraging them to have lunch in their own offices alone. 

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