COVID-19 and the associated restrictions changed where or how everyone performs work. Whether you now work at home, your industry is temporarily shut down, or you are returning to work after battling the virus, you need to take precautions before and after returning to your physical workplace.
What do the experts say is necessary to transition back to work? The good news is that the rules are relatively simple. You just need to stick with them.
Encourage Employees to Ask Questions
OSHA requires U.S. employers to provide safe workplaces for their staff and visitors. As an employer, you need to have a response plan ready. But it would be best if you also were prepared to share and update it.
Part of your employees’ role in staying safe is to assess whether you are ready to welcome staff back to offices. Don’t be afraid of their questions. Instead, please encourage them to communicate their questions and fears. Allowing them to do so may even reveal potential gaps in your policies.
Require a Face Covering
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and others is to wear a face covering. Not everyone needs an N95: a cloth maks will protect you if you don’t work in a healthcare environment.
Face coverings protect you from aerosol droplets, which spread COVID-19. If the drops reach your mask rather than your mouth or nose, the dosage, and risk of infection drops.
Because you’ll wear masks for longer durations at work, be sure your workers know how to use them.
Johns Hopkins recommends the following advice for wearing masks regularly:
- Wash or sanitize your hands before removing your mask.
- Take off your mask using the ear loops — don’t touch the fabric.
- Wash your mask regularly using hot water.
- Keep masks in a clean place when not in use.
Go Further Than Six Feet
By now, everyone is familiar with the six-foot rule. You want to avoid coming within six feet of anyone, particularly if your interaction takes place over long periods.
Why six feet? Well, science that pre-dated COVID-19 found that staying one to two meters away from other people means that you could avoid the droplets from other people’s coughs or sneezes. Droplets can only travel so far before they fall to the ground. A combination of physical distance and masks covering your mouth and nose and prevent infection.
However, keep in mind that the six feet rule is the bare minimum. Studies are showing that COVID-19 droplets can spread as far as six to eight meters. So, don’t take the six-foot rule for granted. Keep as much distance as is possible when and where you can.
Get Staffed to Reopen Your Business
Are you getting ready to welcome staff back or onboard new staff? Energi Personnel can help you find qualified candidates. Get in touch to learn more about our process.