Stay Clean – Defeat COVID-19
One of the best defenses that we have in waging war on COVID-19 is proper sanitization. As an employer, part of your role is protecting your employees as best as you can. Try these tips for increasing cleanliness in your workplace.
Hand Washing: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the first defense mechanism is hand washing. Hands should be washed often and for at least 20 seconds. Help your employees to clearly understand the CDC’s guidelines by printing and displaying them prominently. If soap and water cannot always be made readily available, offer pumps of hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%.
Cough and Sneeze Etiquette: Yes, there is etiquette even for coughing and sneezing. And really, these are just common-sense concepts.
- No coughing and sneezing directly in your hands
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve
- If you use a tissue, throw it away
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing
No Face Touching: Once you start thinking about it, you might be surprised how many times a day you touch your face. However, the virus can travel easily and quickly through the eyes, nose, or mouth, so encourage your employees to be mindful of this.
Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing: What you may not know is that there is a difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing.
- Cleaningloosens and removes dirt and grime. It also physically removed any germs. It does not kill the bacteria but does lower the germ count with soap (or detergent) and water.
- Disinfecting kills the germs, often with chemicals. Ideally, you will want to prepare an area for disinfecting by cleaning it first. Otherwise, germs can hide under the grime, not allowing the chemicals to be effective.
- Sanitizing is the combination of cleaning and disinfecting to lower the germ count according to the public health standard. Sanitizing prevents the spread of infection.
You Can’t Sanitize Too Much: Set up a schedule or routine for sanitation. COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding, sanitizing should be a daily event. While fighting a pandemic, make it twice a day, three times a day, whenever someone has some downtime. Even if it’s just someone on your team wiping down all surfaces with a disinfectant wipe every couple of hours. Be vigilant! (Just keep in mind that a surface area must remain wet for 3-5 minutes for the wipes to properly do their job. That’s a lot of wipes, so you’re going to want to stock up.)
Identify the “germiest” areas: Breakrooms are high up there. Definitely the bathrooms. But also look at the most touched surfaces. Buttons on elevators, equipment, or vending machines. Phones. Counters. Door handles and handrails. Just look around and see what your team is touching and handling the most often and make sure those areas stay clean.
Some other things that you can be doing:
- If possible, mark places for your employees to work at least 6ft apart
- Encourage them to stay home if they are sick
- Discourage any food-sharing
- Open windows or increase air conditioning for improved ventilation
- Keep as much distance as possible between employees
- Train, train, train your staff on all the above
- Stagger customer flow as much as possible
- Use videoconferencing software such as Zoom for meetings
Stay informed: Check the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regularly for updates
There will be a day when this pandemic is over. It will come. But until then, we must do all that we can as employers and business owners to keep things as normal as possible and keep our people healthy at work. ERG Staffing is here to help – especially when you need support staff to cover absent employees. Call us today.