Limiting the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
Physical distancing, good hygiene and frequent cleaning are our best defences against this coronavirus. However, we should still maintain good air circulation and air quality inside workplaces and places of business. After all, poor indoor air quality and uncomfortable temperature and humidity levels can also harm our health.
Limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace
Much is still unknown about the virus (which is one reason it’s hard to make an effective vaccine). What’s certain is that we can still apply measures to protect ourselves. These measures include minimising contact or preventing unnecessary contact in the first place.
Many businesses now enforce and encourage working from home so that workers coming from different places won’t have to gather. This limits the chances of virus spread because the opportunities for contact are absent in the first place. With work from home setups, there’s still that business continuity while protecting ourselves from health risks. However, even at home it’s still important to ensure good ventilation and thermal comfort (the home office or work environment should be at comfortable temperature and humidity levels).
If physical presence is required in the workplace, it’s essential to enforce physical distancing (at least 1.5 metres between everyone at the workplace). Posters and signs that remind of safe distancing should be highly visible. It also helps to move work stations further apart to enforce physical distancing in the first place. Physical distancing markers can also help in keeping further apart from one another.
If there’s a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, it’s important to have a business continuity plan in place to protect the business, the people’s employment and the customers who rely on the company’s products and services. Also, after the restrictions are lifted and transitioning to work is a must, there should be measures that will protect the workers and customers. Those measures should be consistent with the public health requirements as well as the level of risks in the area.
It’s about protecting the people’s health and overall well being while still allowing economic activity and transactions. It’s crucial here to apply all practical and reasonable measures and pay attention to the daily comfort inside the workplace (e.g. ventilation, comfortable humidity and temperature levels, good indoor air quality).