Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It started from China and now becomes a global concern that is taking away many lives throughout the Globe. Everyone must pay attention and follow to what government and health agencies are guiding. As we know that as of now there is no medicine prepared against this Virus so it is better to follow what intrusions are given to be safe. COVID-19 is affecting the world in many ways and above all is affecting the lives and Economy of the countries. A countermeasure lockdown is announced across many countries to save the life of people and stop this deadly virus. To lessen the effect one must be prepared to know how to deal and prepare the workplace.
How a COVID-19 Outbreak Could Affect Workplaces
1. Absenteeism: Workers could be absent because they are sick or are in a fear to get infected.
2. Change in shopping pattern: Consumer demand for items related to infection prevention like sanitizer, tissue, a mask is likely to increase, while other goods may decline.
3. Interrupted delivery: Due to the high demand for commerce and effected supply chain facility there might be delay or cancellation with or without notification.
Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan if one does not already exist.
Develop some guidelines and plans that are to be followed to be safe against COVID-19. Such considerations may include:
- Non-occupational risk factors at home and in community settings,
- Controls necessary to address those risks. Follow federal and state, local, tribal, and/or territorial (SLTT) recommendations regarding the development of contingency plans for situations that may arise as a result of outbreaks,
- The need for social distancing, staggered work shifts, downsizing operations, delivering services remotely, and other exposure-reducing measures.
Guidelines and plans should also consider steps that an employer can implement to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Initially, we need to focus on basic hygiene and some basic etiquette. Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes. The employer must guide employees about basic hygiene and the use of Personal protective equipment. Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol. Also, ask workers to stay at home if they are sick or any of the members are sick and have symptoms of COVID-19. The employer must focus on daily cleaning and disinfecting of surface, machinery and other elements of the work environment and must maintain social distancing among employs. Every employee must be equipped with proper PPE like masks, gloves, and sanitizer or covered with plastic sneezing guard. Installing high-efficiency air filters or increasing ventilation rates in the work environment can be the most cost-effective solution to implement.
Administrative control can be implemented to get better safety. Administrative controls are changes in work policy or procedures to reduce or minimize exposure to a hazard. Minimizing contact among workers, clients, and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework if feasible. By reducing the workforce by making them work on alternate days or extra shifts so that chances for infection can be reduced and distance can be maintained among them. Providing Proper and update to date information and training to employees will also help to fight COVID-19, additionally, by training workers who need to use protecting clothing and equipment how to put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.
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