3 Ways to Protect Your Workforce from the Novel CoronavirusFebruary 13, 2020
In the wake of quarantines, travel bans and mandatory masks, many organizations are taking preventive measures to stop the potential spread of coronavirus among their employees.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus strain of easily spread respiratory virus in humans and other mammals. The coronavirus is concentrated in Asia but cases in U.S. and Europe have health officials expecting an uptick.
The coronavirus is a cause for concern based on its rapid spread and ongoing uncertainty of its potential to turn into a global pandemic. The vast majority of fatalities attributed to the virus have occurred in older people and those with other health conditions, but coronavirus has shown the ability to quickly spread via airborne transmission, putting people in close proximity to an infected individual at risk.
As companies seek preventive sanitary measures within their workspaces, here are three ways you can help protect your workforce and visitors from the coronavirus and flu.
Strict Standards of Cleanliness
A healthy workforce starts with a healthy working environment. Whether in a manufacturing plant or an open office, germs can spread quickly. To combat the risk of infections, companies should:
- Perform regular “deep cleans” of restrooms, conference rooms, kitchens, and other common areas; Apple stores have been performing regular deep cleans and temperature-checks of employees to monitor their health
- Regularly sanitize surfaces, especially door handles, toilet stalls, and sinks
- Provide antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers; keep a pump at each desk in your office – having it out in the open increases the likelihood that your employees will use it
- Make tissues and wipes readily available; tissues in particular can help prevent the spread of airborne contagions
- Most importantly: encourage employees feeling ill to work from home or take a sick day
If an employee has been infected with the coronavirus and you suspect an area has been contaminated, we recommend conducting an area or site risk assessment as the first step prior to cleaning, sanitization and disinfecting any space. To learn what needs to be done as part of a risk assessment and subsequent steps, download our Coronavirus Cleaning Recommendations here.
Face Masks & Travel Freezes
During flu season and unusual viral outbreaks, companies should consider further safety measures for employees.
In the case of an acute outbreak within the office, companies should evaluate their sick leave and telecommuting policies and make sure that employees understand that it is okay to stay home when they are not feeling well. Additionally, masks can be used to prevent airborne germs from passing between workers, and employees can be encouraged to frequently wash hands and sanitize workspaces.
For companies with high-travel employees such as consultants, a temporary travel freeze should be considered. This can mean eliminating travel to China, Hong Kong and areas where the coronavirus is concentrated. On a smaller scale, simply decreasing travel during the winter months can reduce illness.
Use a Knowledgeable Janitorial Services Partner
One of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy workforce is to utilize a janitorial services partner. Professional janitorial services guarantee that your work environment stays clean and up to health standards.
With a company like LACOSTA Facility Support Services, onsite management ensures that, in addition to normal cleaning procedures, common areas are regularly sanitized and supplies are kept fully stocked. This decreases the risk of infection among employees and improves company morale. As a bonus benefit, you no longer have to worry about surprise audits or tours as your site will be spotless and safe.
Whether you need cleaning services for a manufacturing plant, class A office space, or high traffic facilities like schools and hospitals, LACOSTA offers:
- International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) compliance
- Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) compliance
- Experience in FDA and GMP-regulated environments
If you’d like a free site evaluation or quote, contact us to learn how we can work with you to protect your workforce from viruses and other illnesses, year-round.