Now that a return to work is imminent throughout many sectors in Ireland, employers are once again obliged to make certain that their employees are safe at all times. The main difference is that embracing the best hygienic practices is now more important than ever before. Not only will this approach help to reduce infections within the workplace, but it can also lead to a healthier and more productive in-house environment. We will, therefore, examine some of the steps which managers can take to ensure the safety of their staff members.
Upgrading Sanitisation Standards
Given that professional environments will need to adapt to the “new normal”, reviewing current sanitary protocols is crucial. This can include metrics such as the janitorial schedule, hygiene within lavatories, and how employees manage their personal spaces upon their return to work. The good news is that user-friendly COVID-19 decontamination kits including the O’Flynn Medical Stay Safe Hygiene Pack will enable employees to embrace a more proactive approach; ideal when halting the spread of any virus. Some of its primary accessories include:
- Three-ply face masks
- Latex and PVC gloves
- Hand sanitiser gel
- Alcohol cleaning pads
This pack is portable and easy to access, it can provide unprecedented levels of sanitation within the modern workplace.
Focus Upon In-House Social Distancing
Any return to work will also have to address social distancing issues. Although these have become the norm throughout our everyday lives, they may be slightly more challenging to adopt within offices or professional settings. COVID-19 prevention, therefore, involves highlighting how employees can remain socially distanced without sacrificing productivity or comfort. Some examples include:
- The fair use of shared sanitary facilities.
- Adhering to the maximum occupancy levels within certain rooms.
- Maintaining safe distances between desks and workstations.
Management should make all of these rules clear from the onset and whenever possible. Signage can be used to reinforce the correct behaviours.
Identify Areas Prone to Viral Transmission
Some locations within an office will be prone to higher levels of foot traffic than others. Sales floors, common areas, meeting rooms, and entrances can all fall into this category. As these locations are at particular risk, steps should be taken to ensure that they are properly sanitised at all times. One effective method is to employ modern medical equipment such as a UV Sterilisation Machine to effectively ablate airborne microorganisms as well as those which may be found on hard-to-reach surfaces. COVID-19 prevention begins with appreciating that there are numerous ways to decrease transmission rates.
Personal Protective Equipment When Employees Return to Work
We have all become accustomed to wearing masks over the past year, and this policy is not likely to change anytime soon when referring to indoor conditions. Still, some employees may be more hesitant than others to don personal protective equipment (PPE). The fact of the matter is that such steps are currently required by law throughout Ireland. Management should make it extremely clear that there is little room for leeway in this matter. Not only will PPE help to reduce the transmission of viral infections, but it can always be used in conjunction with mobile sterilisation technology such as the Sterisafe Pro COVID-19 decontamination system. This unique system offers numerous benefits including:
- It is an entirely portable unit.
- It can be rented for specific periods.
- No chemicals are used in the decontamination process.
- The Sterisafe Pro eliminates up to 99.99 percent of all viruses.
In these modern times, nothing should be left to chance.
Remote Working Possibilities
Telecommuting has become a popular alternative to the traditional office environment thanks to impressive technological advancements in recent times. Thus, it is no surprise that the Irish Health and Safety Authority (HSA) recommends that employers offer the option of remote working whenever possible. This may sometimes include the introduction of staggered working patterns; allowing employees to work from home a certain number of days each week. As creating such a schedule can be slightly challenging in terms of logistics, it is prudent to host a virtual meeting to appreciate which workers can telecommute as well as to better understand their availability.
Using Cutting-Edge Equipment
The presence of healthcare equipment within the workplace is another change that businesses need to embrace. For example, some managers will utilise non-contact thermometers to check if employees have a fever before they are allowed to enter an office. Not only can this help to lessen the chances of spreading an illness, but workers are likely to feel safer.
However, it is just as important to remember that diseases can be spread by other means. For instance, what protocols have been adopted by office cleaning agencies? Stakeholders should make certain that they are taking the appropriate steps, such as encouraging the use of decontamination equipment including disposable gowns and gloves during after-hours cleaning sessions.
The Use of Disposal Office Items
Germs can easily spread between two or more individuals when items are shared or improperly cleaned. Silverware, drinking glasses, and VoIP headsets are all pertinent examples. This is why it is important for management to provide workers with alternate options. Paper desk placements can be discarded at the end of the day while disposable kitchen items are other logical and cost-effective solutions. Also, employees should be encouraged to bring utensils from home as opposed to relying upon those found within a kitchen or a common area.
Hand Hygiene Within the Workplace
Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for disturbingly long periods. This is why employees need to appreciate the ever-present risks when touching seemingly innocuous objects such as keyboards, door handles, and writing instruments. One effective way to mitigate this threat is to place hand sanitising stations at regular intervals throughout the office. Workers should get into the habit of using this gel regularly. Managers must likewise stress the benefits that adopting such practices can provide.
COVID-Prevention: Third-Party Resources
It is a foregone conclusion that some offices possess neither the time nor the resources to address the recommendations mentioned above. This is why it may be prudent to outsource these concerns to third-party decontamination rental services such as those provided by O’Flynn Medical. While primarily used to sterilise medical equipment in the past, many of these same approaches can be utilised to ensure that common objects within an office are safe and free from the COVID-19 virus. Similar to renting the Sterisafe Pro Disinfectant Fogger, management can leverage the power of the latest technological options.
Adhering to Current and Future Ireland COVID-19 Restrictions
As we slowly return to work, we will be forced to adapt to what can only be called a brave new world. This does not necessarily have to represent a daunting prospect if the right protocols are adopted at the appropriate times. Let us also remember that there are numerous cutting-edge sterilisation options available when working with the team at O’Flynn Medical.
Those who would like to learn more are encouraged to contact one of our team members directly. We will be happy to discuss your options in greater detail as well as to explain why we are the go-to supplier when nothing, but the most targeted decontamination solutions will suffice.