As case numbers keep rising, it is every employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for their employees. Ideally, this means giving employees the option to work remotely, but if this is not possible, here are a list of guidelines that promotes a safer workplace:
Staggered shifts and flexible hours
In order to allow employees to physical distance at work, it may be necessary to implement staggered shifts or staggered work days at the office. This means spreading out work hours and assigning the days where an employee can come into the office in order to reduce the number of people they come in contact with.
Space out workspace and disinfect regularly
It is the employer’s responsibility to disinfect the workplace with pathogen killing agents on a regular basis. Encourage employees to wipe down areas of frequent use such as printers and fridge doors. Employers should also encourage employees to sanitize their personal workspaces regularly and avoid using other people’s work spaces.
Conduct active symptom screening for employees
Employers should conduct regular screening for employees to make sure they are symptom and risk-free for other employees. If an employee shows any symptoms, it is the employer’s job to ask them to stay home to keep others at the office safe.
Encourage virtual meetings
While it is easy to move your weekly meetings with fellow colleagues online, it may be tougher to meet virtually with clients. It is the employer’s role to encourage all meetings to be virtual and to brace the new normal. Employers can host workshops to familiarize employees with meeting and presenting pitches virtually. On a similar note, virtual conferences are becoming more and more common. Encourage employees to attend virtual conferences and get used to networking virtually.
Educate employees on workplace safety
Promote frequent and thorough handwashing and provide hand sanitizers at multiple locations throughout the office to encourage its use. It is also important for employers to communicate new workplace etiquettes. This includes physical distancing, no handshakes, and no using other people’s desks and phones.
Provide adequate personal protective equipment
Employers should supply personal protective equipment based on the workplace hazard employees face. For example, a customer-facing employee may need protective gloves, 3 layer disposable masks, and potentially face shields. Whereas an office worker may only need a mask and some hand sanitizer. Nevertheless, employers should always select top-quality PPE for their employees to guarantee their safety. The government of Canada recently advised that a well-designed mask should be made of at least three layers (such as Medura’s masks) to effectively prevent the spread of infectious droplets. We have previously discussed what makes a good mask in a blog post- which goes into more details about how you might distinguish a good mask from a bad one.
If you are an employer looking to supply your workplace with personal protective equipment, Medura offers large- quantity discounts and free shipping over $50 for a limited time. Please feel free to contact us for more information.