Staying Safe at Work
Posted on: August 3, 2020, by : Amber Roessler

Have you already gone back to the office?

Is your office social distancing or taking other precautions to protect employees from coronavirus?

With COVID-19 cases on the rise again in the U.S. it becomes important that everyone does their part to prevent the spread of the virus.

Think about all the back and forth that happens in your office. John leaves his desk, walks past ten other people, goes to the bathroom, drinks from the fountain in the hallway, goes to the break room, pulls his lunch out of the fridge, uses the microwave, eats his lunch at a communal table, then returns to his desk. Now how many surfaces did John touch that other people will also touch? Did he clean any of those surfaces? Was he wearing a mask when he was walking around?

What if John has been exposed to the virus? Now everything he’s touched or used is a hazard. Everyone he’s been around is at risk, meaning the whole office is in danger.

This new world of ours is tricky. It can be scary to think about it. But the good news is that there are plenty of easy things you can do to stay safe in your workplace. Here are some of the CDC’s tips for keeping COVID-19 away from you desk.

Think about the way people use the office.

  • In offices that have stairwells and elevators, designate specific up and down paths.
  • Keep departments separated as much as possible. Use virtual meeting and conference calls when possible. If you must have in-person meetings, ensure there’s six feet of space between participants and that they’re wearing their face masks.
  • Try installing foot-pulls or arm-pulls on doors so no one has to touch doorknobs. (We have them available for sale on our site!)

Cleaning is the name of the game.

  • Wipe down door handles, desks, light switches, faucets, workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, printer/copiers, drinking fountains, and other shared surfaces with a disinfecting cleaner.
  • This task is daunting for any one office manager or janitor to complete. If you work in a larger office, consider assigning cleaning areas to workers. If everyone cleans the surfaces at their stations and immediately around them then this task is made much easier.
  • Disconnect items that get a ton of community use, such as coffee pots and water coolers. Encourage workers to bring their own items.

Keep people separated when possible.

  • Consider staggering shifts, start times, and break times to limit the number of people in common areas at one time. Even if you can’t change start and end times, encourage workers to eat at their desks or spread out in an outside seating area.
  • If you can, continue to have some employees work from home.

The most important thing right now is that employers and workers are having open conversations about keeping their offices safe. This pandemic is ever-changing, and we don’t really know what’s next. So stay home if you feel unwell, wear a mask, keep six feet away from others, and continue doing your part to keep this virus from spreading.