If your business is one of the many types that requires your staff to be onsite, such as a restaurant or retail shop, you may be wondering how to keep your workplace safe for your staff and customers. There may not be a ‘magic bullet’ to make your workplace impervious to COVID-19, but there are still a lot of things you can do as a business owner to help keep your staff and customers safe.
1Help your employees practice social distancing
Social Distancing – keeping people at least 6 feet (about 2 arm spans) away from each other – is one of the best ways to help reduce the spread of the virus. You can rearrange your workspace to help your employees stay apart from each other. If you can, reduce the number of employees on shift at any one time to help minimize the number of people in the building.
Where possible, have any nonessential staff members work from home. If you run a business where customers regularly enter the building, consider limiting how many people can be in your shop at one time.
2Conduct a risk assessment
The goal of a risk assessment is to identify potentially vulnerable areas in your business so that you can quickly move resources to protect these areas. A risk assessment can be applied to any part of your business, and can greatly reduce the chances of COVID-19 spreading among your staff.
One approach is to conduct a risk assessment on the ways the virus could spread in your building and develop a counter-plan. For example, if you identify that your building’s ventilation is a potential problem area, you can develop ways to get a cross-current running through your building or upgrade your current ventilation system.
3Provide safety equipment for your staff
Encourage your staff to bring their own face masks, but make sure to provide some onsite in case someone forgets theirs at home. Provide hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in easily-accessible places throughout your workspace to help further reduce the spread of germs.
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In addition to these, consider installing sneeze guards to help keep your staff and customers safe, especially in tight spaces where it’s hard to keep 6 feet between people.
4Clean, clean, clean
It’s important to keep your workspace as clean as possible to help prevent someone catching COVID-19 from surface contact. Identify the most commonly used areas in your building, such as break rooms or bathrooms, and update your cleaning frequency throughout the day as appropriate.
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Check the CDC’s latest recommendations on disinfecting your building for the most up-to-date guidance on how to keep your facility COVID-free.
In addition to cleaning throughout the day, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to disinfect and sanitize your workplace on a regular basis.
5Open channels of communication with your staff
What does talking with your staff have to do with keeping your office COVID-free?
Employee feedback is a great way to identify what rules are working, what still needs improvement, what equipment or other accommodations they need to do their job safely. Most importantly, they can let you know whether or not they feel like their workplace is a safe and healthy place to be.
6Get your employees tested
Testing is one of the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in the workplace. Testing allows you to quickly quarantine sick employees and contact any staff members who were in contact with this individual. You can also know when to temporarily close your business and hire a professional cleaning company to disinfect and sanitize your building.
Onsite testing is another way to keep your business COVID-free. During an onsite test such as those offered by Concierge MD LA, a registered nurse comes directly to your place of business and administers tests to your staff. This process is not only organized, it is hassle-free with definitive results returning within 48 – 72 hours.
The most effective way to keep your workplace COVID-free is to use a combination of the methods we’ve outlined above, as appropriate for your business. You can also consult the CDC’s General Business Guidelines and the Resuming Business Toolkit for the latest guidance about how to reopen and operate your business safely.