The news of the novel corona virus spreading worldwide and even surpassing the originated place, mainland china is raising concerns, chaos, and worries among businesses and employees in the workplace. Australia is also not an exception as the corona virus cases have continued to soar after the first case have been reported in January 2020. Hence, it’s no surprise that businesses are concerned and seeking answers on how best to respond to employees’ fears and protect them from the spread of the virus. Either you are working in virus prone areas such as airline, healthcare, or not, here are working safety hacks given by Ezzat Daniel Nesseim to help protect the workplace and employees from spreading the virus and ensure a safe work environment. Let’s dive in!
Employers should be Prepared to Respond to :
Employees’ fears and unwillingness to continue working with employees, customers, partners or others who have just returned abroad or from the affected areas.
Incorporate risk management strategies for employees involved in international travels
Respond positively to employees who have recently traveled to and fro the affected areas
Guide responses to employees who feel sick or has a family member that is sick
Here are ways to protect the workplace from Corona Virus in Australia
Avoid close Contact with People who are Sick
It has been confirmed that the primary means in which the virus spread is through person to person contact. That is:
- Individuals who are in close contact with one another
- Through respiratory droplets that can be produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes
- Droplets that find their ways into the noses, mouths of other people nearby.
What can be done in the workplace:
- Employees should avoid being near anyone showing respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- A sick employee can be given a paid sick leave to allow for the diagnosis and treatment of the medical condition.
- A sick employee should stay home while sick and avoid going to public places such as work or errands to prevent spreading the illness to others.
Practice Respiratory Hygiene
- Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue while sneezing or coughing. Or cover with the crook of the arm if there is no tissue available.
- Throw away used tissue immediately in closed bins and in case there are any spit or mucus on the skin, wipe out immediately. Do not forget to wash the hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitisers. Wash hands before eating, after going to the bathroom and generally when it appears unclean.
- Incorporate other good health hygiene such as stress management, eating good food, staying hydrated and getting enough rest.
“These are basic health hygiene that should be practised every day either an individual is at risk or coronavirus or not.:” says Ezzat Daniel Nesseim.
Perform Routine Workplace Cleaning
- Employers should make it a priority to ensure all commonly touched place in the workplace should be disinfected and sanitised. This includes the doorknobs, countertops, telephones, computers, toilets, bathroom sinks, switches, handles( among others)
- Provide employees with sanitizers and disposable wipes to ensure these places are wiped after each use.
- If possible, avoid touching commonly used surfaces such as elevator button, handrails or even shaking of hands with people. Wipe the areas first or use tissues to cover your hands if you must touch those surfaces.
- Since the virus is also spread when a person touches the contaminated surfaces or areas and then touches the nose and mouth, therefore, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Communicate with Employees about Travel Plans
- Communicate with employees who need to travel and strongly advice them against travelling to infected areas. Better still, every travelling plans can be postponed or cancelled.
- Employees who decide to travel should be advised to check themselves of any symptoms of the virus after their return to avoid infecting others.
- Employees who are forced to be quarantined or are stuck in overseas should not hesitate to speak with the employers and carried them along with the situations they found themselves. An individual hooked down in affected areas can ask for a paid leave or long leave and should reach an agreement with the employer in regards to payment and leave.
Share Measures, Objectives and, means of Protection with Employees
Organisations should see it as there responsibilities to reduce concerns, share organisations objectives and communicate with employees on the steps being taken to combat the spread of corona virus.
Educate workforce members on how to protect themselves, and share strategies and guidelines to curb the spread of the virus.
More importantly. Employees should be guided on the best defense against corona virus which is a strong immune system. Therefore, everyone should be put in their best effort to ensure their body is armed with defensive attacks against the virus. This comes with adequate rest, eating a nutritional meal, avoiding junks and over processed food and staying hydrated.