To manage any risk, it is about limiting exposure and reducing fears. It is the same with concerns about the coronavirus. Below are some suggestions from CDC and our team at Guarantee Restoration for managing coronavirus, flu and common colds in general.
While we should all take normal precautions to limit our contact with anyone affected by illnesses, there is no need to panic. However, there are several steps you and your employees can take to limit the spread of illness in the workplace, including the coronavirus.
Take Normal Precautions Now
Employees can take several commonsense steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, just as they can with the common cold or the flu!
Here are a few things we are doing during the flu season to reduce inter-office exposure:
- Limit visits to team member’s offices, consider using phone over face to face. Additionally, consider scanning and emailing documents instead of hand delivering to coworkers.
- If you sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or your elbow. This will help to contain the spread of pathogens. Dispose of those tissues into a no-touch wastebasket and wash your hands after!
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day, especially before mealtimes or before meeting others. If no soap and water are available, use 60-95% alcohol hand sanitizer.
- Encourage your team to work from home if they are sick and seek medical attention if symptoms of a cough, fever, or congestion persist. Make sure flexible sick policies are in place for employees and their dependents and send home any employee who comes to work and exhibits respiratory illness symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath.
- Perform routine cleaning of personal spaces and items such as desks, phones, doorknobs, etc. Use antibacterial and antiviral cleaning agents for this.
How Can Guarantee Restoration Help
From our experience of cleaning bloodborne pathogens in hospitals to H1N1 cleanings in schools, our hospital division team understands how to minimize a building’s impact on employee health.
Other services we provide are anti-bacterial disinfectant cleaning of all services to fogging with an anti-disinfectant. There are different considerations in determining how we would approach a safe clean work environment.
Limit Business Travel to Certain Areas
If employees from your workplace frequently travel outside of the country or to cities within the United States which have been affected, it is vital these trips be limited if employees are elderly, have compromised immune systems, or are pregnant. These groups of people are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus and succumb to serious health impacts. Majority of deaths from the coronavirus have been among these groups, not healthy adults.
It is important to have a company plan in place for employees travelling out of the United States to obtain medical care if they need to do so overseas. A U.S consular office can help locate healthcare services if they are needed.
Additionally, those who exhibit respiratory illness symptoms should not travel while they are sick.
Plan Now for the Possibility of an Outbreak
The CDC recommends employers be ready to implement strategies to protect their employees from a coronavirus outbreak by having an established plan called an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan.
The major tenets of an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan are as follows:
- Identify and address possible workplace related exposure and health risks.
- Review human resources policies to allow for short-term changes like work from home and flexible work hours.
- Identify business functions, job roles and critical elements in supply chains essential to maintaining normal business operations. Plan for how your business will continue to operate if there is increasing absenteeism or if any supply or command chains are interrupted.
- Know where to go for the latest local public health news and have a system to distribute this information to employees.
- Implement cross-training to ensure multiple employees can complete essential job functions in response to absenteeism.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to take extra precautions to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus, such as those in the healthcare industry. However, for those of us who aren’t at high risk for infection, we can simply take commonsense precautions every day to keep healthy from the common cold, the flu or even the coronavirus.
Guarantee Restoration Services
From wiping down high traffic and touch areas to fogging with anti-viral cleaners, our team is available to help you when you need us most. Guarantee Restoration was founded in 1974 and has 4 branches along the gulf coast. Our services include fire, water, mold and storm property damage; however, our greatest service is our solutions. Call our team at 1-800-349-HELP!