Become Hygiene Champions in your workplace.
Right now many businesses are preparing for the re-opening phase. Most business owners are facing practical challenges of how to implement physical distancing in the workplace and, how to ensure premises are cleaned and maintained to minimise infection transmission.
There are some simple things you can do to minimise infection transmission in your workplace, for example:
◊ Ventilate the office space, ensure air vents are open and air conditioning units well maintained.
◊ Clean and flush water drinking fountains, run taps and renew water dispensers.
◊ Hand sanitiser, tissues and pedal waste bins at every desk.
◊ Daily cleaning disinfection regimes.
◊ Where 2m distancing cannot be maintained between desks, use wipeable screens/barriers.
◊ Appropriate signage to communicate HSE recommendations.
◊ Remove all non-wipeable materials e.g magazines in waiting rooms, posters that are not laminated.
◊ Use wipe boards and remove cork pin boards.
◊ Regular, recorded cleaning of restrooms and kitchen areas.
◊ Furniture and fixtures should have a cleanable surface and be in good repair.
◊ Keep up to date with regards to guidance on facemasks in the workplace.
Appoint a Hygiene Champion
Every business will have adopted a work from home policy and ICT support where applicable. Team restructuring and incorporating split shifts ensures separation of
critical personnel to protect the business function. The communications coordinator should manage the response plan in the event of a suspected COVID-19 incident and have a designated isolation area.
All organisations should keep a contact log for their staff with the objective of zero contact for each day in the workplace. Using sign in sheets and logbooks for deliveries and visitors. This information may be needed for contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.
How to defend against the spread of COVID-19.
Employee hygiene practices are important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employers can refer to the HSE recommendations and guidelines to help them reinforce this message. Guidelines are updated regularly as the situation evolves.
It is advisable to provide staff training and information in terms of hand hygiene, cough etiquette and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Cleaning practices – Each business will be different, but the method of keeping surfaces clean to minimise the spread of infection is the same. Daily cleaning of workspaces is necessary with a structured plan for more regular cleaning, and also, where necessary, disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
Small premises typically employ cleaning personnel where larger firms outsource this to a contract cleaning company. It is important to ensure all cleaning personnel are trained to best practice standards in order to minimise the spread of infection, and that use of correct PPE and appropriate cleaning products are strictly adhered to. The days of out of date checklists at the back of the door are gone. Transparency and accountability is now of utmost importance.
Physical distancing should be implemented and can be achieved in a number of ways, e.g. implementing a queue management system for bathroom facilities with correct distance markings/using video meetings and introducing split shifts.
Work Areas should be divided into zones where possible, with personnel/teams allocated to a specific/nominated zone. Movement must be restricted between such zones, again, wherever possible. Workplace signage is available to download on the gov.ie website.
Employers primary concern is to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Updating processes and enhanced cleaning processes are imperative to protecting staff.
There are plenty of trusted and reliable resources available to read and download on the HSE website and also, from the HPSC website.
Gathering, interpreting and keeping up to date with guidelines is a huge challenge for business owners. As Infection Prevention and Control experts we understand that employers are looking for trusted and qualified service providers. We offer tailored packages to help you get back to work safely.
We offer a remote audit of your premise using videolink and provide you with a detailed risk assessment and hygiene audit in line with the enhanced national hygiene standards necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Talk to us today.