Keep your personal devices sanitized and safe
The COVID-19 pandemic, which closed most American businesses from March 2020 to August 2020 – with most states opening up very slowly starting in August – has highlighted the importance of keeping a clean, safe, and sanitized workplace at all times.
Making sure that people have a safe place to work is not just something that needed to be done when COVID-19 hit. Every year during flu season, hundreds of thousands of man-hours are lost due to people who have to stay home from the flu, and the mortality rate for flu is pretty serious as well.
Then there’s other communicable diseases, like the ever-present cold, that no one wants to get!
So even when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, it still makes excellent sense to continue to use the cleanliness protocols that have been developed during this time to keep your employees safe, and your customers.
Wearing Face Masks
Perhaps the most visible sign that a business cares for its employees and customers is the use of protective face masks. Face masks help to ensure that the wearer’s germs, if any, do not get out into the open air.
Tiny invisible droplets from sneezes (whether from an allergy, dust irritating the nose, a cold, or flu) can be blocked or at least lessened from getting into the respiratory system of someone else by use of a mask.
Although it’s a good idea to wear a face mask, many people can’t do so because of health issues which make breathing hard enough as it is, without adding a layer of cloth between their nostrils and life-giving oxygen.
For these individuals, being assured that surfaces are clean is of the utmost importance.
This highlights the importance of wearing a mask even if other people aren’t for medical reasons. It’s still a good idea for the wearer to block their droplets from escaping.
Face masks do need to be replaced periodically.
When people are on the go – delivery drivers, couriers, and so on, they may not always have time to wash their hands. That’s when hand sanitizers come to the rescue. These bottles of goodness can be placed on tables inside the porticos of businesses, with a little sign saying “Please sanitize your hands,” or they can be carried in the center console of one’s car or truck, so the driver and passengers can be safe and sanitize their hands before going into a place of business and then after returning to the car.
For extra security, if an employee’s skin is too sensitive to use hand sanitizer on a regular basis. They can wear gloves. Gloves are especially important for food workers. Industrial latex free gloves are an excellent alternative to hand sanitizers. Gloves should be disposable and not used more than a couple of hours at a time before replacing them with a new pair.
Workplace Cleanliness and Sanitization
We’ve discussed what individuals – employees and customers/clients – can do to keep themselves safe from the spread of germs. Now let’s talk about what businesses can do to ensure the workplace itself is safe for employees and customers.
Set up a daily schedule for your cleaning staff
Whoever your cleaning staff might be (an internal employee or an outside service) it’s a safe idea to have a regular schedule for them to clean every inch of reachable surfaces – and then document that this has been done. This may be just once a day after all staff have gone home. If the building is high-traffic, having cleaners go about sanitizing surfaces twice a day or even more is a good best practice.
Cleaning staff should pay particular attention to washrooms – the toilets, urinals, and sinks and counter tops. In addition to cleaning these surfaces, the floor itself should be thoroughly cleaned with a sanitizing cleaner
Lobbies and entrances see high traffic and need to be cleaned regularly.
Warehouses – large, with high ceilings and generally packed to the rafters with product, can be difficult to clean. But the washrooms should not be neglected, and employees should wear masks at all time.
Let your employees help themselves
Provide your employees with cleaning wipes so they can wipe their desks or counters periodically – in particular after they’ve had a client or customer stop by for any length of time.
Don’t forget company cars!
Encourage employees to keep their cars clean and stocked with hand sanitizer (making sure they keep the bottle out of the sun by storing it in the center console in such a way that it can’t tip over!).
Company cars need to be cleaned on a daily basis. Encourage employees to use hand wipes to wipe the steering wheel and the front dash before and after every trip.
Getting into “the cleaning habit” will help prevent lost man-hours due to illness, from a wide variety of communicable illnesses including COVID-19.
Keeping the health safe of one’s employees and one’s clients and customers should be the top priority of every business. You can help make it so by stocking up on cleaning products and ensuring their daily use.