Returning to work safely during COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much a part of our lives, occupational safety and health is even more important. Now that many people are back at work, it is crucial to ensure that everyone is safe, and that the workplace is hygienic. Before we get into the measures you can take to remain safe, let’s take a look at how COVID-19 spreads.

When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on surfaces and objects likes desks, tables or telephones. Others may then catch the virus by touching these contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching their eyes, noses and mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them.

Most people who are infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some do experience more serious illness and may have to be admitted to hospital. People over 40 seem to be more vulnerable. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.

Stay safe and stop the spread of the Corona virus in the workplace by following these simple steps:

For employers:

  1. Keep the workplace clean and hygienic.
  2. Disinfect surfaces like desks, tables and objects like keyboards and telephones as often as possible
  3. Install paper towel dispensers in bathrooms instead of having towels
  4. Keep hand sanitizers around the office for people to use
  5. Promote regular and thorough handwashing by displaying posters promoting correct handwashing
  6. Promote social distancing
  7. Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips
  8. Brief employees, contractors and customers that if COVID-19 starts spreading, people with even a mild cough or low fever will need to stay home.

Employees must:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Wash hands regularly and thoroughly
  3. Make use of hand sanitizers
  4. Keep a safe distance between yourself and your co-workers
  5. Stay home if you have even mild symptoms of COVID-19 and let your employer know.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

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