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Office safety checklist: Ensure your workspace is Covid-secure

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Mika, Staff Writer

Thursday, 17 June 2021

People are understandably nervous about returning to the office due to the ongoing pandemic. Though, it’s bound to happen eventually even if it’s only on a part-time basis as most of us continue to work from home.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to take steps to keep everyone safe from coronavirus as much as possible. Most importantly, this includes managing the cleanliness within your work premises. Here are some of the things you need to look out for to ensure your office will be covid secure once your employees return. 

Reduce touchpoints

Did you know that 80% of illnesses are passed on by touch alone? During the pandemic, we have all been reminded to use hand sanitiser, especially after touching a surface. This is something that needs to continue wherever possible. Any items that do need to be touched should be wiped down after use. Also, think about installing motion sensor activated devices to reduce the number of surfaces your employees have to touch in the first place. 

Hire a Cleaner

All employers must ensure their workplace is hygienically clean, and this is something that was a legal requirement well before Covid. The best way to make this happen is to hire an office cleaner to carry out daily cleans, especially while Covid is still looming. It’s also an idea to schedule a periodic deep cleaning of your premises. Every aspect from desks to communal kitchens and bathrooms need to be thoroughly cleaned. Doing so will also make the environment more pleasant to be in too. 

Take illness seriously

Bacterial infections come in many forms. As the vast majority of workplace illnesses can be attributed to the workplace itself, it pays to keep an eye on illnesses that come into the office. Before Covid, employees may have felt pressured to continue working while feeling unwell. Now we are acutely aware of how such actions can easily spread the illness to others. While it can be tricky to manage employee absence, giving the person time to recover so that they are on top form and are not contagious is for the benefit of the entire workplace. Be sure to keep up to speed with self-isolating advice on this issue which is also a legal requirement. 

Keep cleanliness in people’s thoughts

People are a lot more likely to wash their hands and wipe down their equipment if they are reminded to do so. Placing signs in common areas and bathrooms will help keep the messaging alive. Make sure there is a hand sanitiser at every entrance, and plenty of soap to wash hands with. You might also want to provide electronic wipes so that your employees can regularly clean their phone and computer screens, as these can be incredibly germy areas we don’t tend to think about. Verbal and email reminders are also a good idea. 

To sum up

There’s a lot to wrap your head around as you plan for your employees to return to work after Covid, which is why it pays to read up on the latest guidance. Cleanliness is one aspect you cannot afford to overlook since it will determine how Covid secure the environment is. Plus going forward, keeping the above tips in mind will help keep everyone safe from many of the other bacterial infections that can cause employee sickness. All of which will contribute towards a healthier and happier workplace.

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