As of the Pandemic in 2020, maintaining a safe and clean work environment in the office has become more than necessary. What measures can you take in order to protect yourself, your clients and your co-workers? We have made a complete list of basic principles you have to follow day after day until the end of the COVID crisis.
Temperature checks, filling up questionnaires about COVID symptoms and wearing protective masks is a must in every office building. Some employers even demand for temperature checks once every four hours, while others require once a day. The goal of all these actions is preserving the safe work environment in the office building, which is especially important when many people enter this closed space.
Employees who find out their temperature exceeds 37.3 °C at the temperature check in the morning has to inform their direct supervisor and the HR. In the name of the workplace health, it is necessary that they switch to home office.
Hand disinfectants, placed in the office entrance, ensure a fast and proven effective way to minimize the eventual coronavirus spreading. That is why hand disinfection is recommended each time you enter the office building. This requirement applies to all people entering the building, regardless of whether they are employees, or clients.
It is very important to notice that hand disinfectants should be located near the entrance of the office building, as well as near the entrance of each individual office. Toilets are the places where it is mandatory to have dispensers, as well as rooms for rest and meals.
ADVANCED COVID-19 SAFETY MEASUREMENTS
How to minimize potential hazards in the office during a pandemic?
Plenty of work hazards can be avoided with good hygiene and set office rules. Most of these are common sense, but it's important to remind ourselves of the basics every once in a while. By following these steps, your employees are less likely to take sick days. Additionally, you will also see increasing productivity almost instantly!
Why is it important to keep your workplace clean and tidy?
Having in mind the extensive evidence of the COVID's ability to survive for hours on any surface while preserving its ability to infect, maintaining office desks and flooring clean is a major part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID.
Each employee must clean his or her personal office space every day, without exceptions. Disinfection covers all contact surfaces - desk, armrests, computer keyboard and stationery.
Products you can use for disinfection come from different chemical groups: oxygen-active, cationic surfactants, alcohols for hand and skin disinfection. You can treat surfaces with bleach, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol antiseptics. Most of the ready-made antiseptics are also used in dentistry and surgery, so human safety is guaranteed.
It has to be mentioned that sprinkling with dry chlorine powder is prohibited. Vinegar treatments are ineffective against coronavirus.
Disinfectants should not be mixed with detergents, since with the interaction of some components, both agents can be neutralized and there will be no benefit from either one or the other. That is why it is impossible to carry out both cleaning and disinfection at the same time.
Why is frequent hand washing important?
Now, it is more important than ever to wash our hands frequently and to pay more attention to the way we do it. We need to use hand soap every time we wash our hands. We have to take off all the jewellery from our hands, including rings and bracelets, and spend at least 30 seconds in washing.
Why is it important to distance workstations from each other?
To minimize the risks of infection, each person should follow the basic requirements for clean and safe work environment in the office. The coronavirus spreads through droplets that form when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In addition, it can spread through contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs. After touching them, all it takes is to touch the eyes, mouth or nose to expose oneself to the risk of disease.
Physical distancing is an effective measure in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Relocating the existing workstations at greater distance is one way to apply this principle of physical distancing.
Keep the room temperature between 18 °C and 20 °C and the humidity percentage close to 40%
First, the air quality significantly affects the immune system of the human body and its resistance to viral attacks. If a person stays in a room with low humidity for a long time, immunity falls. If there is an increased content of CO2 in the air, it also greatly weakens the body. Therefore, to maintain the immunity of employees, the air in the office must be clean and well humidified.
Secondly, high humidity greatly reduces the concentration of active viruses in the air. For instance, if there is an infected person in the room, then viruses from him cannot spread as easily as in calm air. Simply explained, they are captured by drops of water, which gradually settle. Also, when someone coughs, in which an aerosol consisting of more than 10,000 drops of water with a virus is thrown into the air, the viral cloud spreads much worse, meeting drops with clean water on the way.
Thirdly, the longer the infected person stays in the room without ventilation, the greater the concentration of viruses in the air. But at the same time, due to the breathing of employees in the air, the content of carbon dioxide (CO2) also increases.
How to prevent indoor air pollution?
- Open windows or doors with screens.
- Run a window air conditioner equipped with an air inlet or fan for outside air, with the fan open.
Proper ventilation of the room will help you not only preserve the room temperature between 18 °C and 20 °C, but also keep the humidity percentage in the room below 60 %. There is plenty of scientific evidence that preserving a specific level of humidity in the room has positive effect over human body.
It is extremely important to keep the humidity percentage in your office close to 40 %. It has been proven that by preserving the humidity level in the room between 40-60 %, you can reduce the virus transmission by up to 70%.
Is it worth it to buy an air purifier?
When used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space. However, a portable air purifier alone is not sufficient to protect people from COVID-19. It can be a part of a plan to keep the office space safe and clean.
Why you should disinfect phones, computers, printers and door handles?
Office equipment should also be disinfected several times a day, even if it is used from personnel only. Disinfection needs to be performed minimum twice a day, as germ and virus transfer is otherwise very likely.
But let’s not forget the most important sanitization measure:
Contact a professional cleaning company
Professional cleaning is carried out in rooms with a large flow of people, since the likelihood of finding an infected person there is high. The general sanitary and hygienic condition of the premises is improved, safety for the office members and clients is guaranteed.
Having carpets in the office is the significantly reduced risk of slips, trips and falls. The carpet is also a big dust collector, so essentially the brought in dust and dirt will be trapped within the floor. So as long as the carpet is maintained regularly, the overall indoor air quality will be improved, which in turn improves the employee's health.
Carpet cleaning is an essential part of protecting others and ourselves from COVID. It has been proven that the virus stays active for several days and you can get infected if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your nose, eyes or mouth. When people enter your office, they wear shoes that can be contaminated with the virus. Professional cleaning products and steam cleaning in general work well against a polluted office environments.
For that reason, you need to consider using regular cleaning services for your carpets, especially when it comes to offices and other high traffic areas. Because a clean workplace equals the health and safety of the employees.