Workplace infection control – protecting staff during a pandemic

2020 was certainly a year full of surprises.

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe, we’ve all had to adjust to a new way of living.

There’s been national lockdowns.

Businesses have been told to shut their doors.

Workers asked to stay at home.

The world we woke up to on January 1st 2020 feels like a lifetime ago.

Yet despite all the doom and gloom, there is hope. The promise of mass testing and vaccines in the spring has given us a much needed road-map out of this crisis, and a feeling that normality is just around the corner.

But we’re currently still navigating a hard winter. The spread of coronavirus, as well as many other respiratory illnesses, has worsened. Businesses must do all they can to implement effective infection control measures across offices and worksites to protect their staff.

Hands, face, space. Improving personal hygiene at work.

The great risk that coronavirus presents, especially in the workplace, is that many who have the illness are in fact contagious before showing symptoms. This allows the disease to quickly spread through offices, buildings sites, and then communities.

So, implementing workplace personal hygiene procedures is more important than ever. And while we are already well-versed in the two-metre social distancing rule, which can help prevent the spread, this should not be the sole approach.

Good hand hygiene must also be promoted. Staff should be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water. We also recommend setting up hand sanitiser stations at various locations within the workplace, such as upon entering certain rooms or locations, to help prevent germs spreading between different areas.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may also be necessary, depending on the work environment you are in. Respiratory illnesses are often transmitted via particles from the nose and mouth, so face masks and visors will help prevent the spread of these particles, as well as protect the wearer.

Discover Leach’s range of solutions to help improve personal hygiene in the workplace.

Keep your distance. Infection prevention.

Of course, the official guidance is to currently work from home where possible. This will clearly help limit numbers and therefore the risk of spreading illnesses. But for the scaffolding and construction sectors, that just isn’t feasible (unless we start erecting scaffolds around our own homes).

That makes infection control measures crucial to limit the spread. Deep cleaning is an important first step, but not enough to ensure a Covid-19 secure environment. There are plenty of areas in offices or on-site that staff may meet or pass, such as doorways, stairs, work areas, communal facilities and more. All areas must be reviewed and a plan put in place to ensure social-distancing can be maintained at all times.

Clear signage will be important here to effectively communicate to workers where they can be, and how many people can be in one area at a certain time. If there are circumstances where it is impossible to implement the social distancing rules, it’s important to enforce other measures, such as sheeting or panelling.

We want to help keep your team fit and healthy. Discover Leach’s range of workplace infection control solutions to reduce the spread of coronavirus.