With businesses finally re-opening throughout Victoria (for the second – and hopefully, final time), the topic of COVID safety is no doubt on your mind.
In particular, you’re thinking about ways you can protect your staff and customers’ health, and build a COVID-safe workplace.
As part of that, you’ve probably implemented policies like:
- Capping customer numbers
- Requiring everyone to wash their hands regularly
- Mandating gloves (on top of current mask requirements)
- Spreading out workspaces
- Regular disinfection for high-contact areas
- Placing COVID-19 signs around the workplace
Months ago, we talked about how workplace safety signs can keep your employees safe. Today, we’d like to talk about some of the lesser-known ways you can protect your workplace from COVID-19 and COVID-proof your business.
Don’t worry, you won’t need to arrange for disinfectant fogging or anything excessive like that – in fact, most of these measures are easy to implement!
6 lesser-known social distancing tips to keep your workplace COVID-safe
1) Keep records of all visitors for contact tracing
If you work in hospitality or food service, you’re no doubt already familiar with this requirement.
For other industries however, it’s something that you should definitely be thinking of!
Controlling the spread of the coronavirus relies on good contact tracing, focused on identifying, assessing and tracking people who may have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient.
As part of that, it’s imperative that you keep records of everyone who comes into your business.
For each customer, delivery driver or supplier, you’ll want to take:
- Contact numbers
- The times they visited
There are a lot of ways you can do it – if you want a high-tech system with backups and without any physical contact, you can set up a digital system with a QR Code. Alternatively, you can go manual, with a logbook (with a bottle of hand sanitiser next to it, naturally).
2) Staggering shifts and break periods
Fewer people means less risk of the virus spreading – simple as that!
The fewer people share a room at once, the lower the risk. A great way to protect your staff is to stagger shifts and break periods.
For example, you might decide to roster half of your team to work in-person, and the other half to work remotely (now that remote working has proven itself for many industries), with both halves alternating each week.
Another good idea is to make it so that everyone has a different break period. Instead of everyone cramming into the break room, you’ll be able to minimise the number of people taking lunch at the same time.
3) Putting in plastic barriers
You’ve probably seen these springing up around cashiers and checkouts in supermarkets throughout the state.
Why not bring them in for your workplace?
Keeping a safe distance maintaining social distancing simply isn’t possible for all employees. Information desks, tellers and kiosks… each of these roles can make it impossible for your staff to distance, or require them to come into close contact with customers.
To protect attending staff from potentially contacting the virus, it might be worth putting a plastic barrier or an acrylic barrier to prevent contaminated air, droplets and other particles from going from one person to another.
And it isn’t just for customer-facing roles, either.
If your operations require people to work shoulder-to-shoulder and it’s impossible to stagger shifts, it might also be worth installing barriers between workspaces.
4) Leave doors and windows open (if possible)
Indoor ventilation has a role to play in keeping the virus from spreading – and what better way to improve ventilation than by opening doors and windows to maintain good airflow?
It’s also a good idea to clean exhaust fans and air vents to ensure that they aren’t blocked, as well as using fans to increase your ventilation rate.
Of course, this isn’t going to be feasible all the time – we’re headed into summer, after all! That said, when the outside weather is pleasant enough, this is something you might want to think about!
5) Use emergency exits and side doors
Your emergency exits and side doors have been there since you first moved in – but how often have you actually used them?
The problem with using the main entrance is that it creates a bottleneck. When everyone turns up, they’ll all be going through the same door, reducing your ability to maintain social distancing.
One way to get around this is to stagger starting and leaving times – one person might come in at 9am and leave at 5pm as usual, while the next person’s starting and ending times might be adjusted to 10 minutes after, and so on.
Another is to make use of side entrances and emergency exits.
Encouraging your staff to use emergency exit door reduces the amount of unnecessary contact, thus reducing their risk and helping you ensure that your workplace is still following social distancing requirements.
6) Put up COVID-19 and social distancing signs
You’d be surprised by how many businesses and workplaces haven’t done this just yet!
To ensure that your staff is properly following social distancing rules, you will need to put social distancing and COVID-19 signs.
These signs serve to remind everyone of the importance of health and safety protocols inside the workplace, and tell them not to let their guard down.
Most importantly, they also lay out exactly what needs to be done to keep everyone safe such as:
- Outlining minimum distances
- Reminding people to wash their hands
- Outlining proper cleaning technique
- Designating standing and working areas
Everybody could use a little reminder every now and again – and don’t forget about customers and delivery drivers, who don’t know what rules you’ve implemented.
Maintain a healthy and safe workplace with Signsmart!
More than just hazchem signs and emergency information panels
When we say our mission is to help keep your workplace safe, we mean it.
This commitment goes beyond physical safety, and also covers protection against COVID-19, with a range of COVID-19 signs added to our selection of workplace safety signs:
- Social distancing signs
- Floor stickers
- Handwashing guides
And don’t forget, you can always get in touch with our team about our custom safety signs!
Let us know what you need, give us a sign and we’ll get the job done in no time.
Contact our sign experts on (03) 9687 3050 or visit our online sign shop to start shopping.