Ensuring Hygiene and Safety in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Woman working in her office wearing a mask to promote post-pandemic workplace safety

Providing your staff with personal protection equipment (PPE) (like masks) and encouraging employees to get vaccinated are just a few ways to ensure post-pandemic workplace safety. Yet, you can do more to help keep everyone safe.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace. Where you work must not contain known hazards that could cause serious physical harm or death. 

As an employer, supervisor, or facility manager, you are responsible for the personal health and safety of those working within your organization. So, what should you do to ensure their well-being?

Let's review what you can (and should) be doing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Conducting a risk assessment will allow you to determine the best course of action to keep your business's employees, visitors, and patrons healthy and safe.
  • There are four critical elements to the hierarchy of controls over virus transmission reduction. These include physical distancing, engineering controls, administrative controls, and PPE.
  • Early prevention requires implementing a notification system for how people should manage exposure and confirmed infections. You will need to train employees on guidelines, processes, and policy changes.
  • Proper hygiene requires restroom fixtures that help people avoid contaminated surfaces. By installing touchless faucets and fittings, you decrease the chances of transmission.

5 Ways to Ensure the Hygiene and Safety of Staff in a Post-Pandemic

Health and safety in a post-pandemic workplace are just a few components in ensuring the protection and wellbeing of your staff. Compliance is another.

Many places worldwide have lifted some of the mandates regarding public health. Yet, many still require organizations to enforce specific policies focused on hygiene and safety practices.

There are five ways to ensure you provide your staff with safety policies that focus on their health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic world. 

1. Conduct Risk Assessments  

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) recommends that companies conduct risk assessments regularly as a proactive approach to workplace safety. The organization also recommends that your company earns a Risk Assessment Certificate certifying your organization's expertise in conducting risk assessments. 

A risk assessment charts the level of risk and the value of loss that would follow an outbreak (or severe injury) within your company. It also outlines the likelihood of an event and the frequency it may occur. 

Risk assessments in a post-pandemic workplace will ensure that you have set effective protocols to mitigate viral outbreaks. 

2. Develop Systems for Reducing Transmission Risks  

Infograph pyramid of hierarchy of controls for reducing transmission  

The hierarchy for mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses includes four critical elements:

  • Physical distancing
  • Engineering controls
  • Administrative controls
  • PPE

Your organization must develop a system for reducing the risks of transmission. One way to do this is by separating desks and cubicles. 

Provide physical barriers, sanitization stations, and consider implementing a hybrid work model. By allowing employees to work from home a few days a week, you can limit the number of people in the office at one time. 

That provides for better physical distancing. As you can see from the chart above, that is the most effective way to mitigate the transmission of harmful viruses, like the Coronavirus.

3. Implement a Notification System  

Set up a system for notifying partners and employees when there has been possible exposure. Discuss the steps the organization is taking to minimize exposure.

Ensure that any employee who tests positive does not come into work during the timeframe recommended by the CDC, WHO, or Health Authority in your area. That would include an isolation and quarantine period of 5 to 10 days. 

Set policies for what to do after a person has tested positive for COVID-19 and the protocol for returning to work (i.e., a specific number of isolation days).

4. Train Employees on all New Policies

Proper training is the first step in ensuring that your staff knows how to manage their workstation to ensure their (and others’) safety and wellbeing. They will need to learn how to maintain a clean work environment. 

They will also need to know what to do to avoid contracting or spreading viruses. You should encourage social distancing and enforce protocols sanctioned by health organizations. Your staff should also know what to do if an outbreak occurs.

The information you will need to cover will vary depending on your industry. Here are a few basic areas you will need to cover in your post-pandemic training:

  • Explain what COVID-19 is and how it spreads
  • Identify the guidelines your organization expects everyone to follow
  • Inform staff of the sick leave policy (especially any changes from the previous sick leave process)
  • Discuss the system of communication for sick leave notification
  • Show employees how to handle disinfecting agents properly and cleanliness processes

It is also essential to train employees to handle any hazardous materials. Designate a person (or group) to obtain certification in handling any materials that require specialized training. 

5. Upgrade Public Restrooms     

Health experts agree that when it comes to using a public restroom, you must get in and out as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of encountering harmful contaminants. 

There are several contaminating surfaces in the restroom. Installing touchless bathroom fixtures will reduce the number of surfaces employees, visitors, and patrons will have to touch. 

Handsfree is ideal for sinks, soap, and towel dispensers. What about the toilets in the stalls? You can install touchless dual-flush activators that help mitigate the spread of germs. These sensors also promote water conservation by using only the amount of water necessary to remove waste. 

Image of touchless actuators in public restroom stalls.

Healthy Buildings Require Touchless Hygiene Fixtures for a Post-Pandemic Workplace  

Mitigation protocols to reduce the risk of COVID transmission are only one part of ensuring the hygiene and safety of a post-pandemic workplace. Operating a facility that provides a healthy work environment means installing touchless fixtures throughout your building. 

You can install sensors in many places throughout your facility. However, none are as essential as those in the public restroom. At Chicago Faucets, we offer sustainable and durable touchless faucets, fixtures, and fittings that enable you to run a building healthy for anyone who enters. 

Ensure that your employees, visitors, and patrons remain healthy and safe. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you operate a healthy building.

Topics: healthy buildings, post pandemic workplace, post pandemic workplace safety