As time passes and the worst of the COVID-19 virus seems to have passed it can be easy to let your guard down. However, the truth is that this virus is still raging around the world and a second wave is not just possible, it seems highly likely.
That’s why now is the critical time, as the economy gets back on its feet. To avoid a second wave and further lockdowns, everyone needs to take the virus seriously and do their part to prevent it from spreading.
Here are 5 ways you can protect employees during COVID-19 and do you part.
1. Ensure Availability Of Hygiene Products
The key to preventing spreading of the virus is to wash your hands regularly and use face masks. In certain circumstances, it is also essential to use gloves and an array of other PPE work safety gear from alltradesgroup.net.au. It’s essential that you source an adequate supply for your workforce, ensuring they are able to wash or sanitize their hands regularly and they have the safety gear they need to perform their jobs confidently.
This isn’t just to protect your employees from contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill. Protecting them helps to ensure your employees are ready, willing, and able to work for your business as and when it is possible.
Of course, having the hygiene products available isn’t enough by itself. You also need to ensure the staff are using the products and adhering to the rules. Make it clear to them the importance of the guidelines and what will happen if they fail to comply.
Don’t forget that hygiene products are also essential for the cleaners. At some point your business premises will need to be cleaned down, it’s imperative that the cleaners are properly trained and have the necessary products. This is one of the most important parts of stopping the virus from spreading.
2. Promote Remote Working
One of the best ways of protecting your employees during this difficult period is to keep them away from each other. The most effective way of doing this is to promote remote working. You may be surprised at how easy this is to establish. Your staff will need to access work programs but this can be achieved through remote access to their work computers. They will feel like they are sat in front of their work monitor despite being sat at home.
There are various ways of creating opportunities to work from home. If it is possible for your staff you should establish a system and offer it to your employees. You won’t just be protecting the employees that stay home, you’ll be reducing the number of employees that need to be on-site with you.
When your staff start working from home it is important to trust them to keep working, although checking in on them periodically is acceptable.
There are a variety of apps that have recently been created to facilitate working from home while still allowing group chats, helping to ensure the creativity levels and morale stay high despite the fact that all the staff are in their own locations.
An additional benefit of creating a home working network is that this scenario is likely to continue, even after a virus has been created and the COVID-19 pandemic has finally passed. At least you’ll be prepared for the brave new world.
3. Create Social Distances
Any employee that needs to be in the workplace should practice social distancing. You’ll need to evaluate the current system and work stations in order to create the right amount of distancing while allowing the workers to get the job done.
Experts generally recommend a distance of 1m, although you need to stay abreast of government developments in case the rules change.
Most businesses will be able to adjust their layout to accommodate the social distancing guidelines. If this is not possible you’ll need to reduce the staff levels and possibly how you deal with customers. You’ll find that staff and customers are supportive, you are doing this for their own good.
4. Split Shifts
Another thing to consider that will limit the amount of contact between employees while keeping the business running is to change the shift patterns. Depending on your business you may find it is possible to split the shifts into morning and evening or something similar. This will effectively restrict the number of people on the premises which could make a difference to the spread of the virus.
Offering split shifts may also be beneficial to parents as they may be struggling to look after children during this period. It may even be something that you want to continue to offer in the future.
5. Lead By Example
There will always be those that don’t feel the restrictions are necessary or that they don’t really apply to them. You will need to be vigilant and reinforce the rules to ensure everyone abides by them.
However, it will greatly help if you simply lead by example. That means you wear the face mask at all times, gloves if necessary, and respect social distancing rules, and be mindful of any other potential opportunities to spread the virus.
After all, you can’t ask your staff to do something unless you’re prepared to do it as well. Leading by example makes it much more difficult for an employee to choose to ignore the rules.
Again, you’ll need to be clear of the consequences for staff that choose to ignore the guidelines. The restrictions and protection you put into place will only work if they are adhered to by everyone involved.
The best way to protect your employees, alongside implementing the above, is to use a little common sense. You’ll be able to evaluate your business, how it operates, and how the staff can keep working. Don’t be afraid to do anything you feel is necessary to keep yourself and your staff healthy.