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How to Ensure Workplace Safety During the Pandemic

We’re now a few weeks into 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic has thoroughly transformed the way businesses operate. Whilst general workplace safety is being given more attention than ever before, the focus has diversified to also include social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitiser and reusable protection. Daily cleaning of a workstation with antibacterial wipes was once the routine of particularly health-conscious employees, whereas now it’s a central part of many health and safety policies. The world of work is changing rapidly, so SafetyCare is here to ensure that you stay ahead of the curve.



Everyone is crossing their fingers that the vaccine will be distributed quickly and the pandemic comes to an end sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we all have to work to the new normal and upgrade workplace procedures to safeguard against future pandemics.

As business owners focus on everything from best practices to biosecurity systems, the unifying factor is that every workplace needs to be held accountable for health and safety and reshape its H&S strategy to become Covid-proof.

 
Safety policies and risk assessments

Any business with more than five employees is legally obliged to have a health and safety policy, although we recommend putting one in place even if you have fewer staff. Yearly reviews are required by law and updating whenever suitable is a savvy move, as it means you’re prepared for all eventualities.

Though the coronavirus pandemic will end at some point, incorporating antibacterial measures and similar behaviour into your workplace culture is an excellent way to ensure that employees take health and safety seriously. The more vigilant they are, the lower the risk to your business continuity and employee wellbeing if another crisis arises.

 
Social distancing in the workplace

Humans get used to things very quickly. Everyone adapted to the coronavirus measures instantly and we’ll all return to pre-pandemic easily when the threat has gone. This means that right now is the perfect time to consider the layout of your offices and other working environments, tweaking them where appropriate to create more space between workers.

At the moment, the integrating of social distancing signs, protective screens between desks and floor markings in warehouses is helping staff to maintain their distance. Looking ahead to when social distancing is no longer a requirement, having extra room between workstations will play a role in stopping the spread of other germs and viruses. It could be a case of entirely redesigning your office or simply removing superfluous furniture so that there’s more space available – any improvements you make now will serve you for years to come, potentially reducing sickness and absenteeism.

 
Involve all of your staff

Your company will most likely have a health and safety manager, or at least someone who is responsible for reviewing your policies. Whilst this guarantees that standards are maintained on paper, the most effective way to prevent health and safety issues is by thoroughly training all staff.

There are multiple methods that can be adopted here. First of all, sessions in general health and safety and first aid are a sound investment, with refresher courses delivered each year to keep staff in the know. In addition, the allocating of a Health and Safety Champion in each department helps to keep the company safer as a whole. Visual management tools such as H&S boards in highly visible places are also useful, as they provide key information in seconds.

 

Keep an inventory of protective equipment

By maintaining a sufficient supply of face coverings, disposable gloves, antibacterial wipes and other precautionary items, your company will equip itself against future viruses and health crises. As for hand sanitiser, this is a habit that we think should and most probably will continue long term, as it eradicates bacteria and viruses at their source.

Whilst maintaining stock of hand sanitiser and other essential supplies comes with a small cost, it pays for itself in multiple ways. Your workplace will be safer and healthier than before, sickness will be less likely to spread through your premises, and your company will demonstrate how much it values employee wellbeing by taking a responsible and proactive approach.

 
We keep businesses safe

For more information and to place an order, call us on 01 8499 100 or email sales@safetycare.ie and we’ll help you to keep your staff and customers protected around the clock. 

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