What’s critical as most businesses now reopened

There have been few moments in history where the implementation of heightened hygiene practices in the workplace have been so crucial. Right now, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing employers to consider how to limit the spread of the virus in their physical worksites and with that comes a tight schedule of disinfecting and cleaning practices.

Companies need to be increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces as well as common areas.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US and Canadian bodies like the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety have released detailed advice for workplaces that are reopened, touching on topics like hand-washing, using hand sanitizer, and preventing the spread of the virus in the workplace through regular cleaning.

When you think about cleaning and disinfecting, you’ve really got to make sure you’re up to date with your policies for everything that’s going on at your facility. A priority need is to focus on high touch surfaces, including door pushes, handles, touchpads, elevator buttons, faucets, sinks and electronic devices, and common areas, such as entryways, lobbies, hallways and restrooms, in addition to following guidance from government associations as well as using disinfecting materials in accordance with their instructions to minimize risk to employees and customers.

Besides stringent cleaning, other considerations that business leaders need to think about include social distancing measures, which could be challenged by the physical limitations at a facility or small business as far as their space and their occupancy goes. In some cases, these businesses might not be able to provide adequate space between employees or as they serve customers, which is why staggering those returning to work and looking to other options.

Many companies have already implemented their own cleaning and disinfecting procedures, though many other businesses likely feel daunted by the complexity of approaching reopening with health and safety guidelines in hand. Some have even attempted to re-open then changed their mind until a more formal plan can be implemented. However, the proven ability of a lot of businesses to adapt to this situation is a positive sign.

How businesses adapt in the coming months with the help and guidance of insurance and risk professionals will indicate their ability to operate with these new considerations. Successful businesses that have a clear understanding of their business objectives and how to continue offering their services are more likely to survive and thrive, versus someone that might be waiting to return to the old way of doing business that we may not go back to.

Source: by Alicja Grzadkowska for Insurance Business Canada

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