Many countries are slowly but surely opening after a long and intense lockdown. During June and July, it is expected that millions of people will return to work. While the pandemic is far from over, many people are now wondering: How should you keep yourself safe?
While there are many regulations both employers and employees have to adhere to, there are a few things you can do to ensure you stay safe and healthy when going back to your job.
Tips to keep yourself safe when going back to work
#1 – Invest in a high-quality travel-sized hand sanitiser
During the pandemic, we all stocked up on hand sanitiser – and with good reason! We were told that, should you not be able to wash your hands, then using a quality sanitiser was the next best thing. Now, with the return to work, it’s even more important to keep some hand sanitiser nearby at all times. By investing in a travel-sized bottle, you can simply pop it in your bag and take it with you wherever you go. For the best current specials on hand sanitisers, check online at discount pharmacies and the Woolworths catalogue.
#2 – Get a three-layer mask
If you’re going to make use of public transport to get to work, or if you work in a space with a lot of other people, then it’s recommended to wear a mask. A quality mask fits neatly over your ears or can be tied behind your head and comfortably covers your nose and ears. It is best to buy a three-layer mask, as these offer the most protection.
#3 – Invest in organic disinfectant
While it’s great that everyone is now trying to keep their homes and businesses as clean as can be, what many people don’t know, is that many disinfectants and cleaning products are not safe for humans or the environment. Organic disinfectants are recommended for cleaning your desk and other surfaces around your workplace. There are many CDC-approved cleaning products which are safer to use in your home and workplace, and these are easily ordered online.
#4 – Buy your lunch early or make it at home
If the idea of a crowded cafe or foodcourt worries you, then you may want to consider buying your lunch before the noon rush or bring your own from home. If you do happen to have to buy lunch from a nearby outlet, organise it to be delivered to avoid yourself having to venture into the crowded venue personally.
#5 – Improve ventilation
Given that leading bodies for health research such as the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has emphasised that the Corona Virus may spread through the air, social distancing of at least 1.5m is strongly advised. So, if you’re in the workplace, it’s a good idea to improve the ventilation in the area as best as you can. This may include investing in a desk fan or opening the windows and doors in your office if possible to do so.
#6 – Keep your distance
Your employer should ensure that you are able to keep a safe and healthy distance in the workplace, but it is also your responsibility to make sure you avoid crowded areas and stay at least 1-2 meters away from everyone (including in lifts and bathrooms!).
What can your employer do?
There are certain regulations your employer has to adhere to in order to operate safely.
- Appoint a worker representative to ensure safety measures are in place.
- Make sure that all business and safety plans are updated and visible around the workplace, including the business COVID-19 Response Plan and the occupational health and safety risk assessment.
- Communicate and implement workplace policies before employees return to work.
- Provide COVID-19 training to all employees.
- Have temperature testing in place for all employees before they enter the workplace.
Covid-19 may be with us for a while to come, but that doesn’t mean that our lives have to stop. If you have to go back to work, you can keep yourself safe by following the tips in this article. First and foremost, you don’t have to panic – simply practise good hygiene, keep your distance, and encourage others to do the same.