How to Practice Social Distancing at Work to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
The coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) outbreak has greatly affected normal operations in almost all workplaces across the globe. The virus usually spreads when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks, and droplets released in the process land in the mouth or nose of a person nearby.
If a person also touches an object or surface that has the virus and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, they may get infected. One of the optimal ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is by limiting face-to-face contact with others. Health professionals encourage everyone to practice social distancing to limit opportunities for coming in contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing, also known as physical distancing is the act of keeping space between yourself and the people around you. By practising social distancing, you reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus hence slowing its transmission across your workplace and the country.
Anyone can get and spread the virus. One unfortunate thing about COVID-19 is the fact that one can spread it before they even know they’re sick. This makes it even more important to avoid getting closely in contact with other people, even if you or they have no symptoms.
How to Practice Social Distancing
All workers and customers should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times. This includes when they are in restrooms, locker rooms, on breaks, while eating, getting coffee, or when they’re dispersing for their homes. Organisations can also implement different measures to help encourage workers and customers to practice social distancing in the workplace. For instance, you can easily install a social distancing barrier to help reinforce social distancing practices in your business.
Frequently touched common surfaces such as desks, workbenches, telephones, equipment, and tools should be kept clean at all times. Ensure to also limit unnecessary visitors in the work area.
Eliminate non-essential meetings in the workplace. If necessary, consider taking the meetings online. You can use video conferencing, teleconferencing, or email for communications with workers and clients who you may have previously held in-person meetings with. In situations where in-person meetings are unavoidable, try breaking them into smaller groups of people in accordance with the relevant regulations and guidance. The meetings should also be held in open, well-ventilated spaces and encourage the participants to wear cloth face coverings and maintain a distance of 6 feet apart.
Social distancing practices should also be observed outside work. Workers using carpooling or shared transportation to/from work should avoid sitting close to one another and always wear cloth face coverings. It’s vital that you always practice coughing and sneezing etiquette.
Workers who appear to develop common symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, and fever should contact their supervisors and stay at home. Should you develop any of the symptoms or feel ill during the course of your workday, ensure to separate yourself from the work environment as soon as possible and notify your supervisor.