Owning or managing a business is demanding at the best of times, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges that need to be met to help prevent an outbreak of the virus from damaging productivity and endangering employees and customers alike. Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps that can be taken to manage this.
Hands, face, space
Hands, face, space has been the message from the beginning of the pandemic and continues to be relevant. Make sure that your staff and customers have plenty of opportunities for handwashing, with hand sanitiser freely available. It is also worth considering whether you should ask that employees and customers continue to wear masks, particularly when moving around the premises. COVID-19 spreads easily in crowdedareas, so take a look at the layout of yourpremises and see if this can be avoided.
Good ventilation can prevent transmission of the virus. As the law states that workplaces should beadequately ventilated in enclosed areas, this issomething that should already be in place. Ventilation can be natural, such as open doors, windows and vents, or manual though fans and ducts.
The fewer people in the workplace, the less chance there is for transmission. Working from home isn’t possible in every business or every role within a business, but where it is possible, this isan option that can be considered. If employees can even occasionally work from home, this results in fewer people on the premises at any given time.
Regular COVID-19 tests can help prevent individual instances of the virus from spiralling into an outbreak that incapacitates a large portion of your workforce, and that could be dangerous, particularly if you have vulnerable staff and customers.
A twice–weekly COVID-19 test can easily becarried out at home, so even asymptomatic carriers of the virus know not to come into work. Matrix Diagnostics can quickly supply the rapidantigen tests required for this routine, as well as the COVID-19 PCR test needed for laboratory analysis.
Make sure that your employees know how to report their results and what to do if the test is positive. They may be concerned that a positive test will result in a loss of income, making themunwilling to be tested. Any reassurance you can offer on this will greatly increase the uptake of the tests.
Under normal circumstances, it is reasonable to ask your employees to schedule non-urgent medical appointments for times when they are not at work. However, in these unusual times, it is a good idea to relax this rule for the COVID-19 vaccination to allow your employees to be able to take the first available appointment for their first, second or booster injections, building up the immunity in your workplace a little bit quicker.
While it will continue to be challenging to run a business through a pandemic, by taking these steps, you can reduce your chances of outbreak at your workplace, bringing peace of mind to both employees and customers.