With the rapid spread of Coronavirus around the world and most recently our nation Nigeria, there is need to take precaution to prevent its spread, especially at the workplace.
Coronavirus affects the human respiratory system, causing symptoms from sneezing to coughing to shortness of breath and in some cases could lead to death.
Below are a few ways to keep yourself protected and safe from the virus at the workplace:
• Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic
* Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly
* Why? Because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads
• Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers
* Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled
* Display posters promoting hand-washing – ask your local public health authority for these or look on www.WHO.int.
* Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings and information on the intranet to promote hand-washing
* Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water
* Why? Because washing kills the virus on your hands and prevents the spread of COVID-19
• Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace
* Display posters promoting respiratory hygiene. Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefing at meetings and information on the intranet etc.
* Ensure that face masks and / or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them
* Why? Because good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of COVID-19
• Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business
• Brief your employees, contractors and customers that if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community anyone with even a mild cough or low grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home. They should also stay home (or work from home) if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection
* Keep communicating and promoting the message that people need to stay at home even if they have just mild symptoms of COVID-19.
* Display posters with this message in your workplaces. Combine this with other communication channels commonly used in your organization or business.
* Your occupational health services, local public health authority or other partners may have developed campaign materials to promote this message
* Make clear to employees that they will be able to count this time off as sick leave.
Now is the time to prepare for COVID-19. Simple precautions and planning can make a big difference.
Action now will help protect your employees and your business.
– World Health Organization (WHO)