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Can You Protect Employees from the Coronavirus?

March 17, 2020 by Total Fire and Safety

 

By now, most Americans are aware that you cannot contract the Coronavirus by drinking a Corona beer! We also know that the Coronavirus outbreak, that began in Wuhan, China, has spread across 27 countries including the United States. It is estimated that over 87,000 people are infected with the coronavirus or COVID-19 and numbers continue to climb.  Much is unknown about the virus that causes COVID-19, but Doctors and scientists are drawing knowledge from similar coronaviruses and are working on a vaccine.  What is the coronavirus and how can you as a business, keep employees healthy?

What is the Coronavirus(COVID-19)?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from human to human and causes with respiratory infections, like the common cold.  The infection can become severe when it turns into pneumonia. One of the challenges to this virus is that symptoms may not show for two weeks, making it easy to spread.

What Can Employers do to Keep Employees Healthy?

The following is the CDC’s recommendation for businesses to create a healthy work environment.

1. Encourage sick employees to stay home. Employees should be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.  Stay flexible when it comes to sick leave, i.e., not requiring a healthcare provider note to stay off work. Provide job security and/or remote access when/if they need to stay home.

2. Encourage clean hands. Provide touch-free sanitizer dispensers, cleansing wipes, soap and water etc. Place informational posters throughout the workplace that encourage healthy precautions.  Instruct employees to use hand sanitizers or wash hands with soap for at minimum 20 seconds.

3. Enforce Coughing Etiquette. Emphasize the need to cover mouths with arm when coughing or sneezing.

4. Quarantine sick employees. If employees come to work sick or become ill while at work, separate them from the rest of the population and send them home.

5. Sanitize touch points daily. Routinely clean doorknobs, buttons, switches, handles etc.(Any area frequently touched).  Have readily available disposable wipes near commonly used surfaces.

6. Stress caution to employees traveling in or outside the country. If employees become ill while traveling, advise them to contact a healthcare provider immediately.  Employees who show symptoms of illness prior to traveling should stay home.

A first aid kit can help!

A first aid kit should always be on hand for any business, but with a new virus in town, its value is even greater. Basic first aid kits contain items like pain relievers and fever reducers, antacids, and bandages to keep employees comfortable and on the job. Other items in a typical OSHA-required first aid kit can also come in handy to help employees fend off coronavirus:

Wound cleaning agents such as sealed moistened towelettes can be used to disinfect surfaces.

Latex gloves can come in handy to touch necessary items that may be infected

Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask

Meanwhile, those with symptoms can make good use of other OTC supplies: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Decongestants

Total Fire and Safety can assist your business in preparing for the coronavirus or any other emergency that may occur by servicing your first aid kit. Together we can fight this epidemic and keep one another healthy Give Total Fire and Safety a call today! (630)960-0560.

 


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