Our new post-pandemic world requires a new approach for so many industries. In industrial careers and specific shipyards, what can companies do to encourage and enforce social distancing and other safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace? Here are some suggestions for management to consider moving forward as the pandemic continues to affect our daily lives.
Enforcing Sick Time Policies
The biggest concern right now is the spread of the novel coronavirus. And the infection rate is exponential. That’s why it’s critical to enforce sick time policies. Don’t allow employees to experience symptoms from the flu or COVID-19 to come into work. Also, make sure they don’t feel as though they would be retaliated against for staying home.
Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to the flu, with a few notable exceptions. Symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and body aches
- Loss of smell or taste
There are more severe symptoms that require immediate emergency attention, as well:
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Unexplained confusion
- Inability to stay awake.
- Blue lips
Limiting People in the Workplace
It’s been demonstrated that prevention is one of the key factors in stopping the spread of COVID-19. One way to do that is limit the number of people in the workplace to make physical distancing easier. Some manufacturing facilities are doing this by spreading out shifts and adding a second shift if one doesn’t already exist. For employees who aren’t essential for manufacturing, such as office support, provide the tools to work from home.
Implementing Social Distancing
The term social distancing may be one of the biggest buzzwords of 2020. It refers to physical distancing, which means to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between non-cohabitating people. If you can, space workstations far enough apart and provide pathways so your team can avoid working closely with one another.
Requiring Personal Protective Equipment
Warehouse and fabrication environments were already well aware of the use of PPE. But in most cases, it was about on-the-job protection such as back braces or work boots. But now PPE has become a household term. To protect employees and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, encourage the use of facemasks, and face shields on the job.
Cleaning and Sanitizing Polices
Cleaning regularly touched surfaces has also proven to be an effective way to slow the spread of this persistent virus. Some businesses have a dedicated employee to disinfect doorknobs, bathrooms, and breakrooms. You can also provide disinfecting wipes of spray for your employees to use at their work station.