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While your customers are extremely important to your business, the life-blood that keeps it functioning is your employees, and making their health a top priority is essential to future success.
With the rise of a global pandemic, the concept of employee safety has evolved beyond protection from physical harm into a more robust definition of safety.
As part of our dedication to our customers, we are sharing a few tips to help keep your employees safe.
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease is to limit direct contact. Barriers can come in many forms. Everything from creating physical space, to wearing protective gear, is a form of creating a barrier.
To understand which form of barrier is best for your employees, it is important to understand the different ways that diseases can spread. Pathogens can be spread through the air, sitting on surfaces, or through exchange of body fluids. When formulating a plan of action to ensure employee safety, it is a good idea to start with the most predominant risk in your specific industry.
For airborne pathogens, barriers that will prevent or limit inhalation will be the most effective. Airborne pathogens are extremely small. Face masks with a filtration system, or those that are rated to filter out airborne particulates, will be the most effective.
When filtration masks are not available, items like face shields and cloth masks can slow the spread, but will not prevent transmission. In this case it is best to combine these items with social distancing guidelines.
Nosocomial pathogens are those which can persist, and be transmitted on surfaces. These pathogens can often live several hours, several days, or even several weeks depending on the environment. There are two main ways to prevent transmission of these pathogens; sterilization of surfaces that may have contacted these pathogens, or disposal of the material altogether.
Fortunately there are many effective cleaners for killing pathogens. These may include sanitizing wipes, soaps, and more. Additionally, disposable personal protective equipment (PPE), serveware, utensils, and others, is available to substitute with more permanent options.
Many pathogens require a direct path into the body. These are often transmitted through open wounds, scratches, cuts, and soft membrane tissues such as eyes, mouth, and others. These can also be transmitted by not washing hands and then touching the face or rubbing eyes.
Taking active steps to ensure that hands are cleaned regularly with soap and that when possible, disposable gloves, disposable face masks, eye protection, and other items are used and properly disposed of. It is also advisable to ensure that trash cans are available that limits direct contact with contaminated materials, and that trash bags are sealed before being removed from cans in high-risk areas.
There is a certain psychological toll that accompanies times of stress. As an employer this should not be overlooked. Employees need to know that they are valued. One excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to your employees is to make sure that you have taken steps to address their concerns.
For employees whose job functions require interactions with customers, it is important to make sure that they have enough PPE to feel safe. This may include items that they wear, but this could also include signage to direct the behavior of customers to comply with safety regulations, or this could include physical barriers such as counter or point of purchase (POP) shields
In times of crisis it is common for solutions to evolve much faster than any one provider can react. A close network of vendors, thought leaders, and industry professionals can share solutions to shared challenges.
For this reason we have doubled-down on our commitment to provide solutions and be the industry partner you need. Our customer service team is prepared, and well positioned, to discuss the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to our world, and we are here to help guide you moving forward.