The existence of COVID-19 has created an indefinite change in the way most industries view and exercise their sanitization and disinfection practices. Although approximately 5 to 20 percent of employees come down with the seasonal flu each year, the recent Coronavirus strain has proven to be far more destructive, as it appears to be more transmissive and more deadly than the regular seasonal flu.
The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for all industries to observe elevated precautions in regards to infection control in the workplace. Your business must observe workplace preparedness for COVID-19 in order to ensure the health and safety of both your employees and clients.
What are the potential risks of infection in the workplace?
Infectious agents, such as the COVID-19 virus, make preventing infection in the workplace extremely crucial. COVID-19 presents an additional challenge because its infection agents are airborne, and can be transmitted through sneezing and coughing, as well as through skin-to-skin contact and contact with bodily fluids. Cross-contamination can also occur when the virus particles land in food or on materials that you touch, such as clothing and surfaces.
All forms of transmission, regardless of the virus can increase the risk of infection for business owners, employees, and clients. In order to prevent infection in the workplace, it’s important to understand how infection can spread, and what can subsequently be done in order to ensure that the risk of contamination is limited.
Having proper measures in place to ensure that contamination and cross-contamination do not occur is your best line of defense in regards to ensuring a healthier, safer work environment for anyone who may enter your workplace.
What should you do to prevent the spread of infection in the workplace?
When understanding how to control infection in the workplace, it’s imperative to have a business continuity plan that has protocols in place to protect your employees.
Employees should take an active role in any preventable actions that eliminate how infection may spread in the workplace. These actions may include:
- Regular hand washing
- Use of sanitary wipes
- Use of antibacterial hand sanitizers
- Use of proper cleaning products (i.e. hospital grade disinfectants, if at all possible)
- Use of bleach
In addition, it is crucial for employees and business owners to adhere to workplace policies and procedures for infection control.
These precautions include:
- Wearing gloves and masks
- Making sure that any broken skin is covered and bandaged
- Reduction of communal supplies (e.g. pens, implements, etc.) and bringing your own supplies to work on a daily basis
- Safe disposal of hazardous materials (e.g. sharp objects)
Aside from these practices, having guidelines for workplace health and safety infection control will keep both business owners and employees aware of what needs to occur in terms of infection control. Since cross-contamination is the single most prevalent source of viruses in the workplace, workplace infection control guidelines can eliminate the possibility of infection before it occurs.
Why is this critical for infection control practices in the workplace?
Although the spread of COVID-19 has certainly made many business owners aware of why workplace cleanliness is the frontline of protection in the prevention of infection and contamination, there are legal reasons why a workplace infection control policy must be put in place.
If you do not have the proper infection control guidelines in the workplace that observe the necessary precautions for COVID-19, you could risk having your workplace shut down due to the virus.
In addition, failed health inspections due to unsanitary conditions can be grounds for a lawsuit. Lawsuits due to infection in the workplace, especially during COVID-19, are a huge risk for many business owners who do not mitigate the potential risks. Hiring a qualified commercial cleaning service can help you safely remove harmful pathogens from your workplace, and better maintain a healthy environment.
Although there are never any guarantees when it comes to infection, workplace infection control procedures and preventative measures are your best possible course of action to ensure that you eliminate the potential of any lawsuits due to lack of adherence to infection control guidelines.
Infection Control in the Workplace: Summary
It has never been more essential than it is now to ensure that all health and safety guidelines in the workplace are observed. By ensuring that both you and your employees have all of the proper tools in place to prevent the possibility of infection and cross contamination in the workplace, you ensure that your work environment stays as safe as possible.
When it comes to moving and disposing of potentially harmful pathogens, be sure to work with an environmental contractor that you can trust. Ferro Environment has the skill set, professionalism, and integrity to ensure that your workplace is free of all pathogens that may lead to infection in the workplace.
In response to unprecedented client demand, we have launched Certiclean, a commercial cleaning services division of Ferro Canada. When cleaning your workplace, our skilled contractors use only commercial and hospital-grade cleaning products for increased effectiveness. In the event of a more serious biohazard in your workplace, have peace of mind knowing that our team is trained and qualified to provide you with a thorough HazMat response to safely eliminate harmful pathogens.
Contact us today – we’re here to help.