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February 28, 2020
5 min read

How to keep your workers healthy in the face of Coronavirus

With COVID-19 spreading globally it’s a good time to consider how your organization is managing the human side of infection control.

The spread has brought with it fear, panic, and coffee break gossip! As such, protecting your business means addressing both the physical and psychological impacts of a global pandemic. To make it simple we’ve outlined what you can do within our B3 Well Model: Building, Body, Business.

Building:

There are many ways you can physically reduce the risk of transmission in your work environment. Consider:

  • Providing hand sanitizer in all communal areas
  • Increasing cleaning schedules especially in communal spaces
  • Confirm building ventilation maintenance is up to date and designed to allow fresh air to flow.
  • Removing shared ‘open’ food items such as cookie jars and straws
  • Providing signage about personal preventive action (see ‘Body’ below)

Body:

Share how individuals can prevent infectious disease for themselves and those around them through education and signage. Common examples of personal protection include:

  • Cough and sneeze into your inner elbow
  • Avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes
  • Keep some distance from those who are showing signs of sickness
  • Consider riding your bike as an alternative to public transportation. It’s good for both you and the planet.

Business:

Preparing your business response to a pandemic can be difficult, but when it comes to your people’s wellbeing there are a few key things you should do:

Communicate
Keep employees up to date on any business changes as a result of infectious disease control measures.

 

Plan
Absence during this time is set to significantly increase. It can be as a result of illness, fear, caring for a loved one, quarantine, or preventative. Employees with symptoms of infectious disease should not be at work.

Planning for business continuity often means reconsidering working arrangements such as location. Working from home & via video conferencing can be a great way to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

 

Support
Promote a supportive workplace to ensure employees feel confident to advise on their personal health and ability to work. Acceptance and understanding will prevent further spread of infectious disease during this time. Making counseling services available for employees and their families can help with reducing and managing stress during this time.