Getting back to business post-COVID-19 – Preparing your workplace for Coronavirus
As we're all trying to return to business and open up our premises post COVID-19, there are quite a few things that have to change to keep staff and customers healthy and safe.
Many new rules and regulations will have to be followed, new technologies to be implemented, and social distancing to be enforced throughout businesses around the world.
While our government and health specialists are trying their best to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, it's essential to try and stay safe at home and in your place of work.
To aid in preventing not only the spread of the Coronavirus but also the spread of all viruses in the workplace now is the time to start implementing features that help prevent the spread of diseases and help keep workers safe at their jobs.
Here are several things to consider when reopening your workplace to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Improve your air quality
Air quality fact for the day: Most office buildings' air supply is made up of just 25% fresh air from outside.
The other 75%? It's recirculated and filtered throughout the building. That means that the air you breathe in your office has already been in contact with other people inside the building.
If indoor air isn't regularly filtered, it can contain a more substantial level of pollutants then the air outside. That is why effective ventilation systems are necessary for the workplace. They're perfect for helping flush out the bad air and recycling in the good air.
There are 3 main strategies to help control indoor air quality:
- Manage/remove/isolate pollutants (through physical barriers, air pressure relationships, or control of the timing of their use).
- Dilute/remove pollutants through ventilation.
- Use filtration to clean the air of pollutants.
A modern, effective HVAC system is essential to keeping your workplace safe from Coronavirus.
Vacuum after hours only
Vacuuming is a risky business.
If people have any infections or bacteria on their shoes, they can then walk it around your entire workplace. When the cleaners come in and vacuum, it can blow dust particles filled with bacteria into the air and increase the chance of spreading infection. Because of this, you should try to avoid vacuuming during the day while people are at work at their desks.
When vacuuming, advise all cleaning staff and any employees that are still around to wear masks and gloves.
It would help if you also made sure that the vacuums at your workplace are fitted with HEPA filters to reduce the risk of any virus spreading around the office building.
Use the power of UV to disinfect
The Coronavirus is dangerous because of its ability to spread quickly, but by using a UV disinfection system at your workplace, you can reduce the risk of infection.
By adding an upper-air and HVAC germicidal fixture to the system in your workplace, you'll decrease the potential spread of any airborne diseases in your offices.
UV germicidal systems are great for reducing the number of deadly pathogens that are found in your average HVAC system and drain pan. If you don't reduce the number of pathogens, they'll spread around your workplace and cause illness.
It's important to note that UV systems can kill a lot of germs and deadly pathogens, but it's not confirmed whether it has any effect on COVID-19.
Introduce a touch-free zone
Installing touch-free facilities in your office building is the perfect way to reduce how much contact workers have with each other and their surroundings. This reduced contact will help prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Some examples of touch-free facilities are:
- Automatic soap dispensers
- Automatic taps
- Automatic hand dryers
- Foot hooks for opening doors
- Electric doors
- Sensor-controlled lighting
Do HVAC systems need to be changed to prevent COVID-19?
HVAC is a lot more complex than you might think, and simply installing a higher MERV rating filter in your system won't help your situation.
Higher MERV filters can restrict your airflow and put your system under a lot of pressure. That can cause your unit to be less efficient and be more likely to break down and stop working altogether.
Humidification, air conditioning, and duct cleaning have zero effect on the Coronavirus, and it won't impact how it's transmitted.
That is good for you and your office life because it means you don't have to worry about changing your unit.
Your HVAC system won't be able to fend off the virus, but keeping it clean, maintained, and working efficiently will help improve the working environment.
Make sure that you're changing the filters in your HVAC unit every month. With so many people coming in and out of your office daily, it's easy to have a build-up of dust on your filters.
Remember, having a clean filter means having clean air to breathe.
Ultimately, a person's health is their responsibility once the correct preventative measures are in place. If employees do not adhere to the measures you put in place to keep them safe, their health is in their own hands.
Our team is here for you if your home or office has any plumbing, HVAC, or electrical issues that need fixing during this pandemic.
We've implemented a range of measures to avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus during both home and office visits including:
Contactless payment options
Wearing face masks and gloves