It’s a frightening time in the world. Everywhere you turn, it seems, there’s bad news and worse news, from supply shortages to job losses to economies on the brink.
However, in times like these, safety is more important than ever. And keeping your workers safe does not require moving the Earth – even simple steps can make a huge difference.
To that end, we’ve compiled three basic safety measures during COVID-19 that everyone ought to use.
Stay Home If You Can
There is no vaccine for coronavirus, nor is there any medication that can treat it (and no, antimalarial drugs don’t work either – they actually heighten the risk of cardiac arrest, putting you at much greater risk of fatal coronavirus infection.
Because there are no current medications, and because hospitals are so overrun with patients that those with mild symptoms are actually at greater risk of harm if they go to a hospital, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is avoid getting sick in the first place.
To do that, you need to stay home. Keep your kids at home, avoid going out whenever possible, and eliminate contact with individuals outside of your household unless strictly necessary (necessary includes, for example, a pharmacist giving you medications).
We understand this is not possible for every worker. Some workers cannot complete their work from their own homes. For this reason, employers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to minimize the risk to workers and their families.
Wash Your Hands
If you have to leave your own home, washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself. Even if you don’t leave your own home, washing your hands often is encouraged.
Wash your hands after going outside, as well as after you handle anything that has been touched by someone outside your immediate household. The CDC recommends using soap and water whenever possible, as this is most effective at removing all types of germs and chemicals from your hands. Hand sanitizers should only be used if you’re out in the community and do not have access to soap and water.
When washing your hands, wash thoroughly for at least twenty seconds. The “Happy Birthday” song is effective, but if you’re sick of singing a celebration song when it’s not anyone’s birthday, here’s a list of lyrics you can use instead.
Finally, washing your hands won’t do much good if you immediately touch something covered in germs (your phone, for example, which is ten times dirtier than a toilet seat). To that end, you should regularly disinfect surfaces in your own home.
Pay extra attention to objects and surfaces that are touched often, such as phones, door handles, tables, faucets, desks, light switches, keyboards, and toilets. Use soap and water before disinfecting them – most common EPA-approved household disinfectants will work.
Need More Safety Measures During COVID-19?
We know that these are difficult times. The pandemic has tested us in ways that we never imagined and will continue to change the way we think about daily life. That’s why EHS Insight is here to support our customers in any way we can.
If you want to complement safety measures during COVID-19 with additional safety tips, check out our blog for more resources, like this post on social distancing during the pandemic.