So you decided you had enough steps for the day and opted to take the elevator. Did you wash your hands after pressing that elevator button? Well bad news for you, that coworker that coughed into his hand prior to you walking in didn’t. Now you’re at your work station, with your hands all over that keyboard or phone. In today’s crisis, the picture is enough to make you want to throw the whole day out.
On average, Americans spend 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work. That is a lot of opportunity to be exposed to everything that work entails. Project deadlines, painful customer experiences, co-workers, and germs. Unfortunately, the workplace, regardless of the work being done, can be a petri dish for germs and bacteria.
Bacteria is a stealthy predator that we practically invite into the building to hang around while we go about our workday. Germs and viruses are patient and will hang around for hours after a carrier has left the workspace, one that you’re now working in. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the current big dog predator in town, waiting patiently to hang out with one carrier to another. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to defend yourself.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety & Health Administration have some tips to give yourself a chance against the spread of the Coronavirus and they are simple.
Wipe down your workstation. Before and after your shift, disinfect. Any surfaces that you touch need a good wiping down with disinfecting materials. You can use disinfecting wipes, sprays, etc. Your phone, keyboard, headsets, registers, or anything that is used constantly are breeding grounds for bacteria and need your cleaning attention. Make sure you are doing a proper disinfecting. A quick wipe down will not do the trick. The CDC recommends you keep the surface wet with disinfectant for at least 3 minutes.
Wash your hands. Constantly. If you feel like you haven’t washed them in a while, wash them. Just washed them but feel like you need to again, wash them. You cannot wash your hands too much. I’m not talking about a quick rinse off. That will do nothing to combat Coronavirus. The CDC recommends you lather for a minimum of 20 seconds in relatively warm water for the most effectiveness. Whenever you can wash your hands, you should. Sanitize when you are unable to wash your hands fully.
Avoid handshakes or other physical contact. You’re not being rude; you are being cautious. In the pandemic we face today, it is a practical idea to avoid physical contact with others. Coronavirus, like any other flu-like virus, is primarily transmitted via physical touch so it is an obvious practice to avoid during this time. Replace the handshake with a wave, smile, or a friendly thumbs up. Replace it with anything that keeps you from physically touching another person.
That’s it. Fairly simple steps that anyone can take in the workplace to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. Clean your area and keep yourself clean. These are simple practices to combat the aggressive COVID-19.