Things are opening up again, despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Your essential workers may have been with you all along, or they may just be coming back to work. Regardless of the situation, they need their jobs, and you need them.
But many of them are afraid of returning. In fact, EHSToday sites an Eagle Hill Consulting poll that says that 54% of U.S. employees say they are worried about exposure to COVID-19 at their jobs.
As an employer or manager of a manufacturing facility, how can you help your returning employees overcome their Coronavirus fears?
There are a few best practices you can take to help safeguard your employees through the pandemic as they return to work. Providing clear communications is critical to achieving employee confidence. Making sure employees know what to expect and when to expect it will limit unnecessary anxiety.
Best practices to keep your employees safe
It does not matter if you are a metal manufacturing facility or a food manufacturer, one thing that all facilities need is an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan for employee safety. We need to think of all industries as an essential business and follow CDC guidelines to keep manufacturing workers safe from diseases.
This plan will help prepare and guide protective protocol measures for the COVID-19 outbreak. To have an effective strategy, you must stay up to date regarding federal, state and local health agencies and follow their recommendations and workplace safety plans.
Here are a few tips and preventative measures from Osha.gov and CDC guidance to help you along.
Know where, how and what types of sources of SARS-CoV-2 your employees may be exposed to:
- The general public
- Other worksites
- The work they are exposed to at those sites
- Customers and coworkers, they may come in contact with
- International and domestic travel
Safety does not just stop at the workplace. Many risk factors can happen at home and be brought to work. Your employees may have individual risk factors that you need to be aware of. Age, chronic medical conditions, pregnancy, and compromised immune systems can cause an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure. It would be best if you had a contingency plan in place for situations that can cause increased absenteeism from sick workers.
In addition, practicing social distancing, staggering work shifts and downsizing the number of employees on each shift are critical for keeping your essential workers safe. Likewise, training workers on ways to add value across different job functions is imperative. When you focus on employee safety you also help protect the public health.
Your plan should also address other safety measures you and your employees can take to reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in your workplace with basic infection prevention. Implement and encourage proper good hygiene:
- Urge frequent handwashing.
- Provide alcohol hand sanitizer and scrubs as well as tissue and trash disposals throughout the facility.
- Encourage respiratory masks and other personal protective equipment.
- Provide protective clothing.
- Train workers for the proper sneeze and cough covering methods.
- Discourage the sharing of cell phones, tools, food, and utensils.
- Ask people not to congregate in the break areas.
- Enable your employees to work remotely when possible.
- Have a sick leave policy in place for employees with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Promote and maintain housekeeping and sanitation procedures by routinely cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and other workspaces. Use EPA-approved cleaning products that are effective against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses.
The best tool for prevention is to know the COVID-19 symptoms and to recognize a sick employee. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms may include but are not limited to:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Improving indoor air quality will help your employees overcome their return-to-work fears
Maintaining a safe workplace with good indoor air quality is critical for manufacturing operations. If your site isn’t properly ventilated, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) could lead to poor indoor air quality, which can result in serious health issues.
Fans are a great way to enhance existing ventilation systems, especially if you don’t want to spend a large sum of money.
Why ventilation is so important during COVID-19
Air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to the public and your employee’s health. Viruses can transmit through the air. So you want to make sure your employees are safe from particles or the smaller nuclei that can be suspended in the air. An HVAC system, proper ventilation and air circulation will help remove contaminated air and provide clean air to combat the spread viruses.
MacroAir HVLS fans help improve air quality
MacroAir HVLS fans are a great way to improve your business’s air quality. Why?
Air circulation: Our fans help mix trapped warm air from the ceiling with the cooler air from the floor level, keeping everybody comfortable.
High air speeds: Our fans reduce moisture accumulation, dust, pollen, mold spores and bacteria that spread germs and the transmission of airborne particles and diseases.
Powerful air flow: Our fans can cool sites as large as 22,000 square feet! We offer fans from 8 to 24 feet in diameter.
AirViz: AirViz has the ability to track the speed and pattern of air moved by our fans, predicting airflow, temperatures, cooling/heating effects and how many fans a space will need.
MacroAir HVLS Fans Help Create Peace of Mind
Your employees need to know that you are doing everything possible to help keep them safe, and indoor air quality is at the forefront of your safety plan.
During your employee communications, let your team know the four ways MacroAir fans will help ensure their health and safety – and comfort.
- Thorough air circulation to reduce the spread of viruses
- Elevated air speeds for a more comfortable temperature
- High volume, powerful air flow
- Reduced moisture and humidity
The pandemic has definitely put a damper on most companies’ finances. With MacroAir, you get:
- Great fans
- Great price
- Great energy efficiency
- Employee safety and comfort
- Employee peace of mind
As a plant leader, it is your job to help take proactive and preventative measures to make the safety in your facility as good as the safety in your worker’s homes.
We all need to prepare for this pandemic being around for longer than we’d like. Improving indoor air quality is the one primary way you can do that and take control of your air quality.
Contact us today to learn how MacroAir can help you improve your indoor air quality.