As the pandemic drags on and the CDC continues to release new information about the novel coronavirus, it’s difficult to know what measures to take to keep yourself and your employees safe, especially if you are an essential business or you have chosen to re-open your physical office. Harbortouch has been working with hundreds of thousands of small to mid-sized businesses over the past two decades, and these are their best tips for keeping your employees safe during these unprecedented times.
Layer Your Protection Efforts Says Harbortouch
There is no single tactic (other than complete isolation) that will be 100% effective in protecting your employees against COVID-19 say Harbortouch experts. That’s why they suggest using James Reason’s “Swiss Cheese Model”. The Swiss Cheese Model was introduced by Reason in 1990 and since then, it has been adopted across a wide swath of verticals and industries.
There are inherent risks in any workplace that go largely unnoticed because the safeguards put in place by employers prevent them from happening. In Dr. Reason’s Swiss Cheese Model, these safeguards are represented as layers of swiss cheese. Every process and prevention method has “holes” in it, just like a slice of swiss cheese. Although none of the slices is 100% effective, when you add them all together, you end up with the best protection possible under the circumstances. When these safeguards are used together consistently, the holes in each layer of protection should be offset by the strengths of the next layer.
There are so many interventions you can put into place in your office. It may feel like an intrusion or an overabundance of caution, but with each practice, you are adding another layer of swiss cheese that will help prevent COVID-19 transmission. These are the “layers of cheese” that Harbortouch has implemented in their own workspace, and which they recommend to all responsible employers:
- Mandatory masks
- Signage encouraging employees to cover their nose or mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Practicing physical distancing of at least 6-12 feet
- Encouraging the following of social distancing guidelines at work and at home
- Station set up to sanitize or washing hands frequently
- Make employees stay home if they feel sick or have a sick family member
- Regular cleaning and disinfecting (multiple times a day)
- Ask employees to avoid care facilities like hospitals and require them to quarantine after visiting one
- Encourage healthy habits like drinking water, getting enough sleep, and eating healthily
- Screen Your Employees Advises Harbortouch
Harbortouch also suggests screening your employees to ensure their health and safety. There are several options when it comes to health screening but the most popular options include:
- Taking their temperature every day before they enter the office – it should be less than 100 degrees
- Confirm that they are not coughing or short of breath
- Send anyone who begins coughing home
- Watch for signs of illness like flushed cheeks or sudden fatigue
- Just make sure that you are maintaining a six-foot distance from your employees during screening and that you are wearing the proper PPE.
Implement Contactless Systems, Like the Ones Offered by Harbortouch
From delivery services to grocery shopping, “contactless” is the new buzzword in business. Any service you can offer that’s contactless reduces the likelihood of transmission for your customers and your employees. Especially if you are a restaurant or other business where customers can’t always wear their masks, it’s important that you take other steps to protect your exposed employees.
Contactless POS systems mean that employees don’t have to touch credit or debit cards–or worse, cash. It also gives them the opportunity to just drop off the terminal or card reader (depending on the model you use) and maintain their six-foot distance as much as possible. Harbortouch reviews its safety policies regularly and its contactless POS products are designed to be hygienic, efficient, and attractive.