COVID-19 employee training industrial hygiene starts with high-risk employees.
Your COVID-19 employee training industrial hygiene plan forms your cornerstone for containment. Among your controls, industrial hygiene seeks to elevate workplace health and safety. For many organizations, COVID-19â€™s biological threat requires controls beyond their current measures.
In response, OSHA released its Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. Normally, OSHA relies on traditional industrial hygiene practices. During the pandemic, traditional practices are not enough. To sustain operations, your COVID-19 employee training industrial hygiene plan requires more.
IDENTIFY EMPLOYEE RISKS
Before applying engineering and administrative controls, you must consider each individualâ€™s health. To establish containment, you must anticipate and recognize employees at greatest risk. To initiate the process, ask managers to assess risks for their reports. Moreover, asses individuals on age, medical health, high-risk and relevant factors.
Subsequently after assessing employees, consider the people they shelter with at home. Additionally, community spread risks must be taken into consideration too. When assigning work, high risk employees should not be given high-risk activities. In the same vein, this applies to employees sheltering with high-risk people. Before coming to work, ask employees to do a self-check.
COVID-19 INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE EQUIPMENT PROCEDURES
After assessing employee health, address shared equipment and material handling. To contain COVID-19, you must stop sharing tools and equipment. Unless of course, your disinfection procedures account for sharing. Before you can establish controls, identify tools and equipment employees readily share.
For nonessential equipment, like, coffee pots and microwaves, remove them. When such measures cause an office revolt, apply a control procedure. If impractical, like, printers for all, you need a disinfectant procedure. All disinfection procedures begin with washing your hands.
COVID-19 INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE ROUTINE
Typically, promoting frequent hand washing is not enough. In addition, employers must sufficiently stock soap, handwashing stations, sanitizer and materials. Where behavior change is required, like with social distance, place signage. Consequently, place hand towel dispensers and trash receptacles in conveniently located areas. Likewise, place cleaning supplies and PPE where they are to be used.
Above all, ensure cleaning supplies are stocked. When materials are insufficient, a procedure collapses. In reviewing work areas, identify items requiring unnecessary human touch. If you have lids on trash bins, take them off. For office doors, leave them open. In other words, anything requiring unnecessarily human touch, remove it. Otherwise, create a cleaning and disinfection procedure.
COVID-19 EMPLOYEE TRAINING INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
Going forward, many organizations may need to elevate their regular housekeeping practices. As a result, add to your routine cleaning schedules. In high-touch areas, surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected ongoing. In shared offices, cubes, and rooms, routine disinfection and ventilation become critical. During the pandemic, disinfect as you go.
After using the copy machine, wipe it down. Similarly, this goes for all shared equipment employeesâ€™ use, including the restroom. Disinfect door handles, sinks, dispensers and frequently touched areas. When you disinfect frequently touched surfaces, COVID-19 cannot spread.
COVID-19 DISINFECTANT CONTACT TIME
After applying disinfectants, a common mistake is to quickly wipe areas dry. Instead, allow the disinfectant to lay on surfaces before removing. When you can, let the solution air dry. To wipe surfaces, use a clean damp cloth. Before you leave, cleaning and disinfection are particularly important at shift-change. When you engage procedures, you reduce transmission and lowers everyoneâ€™s risks.
For many organizations, enhanced industrial hygiene procedures are needed. Unfortunately, no one control or industrial hygiene practice can contain COVID-19. For most organizations, containment requires the full participation of a workforce. To support and introduce new behaviors, start with training.
COVID-19 employee training industrial hygiene controls reinforce behaviors that contain the virus. Enhanced disinfection, social distance, and PPE signal the workplace already changed. Itâ€™s time to use training to make your organization shine.