Coworkers talking and using digital tablet on office's lobby - with face mask

Crucial Ways to Prevent the Spread of Illness in the Workplace

There’s always a risk that someone might pick up an illness in the workplace. It could be something as simple as a cold, but more serious illnesses can also be hazards. Taking steps to prevent the spread of illness is important for several reasons. Firstly, it’s vital to protect your employees, especially when there’s a risk of any disease or infection that could affect them long-term. Secondly, taking good care of your employees is good for your business. It also helps to protect customers or anyone else who might visit your business premises. You can take a number of steps to help prevent the spread of illness in the workplace.

Use PPE Where Necessary

Personal protective equipment can take the form of things like gloves and masks to help prevent the spread of an infection. They should be used together with best practices to give your employees the best chance of staying healthy. Many healthcare workers or those working in industries such as food and beverages can benefit from wearing nitrile gloves. Disposable gloves are usually best for maintaining hygiene as they can be thrown out after a single use. It’s also important to ensure good handwashing practices in many cases.

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Maintain a Hygienic Environment

Of course, keeping the workplace clean and hygienic is a must to help prevent the spread of any illnesses. How this is done and how often the working environment needs to be cleaned will depend on a range of factors. An office might be cleaned less often than a laboratory, but it’s still important for both places to have the appropriate amount of cleaning carried out. Some workplaces might be cleaned once at the end of the day, perhaps with any necessary spot cleaning in between. Others will need to be cleaned throughout the day to maintain the right standards of hygiene.

Allow Adequate Sick Days

One of the quickest ways for an illness to spread through the workplace is for someone to come to work while they’re ill. People will often feel that they have to come to work because they don’t want to use up a sick day or they will be judged if they take time off without being “ill enough”. But one person coming to work ill could just mean that many others end up ill too. Encouraging your employees to take time off to recover can help to prevent more absences, as well as people turning up to work when they’re too ill to be productive.

Deliver Training

Training is crucial for preventing the spread of disease in many workplaces. It’s especially important when there could be a risk of bloodborne pathogens. Employees need to know how to prevent infections, whether it’s by frequently washing their hands, wearing a mask, disposing of sharps safely, or keeping the working environment clean. Training should be ongoing to keep everyone’s knowledge up to date, so don’t just reserve it for new hires.

Taking steps to prevent the spread of illness in the workplace benefits you and your employees. A healthier, happier workforce is good for business.

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