Months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic in March 2020, the world is reopening. It's a slow and uncertain process, and many businesses are opting not to reopen at all.
The conundrum is that, while it would be safer for all public facilities to keep their doors shut, that would have an immensely negative economic impact on vulnerable individuals and our nation as a whole.
For that reason, many businesses have opted to open their doors while taking multiple safety precautions. Coffee shops and nail salons across the country have installed clear dividers between employees and customers. Dentist offices have their patients wait in their cars rather than the waiting room. The list of innovative, health-conscious safety protocols goes on.
If your office or workplace is considering reopening soon, you might wonder what items you need—other than the quintessential face mask and hand soap—to make your workplace as safe as possible for yourself and your employees.
Here are some personal protection equipment (PPE) and other essential items for every workplace in the era of COVID-19.
A temple-touch thermometer
Temple touch thermometers are an affordable solution for giving yourself and your workers peace of mind during this time of uncertainty and fear. This non-invasive technique for taking a person's temperature provides an accurate, six-second temperature reading at the temple. Simply check every employee's temperature at the start of their shift to ensure they aren't running a fever.
Face shields are an especially important measure for customer-facing employees, such as waiters at restaurants or salespeople in a retail store. Face shields can be worn on top of a mask for optimal protection from airborne germs.
If your work involves a high level of contact, latex gloves are vital for reducing germ spread. Think about a barista at a coffee shop and how many items he or she must touch to make a single drink. In a standard office, think of how many things workers touch every day (printers, refrigerators, filing cabinets, clipboards, etc.).
On the note of frequently touched items… Sanitary wipes are a convenient way of killing germs on highly-touched items. At the end of each day (or even better, multiple times throughout the day), use them to wipe down desks, keyboards, doorknobs, and more.
Hand sanitizer is an excellent way to prevent your workplace from becoming germy by killing germs at the source. Frequent use of hand sanitizer kills virus germs that stay on hands from employees' inevitable face-touching and consequently spread to shared surfaces.
As mentioned above, many customer-facing stores like coffee shops and nail salons have installed plexiglass dividers, also called “sneezeguards," between employees and customers. Just think of all the germs that these handy devices have prevented from spreading.
Setting up portable air purifiers throughout your office or place of business is another precaution you can take to make your space cleaner and safer for your team. Air purifiers work by filtering and sanitizing the air particles in a space, filtering out impure particles like allergens, smoke, mold, and, yes, germs.