COVID-Safe Workplaces Need More Than Just Social Distancing
It is not quite the positive surge that we wanted to see at
the start of 2022. COVID-19 cases are on the rise and recorded in the thousands
on a daily basis. The rapidly spreading and highly contagious variants are the
primary reason for this increase in numbers, but the lack of measures that have
been enforced on a formal and informal basis are to blame.
At BDD, being part of a community that extends beyond the
campus walls, it is our commitment and shared responsibility to keep everyone as
safe as possible. However, the responsibility starts with the individual, then
the company and its rules and lastly, how we interact with one another as part
of a bigger community.
Here are recommendations for individuals to stay safe amidst
the pandemic, within workplaces and social settings:
- Personal COVID-19 kits should always be handy and used
diligently (masks and hand sanitizers). Washing your hands frequently is highly
- Medical masks must be worn AT ALL TIMES in all communal and
- Elevator use should be limited to three people at a
- Social distancing in offices, meeting rooms, cafes and
restaurants should be maintained at all times. It is preferable not to be in
enclosed spaces without proper ventilation.
- Should an individual have any of the symptoms (cold,
fatigue, cough, fever, body aches or other) it is advisable they isolate and
- Anyone that has come into contact with a COVID-positive
person, should isolate and test after the recommended incubation period (rapid
antigen tests are now widely available in most local pharmacies. Yet, PCRs have
shown more accurate results).
- It is recommended that meetings have a limited number of
people, and all attendees should wear masks and socially distance. Events of
larger sizes should be avoided until the numbers decline.
- Avoid close interactions with elderly individuals, those
with pre-existing conditions or those with compromised immune systems. Keep
your mask on and maintain recommended social distancing, if you must see them.
Here are additional recommendations for companies to keep
their workplaces safe and hygienic to avoid the spread of COVID-19:
- Ensure that office spaces are cleaned and disinfected. This
includes work stations, shared spaces and meeting rooms. Ask team members to
take ownership and sanitize the areas they have used, when they are done.
- Update policies and procedures for potentially infected or
contagious team members. These policies should include precautionary measures,
what to do if they have come into contact with infected person(s) and measures
to take should they test positive.
- Remind team members (and each other), to take necessary
precautions to ensure their safety and that of others. Place signs and posters,
and send email alerts.
- Open windows to air out offices spaces every hour, as good
ventilation has shown to reduce the risk of transmission.
- If remote working models have already been established and
suit your company structure, it is advisable to implement them either in the
form of alternating groups or schedules.
Additional resources from the World Health Organization are
Stay safe, stay healthy and let us protect ourselves and our
loved ones from the virus.