Not all states in Nigeria are experiencing a lockdown and businesses are still running in many others – this is a good thing. While personal preventive measures are one thing, workplace policies for disease prevention are another matter entirely. Regarding the latter, we recommend the following precautionary measures to minimise your chances of contracting or spreading the virus at work:
Security Post & Reception
Hand sanitizers should be provided at your gatehouse and at the entrance to your office. Please ensure you use them before entry. Security guards and front desk staff should also be mandated to ensure the use of hand sanitizers by all guests and staff while non-contact thermometers should be provided for use.
People with temperatures of 37.6°C and above should be denied entry and advised to go for tests.
Sanitizer dispensers should be provided around your building and all staff should be encouraged to use them at intervals - particularly after moving in and out of closed offices or meeting rooms.
Wash your hands properly with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) after using the restroom. Hand sanitizers should be provided for staff use.
If you have people who handle and serve food, they should use face masks and wear gloves when doing so (gloves should be changed at intervals). Cutlery should always be soaked in saltwater solution and handed to staff using a food thong.
Events & Meetings
If you or your colleagues happen to travel a lot, it’s best for now to limit both local and international travel unless absolutely necessary. Virtual meetings should be explored and do not travel if you have a fever and cough.
Your cleaners should take out the trash every two hours, wash the bins and mop the floors with water and bleach. Door handles, flat surfaces and telephones in the workplace should be disinfected at least thrice a day.
What to do in case of Illness
Anyone who falls ill in your office must notify their direct supervisor, HR and see a doctor immediately. They should also stay away from the office until they are fit for work.
Infection at the Workplace
One of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols for containing the virus is for any premises where someone tests positive with the virus to be locked down. Representatives of the NCDC will then come in to evacuate the patient while those in recent close contact with the patient will be quarantined at the location.
Finally, given the possibility of lockdowns, your HR unit should work with your IT team to proactively explore how staff can work from home till the situation improves and they’re cleared to return to the office.
Please share these preventive tips with your family and friends to educate them as well.