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Four Ways to Ensure Workplace Safety for Returning Staff

Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
Aug 05, 2022 at 1:16 PM

Many organisations are bringing virtual teams to the real workplace as part of the "Great Return," This requires increased disinfection and air circulation measures. Technological innovations and cost management are also vital to reducing business and staff health risks.

Business leaders need solutions to manage potential exposure and guarantee safe working environments and stronger, high-performing facilities to support returning employees.

As employees return to the office, having the proper safety and technical measures in place can help reduce risk and costs.

 

1. Safeguard personnel and property in facilities.

In addition to offering efficiency and security, building technology can also optimise workplace safety through enhanced air quality and proximity monitoring for social distancing.

Physical access control may make spaces safer by requiring personnel to authenticate themselves before entering, eventually protecting individuals and assets within corporate buildings. There are three ways to verify individuals entering building spaces:

  1. Something they own (card access).

  2. Something they know (PIN code).

  3. Something they are (biometrics).

By allowing users to customise their preferences in their spaces, building apps that use physical access control can also improve the occupants' experience. For instance, this could apply to lighting and climate control. 

These apps can also enable activity-based monitoring, making desk/room booking and cleaning routines more efficient. Employees can feel at ease and productive as they return to work using these apps.

 

2. Improve the quality of indoor air.

As employees return to the office, indoor air quality (IAQ) is a major concern. While airborne illnesses are not a new worry, the Covid-19 outbreak underscored the significance of IAQ to safety and well-being. 

To limit Covid-19 airborne transmission, the Human Resources Ministry published a guide for increasing ventilation and indoor air quality for the general public. Improve air ventilation and air filtration to help reduce dangers from indoor pollutants. Look into disinfection technology and methods to kill viruses, germs, and mould.

 

3. In a hybrid setting, ensure an ergonomic setup.

The typical workplace environment has evolved. According to Harvard Business Review, over 90% of businesses plan to adopt a hybrid working model by 2022. 

Many companies are exploring office and cubicle hoteling, which can be difficult when designing an ergonomically proper workstation for each employee. Consider adjustable-height workstations and ergonomic chairs to provide a relaxing atmosphere for personnel.

Encourage staff to sit in a neutral position at the office or home to help reduce injuries.

This posture consists of the following: This posture consists of the following:

  • Shoulders hanging loosely.

  • Maintain elbows, hips and knees at a 90-degree angle.

  • Straighten neck and wrists.

  • Ensure the lower back is supported.

 

4. Clean, sterilise and disinfect while keeping track of any exposure.

Many organisations are shifting to an activity-based mechanism model for sanitation and cleaning, for instance, using people-counting sensors to determine how many people entered a cafeteria or toilet. A building management system alerts the cleaning crew when a specific threshold is reached. 

By identifying which parts of the building were unused, businesses can use this technology to reduce sanitising costs.

It is vital to track potential Covid-19 exposure to help maintain worker safety. Consider forming an emergency response and business continuity team that is trained to mobilise and implement the company's plan for various emergencies, as well as to monitor continuing pandemic threats and adapt processes as needed. 

Then, to properly monitor and document guidelines, incorporate this into current safety programmes. Other methods to help decrease exposure include promoting excellent hygiene, putting disinfection procedures into place, and social distancing.

 

As organisations reintroduce virtual teams into the real workplace, procedures and technologies can help maintain employee health and safety. Improving air quality, enhancing sanitisation, and monitoring exposure are just a few measures that can make team members feel comfortable when they return to the office.

 

Source: Forbes

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