Building Resilience: Workplace Safety Amid COVID Variants

In the ongoing battle against COVID-19, the emergence of new COVID variants has underscored the critical importance of maintaining safe and sanitary workplaces. 

As we confront the ever-evolving landscape of this global health crisis, one thing remains clear: ensuring the safety and well-being of employees within workspaces is paramount. This highlights the significance of continuing efforts to create safer work environments and highlight the role of professional industrial cleaning companies like Team Group in achieving this goal.

The Ongoing Battle Against COVID Variants

COVID-19 has proven to be a relentless challenge, continually evolving through the emergence of new variants. The most recent headline-grabbing variant, EG.5, a descendant of the Omicron lineage, is now the predominant strain in the United States, accounting for more than 17% of cases. Furthermore, the appearance of variant BA.2.86, nicknamed Pirola, with over 30 mutations, and EG.5 Eris, have raised concerns among public health authorities.

Since the pandemic first began 3 ½ years ago, the COVID-19 virus has mutated so much that it is now extinct and considered an “ancestral virus.”

These developments serve as a stark reminder that COVID-19 is far from being vanquished, and the risk it poses to public health remains significant. Consequently, the need for robust safety measures – especially in the workplace – continues to be of utmost importance.

Preparing for the New Normal: A Holistic Approach

As we navigate through this dynamic landscape, preparing our workplaces for the short-term and long-term is vital. The following key steps can help ensure the health and well-being of employees and visitors:

  1. Develop New SOPs and Policies

As COVID continues to evolve and spread, companies must establish new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and policies aimed at enhancing safety, security, productivity, and wellness. These measures should encompass issues such as social distancing, the use of protective gear, cleaning protocols, and visitor screening processes.

  1. Ensure Safe, Resilient, and Ready Buildings

Employees are understandably concerned about the disinfection and protective protocols within their workplaces. Measures like the availability of masks and gloves, as well as the avoidance of physical contact, are crucial. Organizations need to develop plans and procedures to confirm that buildings are safe for re-entry and continued operation. Regular disinfection, air quality monitoring, proper ventilation, and protocols for dealing with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 are essential aspects of this effort.

  1. Implement Effective, Rigorous and On-Going Cleaning Procedures

One of the key components in ensuring a safe and sanitized workplace is the partnership with professional industrial cleaning companies like Team Group. Professional industrial cleaning companies possess the knowledge, training, and experience required to implement infection control measures effectively.

The Role of Industrial Cleaning Companies

  1. Enhanced Sanitization

One of the significant challenges in maintaining a safe workspace during a pandemic is minimizing cross-contamination. Inexperienced cleaning staff may inadvertently spread contaminants from one area to another, exacerbating the risk. Expert industrial cleaning companies are trained to prevent cross-contamination by following strict protocols and adopting specialized cleaning techniques.

  1. Specialized Expertise

Industrial cleaning companies possess the specialized knowledge required for the effective removal of contaminants. They are well-versed in the latest cleaning techniques, health regulations and the proper use of disinfectants to achieve the highest level of cleanliness and disinfection.

  1. Specialized Equipment and Cleaning Protocols

Companies like TEAM are equipped with specialized tools and cleaning protocols tailored to high-risk environments. In the context of COVID-19, this means using hospital-grade disinfectants and equipment to thoroughly sanitize workplaces. They also have the capacity to address potentially contaminated areas, such as break rooms, restrooms, and shared spaces, with precision and thoroughness.

  1. Consistency and Reliability

Professional cleaning companies provide a consistent and reliable approach to cleaning and disinfection. They adhere to stringent standards and protocols, ensuring that your workspace is consistently safe for employees.

  1. Customized Solutions

Industrial cleaning companies can tailor their services to meet the specific needs of your organization. Whether it’s a large office space, a manufacturing facility, or a healthcare setting, they can provide customized solutions that address your unique requirements.

The Road Ahead: Workplace Continuity Readiness

In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 challenge and the emergence of new variants, organizations need to be prepared for any eventuality. Key questions to determine workplace continuity readiness include:

  1. How do we prepare for the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak in our workplace?
  2. How do we ensure business operations if a significant portion of our workforce falls ill and is unable to work?
  3. What if employees are unable to commute to our corporate offices for an extended period?
  4. How can we maintain effective operations if remote work becomes necessary for an extended duration?
  5. Do we have the necessary resources in place to execute critical business functions?
  6. What plans are in place to mitigate the risk of a prolonged coronavirus outbreak?
  7. How will we respond if the performance of our business is severely impacted by the outbreak?
  8. Have we developed critical planning and communication protocols?
  9. What resources are available to mitigate workforce and workplace risks?
  10. What resources are required to resume normal business operations following a significant disruption, such as a major viral outbreak or pandemic?

In a world where COVID-19 variants continue to challenge our efforts to return to a semblance of normalcy, maintaining safe and sanitary workplaces is paramount. Partnering with professional industrial cleaning companies like Team Group is a crucial step in achieving this goal.

By developing and implementing comprehensive safety measures, adapting to changing circumstances, and staying prepared for potential disruptions, organizations can create a safer and more resilient future for their employees and mission.

 

Additional Resources

https://www.who.int/activities/tracking-SARS-CoV-2-variants

https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2023/what-to-know-about-the-eg5-variant

https://www.euronews.com/next/2023/08/22/first-eris-now-ba286-should-we-be-worried-about-the-latest-radically-different-covid-varia

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/follow-existing-covid-19-safety-rules-as-experts-evaluate-omicron-variant.aspx

https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safeworkhttps://www.team-group.com/industrial-decontamination-services/

https://www.team-group.com/preventing-covid-19/https://www.team-group.com/respiratory-infection/