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July 6, 2021

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return to work

A cleaner, safer return to office work

Many people will be concerned about cleanliness as they return to post lockdown work-life but, observing some simple steps will go a long way to ensuring a smooth and safe transition, says Jim Roberts, Product Manager at visual communications specialist, Beaverswood.

Cleaning in progressAs we ease out of lockdown and restrictions are relaxed, more and more of us will be able to return to our offices and workplaces. And as we return, and confidence grows, we will see an inevitable cultural shift – a new attitude and awareness to infection control.

This is completely understandable – after all, thousands of workplaces have been operating at a lower occupancy, or completely unoccupied, for the best part of a year and while efforts have been made to maintain cleanliness during this time, there will parts of the premises where dirt and germs still lingers.

Indeed cleanliness – and maintaining high levels of hygiene – will be paramount as people pick up the pieces of their working lives and settle back into the rhythm of using communal areas such as kitchens and washrooms; occupying shared desks and open plan workspaces and generally working within close proximity of colleagues. Business owners and their employees will need to feel supported and protected so the importance of effective cleaning and infection control will never be higher.

Here are some simple tips that can be implemented to keep our workplaces safer and minimise the risk of infection in the workplace.

Keep it clean

Touch points, or those areas you or colleagues come into contact with the most, will be the places where germs gather. So target these places with effective measures to keep on top of cross-contamination as people come and go between the workplace and their homes. There are new anti-microbial adhesive vinyls available that protect people and surfaces, which can be applied to any high contact surface such as door handles, doorplates, trolley handles and work surfaces, preventing the transfer of germs and bacteria.

Assess the risk

A risk assessment will identify areas more prone to infection and advise your employees accordingly. Clarity is key: explaining to staff your health and safety plans will nurture greater cooperation and reassure colleagues that you are doing all that you can to keep everyone safe and risk-free. Consider how you can implement effective segregation solutions in the workplace, such as pedestrian and traffic barrier systems in the warehouse; floor signalling, signage and screen partitions.

Tell people what you are doing

Explaining to employees what’s happening will always be helpful. You should use posters to keep them abreast of your plans and what they can do to co-operate as much as possible for everyone’s benefit. Where you expect people to use equipment as part of a cleaning regime, make sure they can locate and use products such as shadow boards and workstations that improve better management of tools to get rid of harmful bacteria and viruses. The

Every little helps

Keeping things clean to improve infection control doesn’t have to be hard work. Think about what people can do to help – after all, it’s been a tough time for us all, so incremental gains can contribute to cleaner, safer environments. For example, try to keep your workspace as tidy and efficient as you would your own home. When floor space is at a premium and sustainability is high on the agenda, racksack disposal bags can be beneficial. Easily assembled to hang on the end of racking systems, units and trolleys, these provide a handy way to keep waste paper, plastics and metal tidy and segregated.

The one-size fits all approach to workplace cleanliness and infection control doesn’t always where the balance between maximising productivity and people’s wellbeing is important.

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