The workplace is an integral venue of everybody’s daily routine. Even if the pandemic threw a major curveball in conventional workplaces, where most people shifted work to their homes, the time has come when we all have to eventually leave our cave and step into actual workplaces.
While some people are still skeptical about the whole idea, and some cannot wait any longer to get out, either way, it is imperative to know how to avoid contracting infections in your workplace.
The Importance of Having a Good Hand Hygiene
People generally use hands as the most common means of physical communication, which implies that they also carry the risk of acting as major vectors for spreading and catching microbes. In times like this, one can never be too careful. It is advisable to wash your hands at least 3-4 times a day, and before and after meals.
Washing your hands that many times may interfere with the flow of other activities, therefore, you should carry effective sanitizers containing the composition chlorhexidine gluconate. When in the workplace, sanitize your hands as frequently as possible.
Minimize contact as much as possible. Microbes travel much faster with careless physical contact than any other means. Not only should you minimize unnecessary physical contact with your colleagues, you must also adopt the same practice with yourself. Biting nails, touching your face, hair and other such activities that we usually tend to overlook are some of the most common causes for getting an infection.
The face comprises of many orifices in close proximity to each other, therefore acting as a viable entry point for a variety of infectious microorganisms. Avoid crowds and public gatherings as well.
Cleaning and Disinfection of Shared Surfaces
Timely and routine cleaning of shared surfaces should be a top priority. Cleaning of floors, desks, doorknobs, and other such surfaces should never be overlooked. Your shared workspace has the potential to act as a reservoir for all kinds of problematic microbes.
Workspaces are common visiting areas. One is constantly in touch with objects, food or other people. Therefore shared workspaces should also treated as possible infection-causing factor.
The Right Way of Sneezing and Coughing
It is, in fact, true that such a thing called “sneezing and coughing etiquettes” exists. One is certain to frown if you spray your fluids on them. It’s certainly not acceptable behavior anymore. In fact, it never was. You should always carry a handkerchief with you for the purpose of sneezing or coughing.
If however, you do not happen to carry a handkerchief, you must always sneeze into the nook of your arm or your axilla. That way, you create a barrier as well as manage to restrict the infection to least accessible part of your body. If you use a tissue, wrap it a plastic bag and discard it as soon as possible.
Avoid All Kinds of Non-Essential Travel
Unnecessary travel brings you in contact with other people, healthy, unhealthy or immunocompromised. Travel may not necessarily put you at risk, but it jeopardizes the safety of others as well.
You must not only restrict travel for the sake of your health, but also in regard for others. Even the slightest detour from home to work commute can lead to tragic circumstances. It serves best to do the responsible thing.
Wear Proper Protective Equipment
It cannot be stressed enough that one should always be equipped with personal protective equipment, commonly comprising of masks, face shields, gloves, etc. depending on their requirements and availability.
Some workplaces usually give out guidelines as to what they expect their employees to follow. If your workplace doesn’t, you may ask for it. Personal protective equipment goes a long way in inhibiting the chain of infection. They are especially helpful in public environments.
Lastly, if you do feel under the weather, you should stay at home. Take the right precautions to prevent infections in your workplace. If you do suffer from any communicable illness, isolating yourself and working from home is the responsible alternative.
Being affected by a communicable illness makes you a reservoir as well as a vector. Try to take the appropriate treatment plan and return to your workplace whenever you feel comfortable.