Is My Building Safe Enough to Return to Work?
If your office has been considered “vigilant”, you have been working from home or working remotely since mid-March 2020. Many have retrofitted various parts of their homes to accommodate working from home, virtual offices, not to mention the millions that have had to set up virtual classrooms as well. As restrictions have started to lift, we are faced with the overwhelming question from building owners and property managers, “Is my building safe enough for my employees and tenants to return to the office?”. Re-opening buildings will put health and safety protocols to the test.
Employer Guidelines for Opening Businesses Back Up
OSHA has come out with guidelines for employers for their workplaces in this COVID-19 era. Still, the fact of the matter is that this information can be confusing. Do you wear a mask? What kind of mask? Has office equipment been sanitized? How socially distant do employees need to be from one another to be correct? Below are some guidelines that office buildings have used to adjust their work environments to:
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Physical distancing
- Decrease worker congestion
- Increase quality ventilation
- Cleaning and disinfecting
PPE. Which kind is the right kind? Do you wear disposable masks or are the fashionable fabric ones passable? Or do we wear N95 masks? There is no clear-cut answer here, but it has been proven that wearing a mask will help keep the virus at bay. What about gloves for hand protection? With hand washing being key, as soap kills viruses of any kind, keeping hands clean and using hand sanitizer of at least 75% alcohol is a great start.
Physical distancing. Many offices have gone to a hybrid schedule so that not all employees are in the office at the same time, thus making physical distancing easier. This, coupled with plexiglass barriers, and floor stickers to tell employees to keep socially distant will help. Some offices even have armbands that beep when you are getting too close to another employee. The CDC and other health organizations have stated that the guideline is 6 feet, but the further the better.
Ventilation. Good ventilation and air filtration are critical in office buildings. With the decreased number of employees, the air circulation definitely improves and the respiratory particles become dispersed and diluted in the air because of all of these precautions. Building engineers have had to increase this portion of their budget in order to get more employees to come back to the office. Working with HVAC companies to ensure the best quality air and filtration systems is one of the top line items in maintenance budgets this year in the virus fight.
Cleaning and disinfecting. There is a variety of disinfecting and cleaning products available on the market, but the #1 item in the fight against the virus is soap. There are the electrostatic cleaners that when sprayed disinfects the surface, but it only works if it’s sprayed after every time someone touches the surface and before someone new touches it. The best thing anyone can do is wash their hands.
Indeed, the reopening of businesses will put health and safety protocols to the test. Will those new safety plans be enough? Are companies doing enough? By taking this seriously, you reduce potential losses to your business. The moral obligation of keeping your employees safe and healthy is at play here.
Call KEVCO for Exterior Cleaning in MD, DC & VA
While cleaning the inside of a building is extremely important to decrease the chances of spreading germs and viruses, it is also important to make sure the outside of the building is cleaned. A clean sidewalk, door, and windows will help decrease the chance of bringing any germs into the building.
KEVCO can disinfect your sidewalks and clean all the windows and doors on the outside of the building to help keep the transference of germs to a minimum.
Call us today at (301) 258-9750 to keep your employees, customers, tenants, and you safer!