Health, Safety & Consulting in the Corona Workplace
Keeping people safe has never been an easy job. Staying up to date with the most relevant practices, policies and information is only half of the battle. Because you never know when a genuine, large scale threat could develop and threaten the health of a country. Or even the globe. Towards the end of 2019 the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) received initial reports of an illness originating in Wuhan China, where people likely contracted the virus from meat purchased at seafood/animal markets. After an explosive growth period and rapid expansion, experts now believe the virus to be spreading from human-to-human hosts when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to the spread of a cold or flu. The name “Coronavirus” was coined and the challenge has shifted to stopping the virus in China and slowing its global growth as much as possible. We must all be aware of how to keep safe and healthy in our workplaces, more so than ever before.
The Canadian government has insisted that it’s ready to tackle the virus, and that “a strong and experienced communicable disease surveillance program is in place”. Hopefully this is true, and many experts feel we can take solace knowing we’ve practiced this drill before with previous epidemic-level outbreaks of SARS and H1N1 respectively. This type of biological scare is a tremendous worry for the corporate sector, with a renewed drive pushing for health and safety consultant advisements regarding the best way to minimize damages. First and foremost both the Canadian and American governments suggest limiting all non-essential travel to China, as there is a substantial infection chance that could occur from visiting any areas, even those unaffected. If an employee has recently visited China, make sure they are aware of the risks and that they monitor their own health profile carefully. Vigilance from management is equally important in this task, as any employees who seem to be exhibiting the telltale infection signs should be given sick leave and the opportunity to return home and rest. Limiting exposure and contact between infected persons is always important. Besides that, the usual toolkit of flu prevention including handwashing, covering your mouth and diligent self-care should do a lot in reducing potential and actual outbreak related cases.
Health and safety is the core value of any company, and it’s not always limited to prevention of simple workplace hazards. Your jobsite is a place of gathering, social interaction and often somewhere to share meals with coworkers. There exists a great potential risk of person-to-person disease transmission and it is on everyone’s shoulders to be diligent in the prevention and minimizing of illness risks. A workplace health and safety consultant can present helpful information and stratagems to avoid any potential spread, but we all can do our part as well to stay informed and in good health.
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