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Returning to Work – Additional Safety Measures in a Post-COVID Lab?

15 Oct 2020, Posted by Zing Professional in Blog

With new guidelines developed by the CDC, more organizations are determining how to return to in-person work safely. Proper safety measures can alleviate certain elements of risk and allow a return to work. Knowing this, it’s important to set up your lab for success to keep your employees safe. Here are some additional safety precautions to take in your lab post-COVID.

Cleaning surfaces

While research is still being done about how long the virus can stay on surfaces, it has been found to live on steel and plastic surfaces for up to three days. Details of infection from surfaces are still unknown, so you should still take extra precautions and wipe down all surfaces between each use to reduce the risk of spread. Provide an abundant stock of cleaning supplies where lab workers can easily access it to wipe down work areas as needed.

Determine the PPE needed

The specific type of personal protective equipment, or PPE, needed depends on the proximity in which your team will be working with each other and the type of work they’re doing. Complete a risk analysis and, based on this analysis, distribute the appropriate level PPE to each staff member.

Require social distancing when possible

Depending on the specific lab work, remaining six feet apart may not always be feasible. Make every effort to enforce social distancing. When space cannot be maintained, ensure employees are wearing their PPE.

Screen temperatures upon entry

Temperature screening is being done by many organizations to help catch those who may be infected before they can enter the facility. Temperatures should be logged for tracking and can potentially keep others safe and healthy.

Develop and discuss isolation procedures

Should an employee become ill at work or show any signs of having contracted the virus, even though a positive contact, make sure you have a plan for isolating that employee and getting them out of the lab with minimal contact. Tell your team about the plan and hang signage so you’re prepared to respond swiftly should it be necessary.

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